Prepare to celebrate LGBT History Month!

Hundreds of teachers, policymakers, academics and community activists will gather at the British Museum on Thu 19 Nov, to make plans for the biggest ever celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans history, throughout Feb 2010.

The evening programme will include keynote speeches from culture minister Ben Bradshaw; Trevor Phillips, chair of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission; and veteran LGBT campaigner Michael Cashman MEP.

The British Museum will launch Same Sex Desire and Gender Identity a permanent trail on its website. The trail will be shared with Untold London and Culture 24. It will join other themes on the Museum’s website that offer intellectual and logistic access to the collections, and will feature around 25 objects from across the world’s cultures, exploring the diversity of LGBT history from ancient to modern times.

Other speakers will share their experiences of organising successful events in previous years, including: the Ajuma X from Rukus Federation, which showcases work by Black LGBT artists; Jan Pemblitt from London Metropolitan Archives; and Tola Dabiri Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, which promotes best practice in the sector.

Participants will also meet a wide range of exhibitors, sharing their experiences and resources – from the Imperial War Museum North to a local school; from a university archive of queer activism to a community bookshop.

Co-chair Tony Fenwick said:

“It’s a real coup to have an education minister speaking in the afternoon and the culture minister in the evening.

“Schools and museums were understandably nervous in the early days, but with prestigious national institutions like the British Museum and the Imperial War Museum North showing the way, 2010 looks set to be the biggest and best yet.”

“We’ve got some great resources on our website, to help schools and community groups organise celebrations.”

Throughout the day, members of the public will be able to visit a double decker rainbow bus on the museum forecourt, for information about the event, thanks to Pink Punters in Milton Keynes.

The event, in its fifth year, will have a particular focus on education. Teachers and youth workers will have a special programme of speakers in the afternoon, to help them organise projects and events.

Co-chair Sue Sanders said:

“By raising the visibility of LGBT identities, culture and history, we hope to foster a youth culture free from the ignorance and prejudice that lead some young people to commit homophobic and transphobic attacks.”


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