Southwark LGBT Network kicked off this year’s History Month with a free photographic exhibition, depicting 32 years of London Pride events, courtesy of lesbian photographer Pam Isherwood.
The network, an offshoot of the Southwark Anti-Homophobic Forum, organised seven events for the first year of History Month and has been committed to the event ever since.
The photography exhibition was organised by Dax Ashworth, LGBT community development worker at Southwark Council.
He said: “The exhibition hopes to honour the bravery and solidarity that is reflected in the images”.
High-profile speakers attended the launch, including Robert Thompson from the Lesbian and Gay News Media Archive, and Sue Sanders, the originator of LGBT History Month UK.
Activist Peter Tatchell, himself a resident of Southwark, applauded the work of the network, reiterating that the mantra “think global, act local” is the way forward for LGBT groups.
Southwark’s Head of Culture, Councillor Howard Barnes, expressed his commitment to creating an LGBT resource for the Southwark community, whilst Linda Bellos, co-chair of the network, spoke of the important visibility History Month brings to the LGBT community.
The exhibition was complemented, thanks to sponsorship from the Metropolitan Police, by a screening of the short film When There Was Silence (1988), along with an introduction from its director, Southwark historian Stephen Bourne.
The video short portrays five gay men recalling the 1961 film Victim , which famously played a role in liberalizing attitudes, and was the first film in which the word “homosexual” appeared.
Camden Council, in conjunction with the borough’s LGBT Forum, also plans to mark History Month with a range of events, the centrepiece of which is Out In Camden III, on Monday 12th February, 12-2.30pm.
Speakers at the event will include Neil McKenna, author of the bestseller The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde and a forthcoming book on nineteenth-century cross-dressing, as well as Lindsay River from the charity Polari, and Dr. Jenny Alexander, Sussex University lecturer and member of the queer and bisexual movement.
Camden Council is enthusiastically supporting the event. Council libraries will be screening videos and highlighting the works of major LGBT authors, whilst its leader, Councillor Keith Moffitt, will be chairing the event.
He said: “The LGBT forum has worked with the council to organise some fantastic events to celebrate the history of Camden’s LGBT community.
“I’m delighted to launch Out in Camden III and I’d urge anyone seeking LGBT support, advice and information to come along and find out more about the services available in Camden.”
Camden’s History Month events include a range of film-screenings and cabaret and jazz nights, as well as self-defence classes, history walks and a Strictly Bona Ballroom night for the more energetic. +
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