We were extremely proud to present the first ever Birmingham LGBT History Festival this February to mark LGBT History Month ahead of the 50th anniversary of the partial de-criminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales this July.
Between 22nd and 26th Feb 2017 SHOUT welcomed sell-out audiences to venues across the city including mac Birmingham, IKON Gallery, Birmingham City University and The Electric Cinema to a series of events and screenings celebrating and exploring the changing faces of LGBTQ identities over the last fifty years, examining significant social and political changes and the representation of LGBTQ people on screen.
“The Birmingham LGBT History Festival was a means for people to come together, discuss, and celebrate our heritage and the histories of LGBT communities over the last 50 years. We are extremely grateful to everyone who particpated and shared their experiences and histories with us. With this year marking 50 years since the 1967 Sexual Offences Act, 2017 is a landmark year for LGBT civil rights in the UK. It was extremely important to us to mark this with what we hope will become an annual event” – Adam Carver, SHOUT Festival Development Officer
The Birmingham LGBT History Festival opened with a screening of ‘Under Your Nose’ (presented in partnership with Unmuted and BCU’s Black Studies Research Cluster) documenting the struggles to set up the world’s first Black Gay and Lesbian Centre in the UK. We were delighted to welcome to Birmingham many of the centre’s founders and former staff as well as filmaker Veronica McKenzie. A week of screenings and events following including the Oscar Winning ‘Moonlight’ at the Electric Cinema and a sharing afternoon of photos and memories of Birmingham’s Gay Liberation Front in the 1970s. The programme closed with a rare sold-out screening of ‘The Naked Civil Servant’ at mac Birmingham including a Q&A discussion with Michele Aaron (University of Birmingham) and artist Trevor Pitt discussing the life and legacy of Quentin Crisp.
Plans are under way to bring the festival back for 2018, so watch this space!