LGB Heritage Project


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source guide

Unlocking a Hidden History

A Researcher’s Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Historical Sources in Manchester.

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From Queer to Eternity: an LGB Heritage Project

In 2013 The Lesbian & Gay Foundation was awarded funds by the Heritage Lottery Fund to make LGB history accessible to those who may have little knowledge or experience of this area. We created an online timeline of LGB history; hosted 6 bi-monthly learning events on topics on LGB history; and worked with Manchester Library & Archives Service to re-design, reprint and distribute the Manchester Archives Source Guide to help unlock the LGB materials available across Manchester. 

Our previous Heritage Project events

17 December 2013

A Queer Dickens Christmas, a talk with discussion by Dr Holly Furneaux and Dr Kim Edwards

For the final event of this year's LGB&T history programme, The LGF give you two early Christmas presents in the form of Dr Holly Furneaux and Dr Kim Edwards who will join us to share some fascinating insights into the queer world of Charles Dickens!

Furneaux's talk will explore Dickens's own queer reading, looking at the explicit depictions of same-sex desire he encountered in his favourite books, and the ways he developed these in his writing.

In keeping with the season, Furneaux will explore an 1854 Dickens Christmas story (published during the Crimean War) which focuses on the love between two soldiers. The second part of the talk will consider how Dickens readers, from his time to ours, have engaged with the queer content of Dickens's work. Some Victorian readers included Dickens's novels in their queer libraries, and wrote homoerotic endings to his unfinished novel Edwin Drood.

a queer dickens

Creative responses continued through the modernist period, thriving in the work of Dickens fans like Katherine Mansfield. Today Dickens rewritings are a popular basis for fan and slash fiction, and Dickens's novels inspire queer mashups and cartoons.

Furneaux will consider the cultural significance of this phenomena in the UK and US, and end with some festive thoughts about the wide range of queer rewritings of A Christmas Carol

Dr Kim Edwards will specifically talk on desire between women in Dickens' novels with more details to follow.



A film evening with a panel discussion was held at The Lesbian & Gay Foundation during LGBT History Month as part of our LGB Heritage Project.

Check out this Flickr gallery of the event, photos by our volunteer professional photographer Ben A Squance.

18 February 2013

Getting Hitched, Making History

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The crowd joined us at this exciting junction in LGB history to throw some confetti on the issue of equal marriage.Tissues were at the ready as we screened Tony Osso's award winning short films about same-sex relationships and rainbow families.

These films entertained, moved and provoked!

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from the filmmaker and a panel of special guests as well as contribute their own thoughts and opinions when we opened the floor to wider discussion of marriage equality and the dynamics of same-sex relationships across time.

This was a free event made possible through generous funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The LGF’s ‘Queer Quiz-tory’ Pub Quiz came to a venue near you...

Marking National LGBT History Month The LGF toured the ten boroughs in Greater Manchester finding out how much you knew about lesbian, gay and bisexual history in our ‘Queer Quiz-tory’ Pub Quiz. History lessons were never as fun as this and there were prizes galore as well as answers that surprised and possibly shocked!

Dates and venues included:
• 13/02: Arden Arms, Stockport
• 21/02: Radcliffe Civic Hall, Radcliffe
• 24/02: The Feathers, Ashton Under Lyne

23 April 2013

Rainbow City: The Story of Manchester’s Struggle for LGB Equality c. 1950s-1980s

In the second of our heritage events this year, local historian Paul Fairweather delivered a public talk on four decades of Manchester's rich history of LGB political activism as well as social and cultural change.

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Covering the 1950s-1980s period, this talk looked at a wide-range of topics including:

  • Campaign for legal and social equality in the 1950s and 1960s
  • Development of the gay scene and gay community groups in the 1970s
  • Manchester City Council work on lesbian and gay equality in the 1980s
  • Campaign against Section 28 in the late 1980s

A large group took pride in how far the LGB community has come in Manchester by attending this event and celebrating the individuals, groups and movements that helped create the city we know today.

rainbow city large

28 June 2013

Your Polari Mission…should you choose to accept it?!

A fantabulosa evening was in store as fresh from their hugely successful show at Queer Contact 2013, the Polari Mission came to The LGF!

Artists Jez Dolan and Joseph Richardson want to save the Polari language from extinction and some of you accepted the mission to come along to this free interactive and fun session and learn more about Polari as well as brush up your linguistic skills!

The group got to know their orbs from their onk and sort the bona from the meese!

For more about the Polari Mission visit polarimission.com | @PolariMission

17 August 2013

On the Trail of LGBT History

So you saw those rainbow mosaics scattered across the city but you didn't know what they signified? That's why you let The LGF take you on the Manchester LGBT heritage trail!

With the help of local historian Paul Fairweather we saw the city with new eyes and discovered more about Manchester's hidden LGBT history as we were guided around the city. Stories were shared, places of interest pointed out, and the city's LGBT history brought to life. Following the trail, tea and cake was served at The LGF where attendees were given the opportunity to question Paul further.

21 October 2013

Clare Summerskill presents ‘Gateway to Heaven’ – A celebration of lesbian and gay lives and histories

Aside from being a fantastic lesbian role-model, Clare Summerskill’s talents are seemingly never-ending; writer, comedienne, and actress, she’s done it all.

On Monday 21 October 2013, The LGF were proud to host her when she joined us as part of our year-long celebration of LGB heritage to talk about her book ‘Gateway to Heaven’ and the work she’s done collecting the memories and histories of older lesbian and gay people.

The evening featured a talk by Clare followed by a book reading, Q&A session and book signing.

This was a free event made possible through funding from the Heritage Lottery fund. 

For more information about ‘Gateway to Heaven’ visitwww.gatewaytoheaven.co.uk.

>> Download the flyer for this event <<

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