This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act – an act which decriminalised male homosexuality in England and Wales. With an added sense of extra glittery celebration, the UK is putting on a colourful rainbow of LGBT events for LGBT History Month.
Over the years, we’ve come along way: marriage equality, openly LGBT individuals in the armed forces, trans rights – the list goes on and on. There’s cause for lots of booze, laughs and crazy outfits, but there’s still an awful lot of work that needs to be done.
Seriousness aside, there’s lots to be gay about this month. From fabulous theatre in London to comedy shows in Manchester, you’ll find oodles of arty and social events taking place across the UK.
Because there’s so much going on, we’ve given you just a few of the highlights. So whether you’re gay, lesbian, straight, bi, trans, whatever, grab a handful of glitter, a gorgeous frock and cast out those inhibitions.
Exhibition: Glad to be Gay: the struggle for legal equality
LSE Library’s spring exhibition Glad to be Gay: the struggle for legal equality draws on the unique Hall-Carpenter Archives and the Women’s Library collection to mark the 50th anniversary of a pivotal piece of legislation: the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. LSE Library. Until April 30.
‘We Raise Our Hands In The Sanctuary’
‘Ridiculously sexy’ gay times combining dance, drama and the club sounds of the 1980s. The Albany. Until Feb 11.
Proud at Pride
Throughout February Barking Town Hall will be displaying an exhibition called Proud at Pride, an exhibition about going to Pride and the history of Pride in east London. Barking Town Hall. Until Feb 28.
The HIV Monologues
After a critically acclaimed launch at the end of 2016, Dragonflies Theatre’s new production returns in 2017, exploring HIV amongst gay men through a series of interwoven stories. Ace Hotel, Shoreditch. Until Feb 19.
Work with artist Sadie Lee and photographer Gisela Torres to investigate the themes of self and identity in this mixed media workshop. National Portrait Gallery, Feb 5.
Go and enjoy an evening of poetry and spoken word from new and established LGBTQ poets and writers. Tipsy Bar, Feb 5.
Jessica Walker: ‘Forbidden Love’
Singer Jessica Walker presents a provocative evening of gay love songs in times of repression, in her uniquely androgynous performance style. Omnibus, Clapham, Feb 8.
‘Out of Sight’
Iron Hoof Productions presents a reading of an extract of David Dandridge’s new play New Cross Spartacus, which explores the displacement and isolation of individuals, particularly older gay men, amid the increasing gentrification of once-overlooked areas of London. Omnibus, Clapham. Feb 9.
Whip out your most sparkly attire for a night of thought-shaking film-making and theatricality! Omnibus, Clapham. Feb 10.
Unnatural Acts LGBT+ Festival
The multi-arts venue and theatre in South London, Clapham, dedicates a week to an eclectic programme of thought-provoking events including theatre, music, talks, comedy, film shorts and visual arts. Omnibus, Clapham. Until Feb 11.
A history of gay and lesbian cinema in 10 films
Richard Dyer explores the representation of lesbian and gay sexualities on screen. The British Academy, Feb 16.
Long Live Queen James!
Adults-only evening at Banqueting House exploring the stories of King James I and his male favourites. Featuring live performances, talks, demonstrations, music and drinking. Banqueting House, Feb 22.
North West England
Exhibition: Andrew Fekete: Out of Time
Join artist Andrew Fekete on this journey through his paintings, drawings and diaries, starting with his formative years in Liverpool and ending with his final, unfinished image. Victoria Gallery and Museum, Liverpool. Until April 21.
Queer Contact Festival 2017: Trans Creative
A celebration of new transgender performance. Contact, Manchester. Feb 10–11.
Queer Contact Festival 2017: ‘Le Gateau Chocolat – Black’
Featuring a repertoire ranging from Wagner and Purcell to Nina Simone and Whitney Houston, ‘Black’ is an intimate and confessional portrait of Nigerian singer Le Gateau Chocolat’s life. Contact, Manchester. Feb 10–11.
LGB&T YouthFest – URPotential, Blackpool
A free event for LGB&T young people. A full day of workshops, guest speakers, question time, networking opportunities and entertainment. Devere Hotel, Feb 11.
Queer Contact Festival 2017: Queer Comedy Night
Hosted by Jonathan Mayor. Tickle your funny bone as some of the UK’s best stand-up comics join us to kick off the second week of the festival in style. Contact, Manchester. Feb 13.
Queer Talk: Homosexuality in Britten’s Britain
Exhibition focusing on Benjamin Britten and his partner, the tenor Peter Pears, at a time when their relationship was illegal. The Red House, Aldeburgh. Until Oct 28.
Central Southern England
Out in Oxford: A Cross-Museums Trail
A specially commissioned trail celebrating diversity and highlighting LGBTQ+ experiences across Oxfordshire and beyond. University of Oxford, Feb 11.
Hampshire Pride – ‘The Big Day’
The people of Hampshire join together to celebrate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and more community. Feb 25.