Sheffield marks the 50th Anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in style

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 - 10:00

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans plus (LGBT+) organisations in Sheffield are inviting people to join them over the 24th, 25th and 26th February to celebrate LGBT+ History Month and the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales. 

The Friends of Edward Carpenter (FOEC) group along with young people’s charity, The Sheena Amos Youth Trust (SAYiT) and Museums Sheffield, are marking the occasion in collaboration with other city organisations. A number of events have been organised, making it one of the city’s biggest ever celebrations for LGBT+ History month. Events will be held in the Millennium Gallery, Arundel Gate on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th, and Hallam University HUBS, Paternoster Row on Sunday 26th February. 

Museums Sheffield will be marking this milestone with ‘1967’ - their first Live Late of the season at the Millennium Gallery on Friday 24 February. The event promises 1960s themed music, art, interactive activities and much more. The throwback extravaganza will also feature the chance to create psychedelic spinning art and LGBT protest badges, along with the chance to contribute to our collaborative LGBT timeline. Live art will be facilitated by Charley Calpin, all complemented by a swinging 60s soundtrack from DJ Heather Patterson.  

The weekend events will be launched on Saturday at the Millennium Gallery with a tea and cake reception provided by Wakefield’s Master Chef Semi-finalist, Chris Hale.  Rotherham born writer and  author of the self-help manual, 'How to be a Happy Homosexual' Terry Sanderson will be signing copies of his latest memoir recounting his early days of campaigning in South Yorkshire for gay rights during the early 1970’s; ‘The Adventures of a Happy Homosexual’. A celebratory cake, baked especially for the occasion, is being provided by the BBC’s Great British Bake Off contestant and Yorkshire local, Howard Middleton. Musical accompaniment to the proceedings will be provided by Woodhouse Prize Band.

Saturday also offers a historical talk on George Hukin from poet and songwriter Sally Goldsmith whilst Suzanne Bingham offers advice on tracing LGBT Family history. A talk from Clare Summerskill considers the significance of spoken/oral history in an LGBT context. The original members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, who were portrayed in the acclaimed film ‘Pride’, will be discussing and examining the importance of politics in the 2014 film. An exciting evening of poetry, performance and music will round the day off with Carol Robson, Clare Summerskill and Grace Petrie.

Sunday’s programme at Hallam University HUBS begins with a sparkling reception as SAYiT and E.D.E.N Films premiere their film 'Out of the Shadows' - an inter-generational piece of work exploring the histories of older LGBT through a series of interviews by young members of the LGBT+ community. Sheffield's LGBT choir Out Aloud will round the weekend off along with DJ Wendy playing her mix of upbeat music at Sheffield Hallam University Hubs.

Steve Slack CEO of SAYiT said: "We want to celebrate this anniversary by recognising how far we have come, and acknowledge the people who have gone before - to whom we are indebted. We stand on the shoulders of giants. However, we are very mindful that homophobia and transphobia are still a part of many people’s daily experiences and recognise that reported incidents of homophobic and transphobic Hate Crime have recently risen since the European referendum. We also feel that it is important that young people are aware of the history of LGBT communities in the city."

Kate Flannery Co Director of FOEC said: "This wonderful weekend of collaboration and celebrations has something for everyone - socialising, history, performance, politics, reflection, solidarity, fun and entertainment. It is a privilege to be part of it. This really puts Sheffield on the map as an LGBT+ inclusive city."


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