Celebration of LGBT history returns

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Mama G entertaining the crowds with her storytelling. Pic © Tilly Kenyon JMU Journalism

The Museum of Liverpool was the hub once again for the OUTing the Past Festival which celebrates LGBT history.

This is an educational scheme that addresses the silence and denial surrounding the topic, looking at past attitudes and behaviours related to sexuality and gender.

The free festival was held on Saturday from 11am until 4:45pm, with many different talks, films, interactive storytelling, rainbow-themed crafts and an LGBT choir.

Some of the guest speakers included Valerie Stevenson, Kris Reid and Ian Nipper.

Kate Hutchinson, who works for OUTing The Past and Schools OUT, told JMU Journalism: “It is important to celebrate our history, without that knowledge or acknowledging it how do we move forward? It is really important to learn from our past.”

In previous years, she has spoken at the event in Liverpool, and one talk she presented was about trans inclusion and gender representation in rock music.

She added: “We get such a wide variety of different talks, one this year is talking about queer representation in video games which is absolutely brilliant. It acknowledges LGBT folks in society, we’ve always been here, we always will be here, we didn’t just explode out of a shower of rainbows and glitter.”

YouTube: Tilly Kenyon

Each year, the festival is growing, not only nationally but internationally too. They have now held events in New York and Eastern Europe.

Ms Hutchinson said: “It’s great seeing more hubs opening up each year around the UK wanting to acknowledge the history.”

The festival is always held during the LGBT History month, which was introduced in 2005 by Schools OUT. Their theme for 2020 is Poetry, Plays and Prose. This year the festival is being held in 22 hubs – 14 in England, six in Ireland and two in the USA.

About Tilly Kenyon, JMU Journalism