Throughout February, events are being held across the University as part of LGBT+ History Month, which will explore and raise awareness of the experiences of the LGBT+ community.
The Chair of the University’s LGBT+ staff network, Duncan Astle, has explained that ‘LGBT+ History month is our opportunity to celebrate and reflect on our ongoing march towards equality and social justice.’ He further noted that the events will ‘highlight trailblazers and role models, and educate others and ourselves about queer history.’
‘The stories of marginalised groups have the potential to change our view of the present, and provide a fresh perspective on our future,’ Astle continued.
Yesterday evening, a video chat was held by the Clare Hall Equalities Committee to provide a ‘bonding session for LGBT+ students to meet one another’. At 6:30pm this evening the LGBT+ Staff Network will be holding a film night, where they’ll be watching a number of short films listed for the Iris Prize and then will discuss them on Zoom.
From 1-2pm on 15th February, the BAME network and the Cambridge Assessment’s LGBTQAI+ network will be holding a joint event focussing ‘on the intersection of BAME and LGBTQAI+ histories’. To find out more and receive an invite for this event contact Wikramatna.email@example.com.
In the afternoon of the 15th, from 5-6pm, the Christ’s College LGBT+ Society and Christ’s Seeley Society will be holding an event with Cheryl Morgan, the science fiction writer who is also Co-Chair of OutStories Bristol. More information can be found here.
The Department of Archaeology and the University’s Archaeological Field Club will be holding their annual Queer(y)ing the Past event on the 18th. In this event, a series of short talks ‘will explore the topics of sexuality and gender in the past’, such as one by Dr Sophus Helle considering the question, ‘What would a Queer Philology Entail?’
On the 23rd the UL’s reading group, ‘The Really Popular Book Club’, will be discussing Ali Smith’s Girl Meets Boy and, on the 24th, Dr Caroline Gonda will deliver a talk entitled ‘Anne Damer’s Place in Queer History’.
The University’s LGBT+ History Month Lecture will take place on the 25th at 6pm. The guest speakers will be Dr Richard McKay and PhD student George Severs, who will consider the story behind the new TV programme It’s A Sin. They will ‘explore gay men’s sexual health in the decades running up to the emergence of the disease and find out how HIV/AIDS sparked a dramatic new wave of activism.’
After attending this lecture, you can (virtually) attend a Night Songs service being held by St Catherine’s College chapel at 9:30pm. This ‘will feature music and poetry chosen by LGBT+ members of the St Catherine’s community.’
If you are currently in Cambridge you can also go on an audio trail, which ‘reveals the people and place that have shaped queer life in the city’.
The University’s LGBT+ Equality Champion, Professor Andrew Webber, has explained that these events ‘give the opportunity to recognise that present realities for many LGBT+ people around the world are still marked by the kind of fear and injury that we might like to think belong to the past.’
A number of colleges, including Clare Hall, Gonville & Caius, Churchill, Wolfson, and Girton, have announced that they are flying the LGBTQ+ Progress Flag this month. The Clare Hall Equalities team have explained that ‘while retaining the common six-stripe rainbow design as a base, the Progress variation adds a chevron along the hoist that features black, brown, light blue, pink, and white stripes to bring those communities (marginalised people of colour, trans individuals, and those living with HIV/AIDS and those who have been lost) to the forefront.’