This February, National Museums Liverpool (NML) are marking LGBT+ History Month with a range of events, activities and new online content – exploring the untold stories of LGBT+ people across the Liverpool City Region and beyond.
With events ranging from a panel discussion exploring religion and LGBT+ lives, to interactive story time sessions for families with the fabulous Mama G, National Museums Liverpool aim to highlight key issues and stories from across the LGBT+ community.
The programme of events includes Queer Creatives: Art and Activism – featuring three local creatives who use their work to amplify the voices of LGBT+ people. The work of one of these artists, Ben Youdan, was recently targeted in Liverpool City Centre as part of a recent spate of homophobic and transphobic incidents across the city. Meanwhile, the Christianity and LGBT+ Lives panel discussion will showcase a range of life experiences from LGBT+ Christians.
The LGBT+ Histories hub on the NML website gives visitors the chance to delve into insightful interviews, opinion pieces, art history and hidden stories – from an interview with Police Officer Christian Owens about his experience of transitioning whilst working in the Police force, to the hidden histories of gay seafarers and sexuality in the ancient world.
Claire Benjamin, Head of Learning and Participation at National Museums Liverpool, said: “Liverpool’s LGBT+ history is long and diverse – the city has been at the epicentre of some of the most important leaps forward in the struggle for LGBT+ rights, including the first legal same sex marriage in a place of worship in 2012. Despite landmark moments such as these, there is of course still progress to be made and the city is still reeling from a series of homophobic and transphobic attacks in 2021.”
“We are so excited to be able to showcase a series of contributions from members of Liverpool’s LGBT+ community, responding artistically to the important people, places, and events in their lives. From the links between religion and sexuality in one of our live panel discussions to exciting new online content, we hope that everybody can find something to inspire them throughout February.”
National Museums Liverpool’s programme of events for LGBT+ History Month is below – for further informational and for online content including pride stories, interviews, past collections and LGBT+ stories from across Liverpool, visit liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/lgbt-history
Big Chat Series: Christianity and LGBT Lives
Museum of Liverpool, 12 February 2022 – 1-3pm
Liverpool has a pioneering history of welcoming gay people within faith groups. Stories tell of Unitarian ministers blessing same-sex unions in the city in the 1960s and in 2012 Liverpool became the city where the first same-sex couple in the UK were legally married in a place of worship. Despite this, Merseyside was also the birthplace of the True Freedom Trust, a founding member of Exodus International – an arm of the world’s largest ‘ex-gay’ organisation, and as late as 2018 a church in Liverpool was offering a ‘gay conversion programme’ that consisted of three days of starvation and prayer. In this conversation event we will hear the stories of our three panellists – Chris Butler, Sister Maria Renate and Kieran Bohan – as they talk through some of their shared experiences and discuss whether having a Christian faith is compatible with being LGBT+.
Queer Creatives: Art and Activism
Museum of Liverpool, 19 February 2022 – 1-3pm
In this event we will hear from Ben Youdan, Lo Tierney and Dan Chan – three local creatives who use their work in different ways to make the LGBTQ+ community and their issues more visible, to champion the community, and to campaign for a more equal society, following recent homophobic and transphobic incidents in Liverpool over the past year. Find out how the community are creating a place where we can be ‘Queer with no fear’.
Storytime with Mama G
Museum of Liverpool, 26 February 2022 – 11am-12pm, 1-2pm and 3-4pm
Family stories aimed at younger visitors to celebrate LGBT+ History month with the fabulous Mama G. Join in the fun with singing and actions with stories about love, identity, acceptance and celebration.