Sheffield LGBTQ+ youth charity SAYiT have organised a range of talks, events and podcasts throughout February to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month:
1st February 2024 – Section 28: Coming Out at School 1988-2003, 6.30pm-8.30pm – Central Library, Surrey Street
In 1988, the Conservative Government created a new law. It prevented schools and local authorities from ‘promoting’ homosexuality as an alternative lifestyle. This social experiment on the nation’s children was rooted in the belief that if children never heard about lesbians, gay men, bisexuals or trans people, then they couldn’t grow up to be LGBTQ+.
Section 28 remained in place for 15 years, and has negatively affected tens of thousands of children well into adulthood. SAYiT have invited a panel of LGBTQ+ people to discuss how this law blighted their school lives, and how they discovered community outside the school gates.
6th February 2024 – The Surprising and Subversive Drag King – 1pm-1.45pm – Weston Park Museum
Did you know that 100 years ago, the highest paid female entertainer in the UK was a Drag King? Vesta Tilley sprang out of the Music Halls, and toured the UK and America with her ‘male impersonator’ act that she had honed since childhood. A pair of the black and ivory boots she wore in her ‘Burlington Bertie’ act are held at Sheffield Museums.
We look at the popularity of Drag Kings in the UK and in the US, the similarities and differences between the British Kings and those who performed in America, and the resurgence of Drag Kings today.
20th February 2024 – “We Need More Than Medicine” – The AIDS Crisis – Then and Now – 4.30pm-6pm – Star House, Division Street
The theme for LGBTQ+ History Month this year is Medicine. SAYiT emerged from the AIDS crisis, so it seems fitting that we host a panel looking at how Sheffield handled the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, and how we continue to fight against the spread of AIDS and HIV today.
21st February 2024 – My Mind on Paper: How we Found Ourselves in Queer Literature – 6.30pm-8.30pm – Central Library, Surrey Street
SAYiT introduce a panel of LGBTQ+ writers and readers, asking which books, poems or scripts opened a whole new Queer world to us. A lively discussion looking with pleasure at ancient texts, poetry, graphic novels, diaries, sci fi, rom coms, pulp fiction, and everything in between.
27th February 2024 – Queer Artefacts – LGBTQ+ Representation in the Archives – 1pm-1.45pm – Weston Park Museum
Badges, court records, photos, zines, and a trans man born in Doncaster in the 1700s. We take a trip through the LGBTQ+ archives at Sheffield Museums and Sheffield Libraries, and reflect on what they tell us about being LGBTQ+ in the past. Small things holding great significance – they show us how the LGBTQ+ community was represented, how we challenged authority, changed minds, and fought for our rights.
SAYiT will also be releasing a series of podcasts throughout the month in collaboration with Proud Changemakers – https://linktr.ee/proudchangemakers