Everything that’s happening in York for LGBTQ+ History Month

Celebrate LGBTQ+ history this month with everything from art exhibitions to club nights


As we await the opening of new York college named after LGBTQ+ activist David Kato, as well as the latest edition to the colleges on campus being named after Anne Lister, quoted as the first modern lesbian, York is taking steps to make the campus a more inclusive place for students. The events taking place this month are no exception to this step of progress.

Therefore, here is a rundown of all the events happening in York for LGBTQ+ History Month this February.

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Queer History and the Pink Pound: In conversation with Dr. Justin Bengry

On Tuesday 15th February, Dr Justin Bengry, Director of the Centre for Queer History at Goldsmiths, University of London, will be speaking about queer history, preserving the LGBTQ+ experience, and his current podcast project The Pink Pound.

Ran by York’s Graduate Student Association, this event will be held on Zoom at 7pm on Tuesday 15th February and free tickets can be bought here.

Join the Conversation: LGBT+ Inclusion and belonging in Higher Education

On Thursday 17th February, Inclusive-Learning at York is hosting a discussion event for university students and staff focused on LGBT+ experiences and representation within higher education.

The discussion will look at areas including LGBT+ representation in university curriculums, the use and importance of inclusive language and lived experiences regarding feelings of belonging and community within a higher education setting.

This event will be held on Zoom on Thursday 17th February at 3pm and free tickets can be bought here.

Trans and Non-Binary Coffee and Boardgames Hangout

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On Tuesday 15th February, YUSU LGBTQ+ will be hosting a coffee and boardgames hangout for trans and non-binary students. This will be held at The Kitchen at Alcuin at 11 am.

Queering the Burton Exhibition

Via Google Maps

The York Art Gallery partnered with York LGBT Forum, are showing a free exhibition titled Queering the Burton. The exhibition will work to “Queer the Burton Gallery by telling the stories and sharing the perspectives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people.”

Visitors will be able to explore the stories which draw on LGBT Forum participants’ original research, as well as creative responses to the art which are inspired by lived experience.

Entry to the Gallery is free but can be pre-booked here. The exhibition will be open throughout February.

Matthew Todd: LGBTQ+ Mental Health

aJoin YUSU LGBTQ+ on Friday 26th January for a special guest talk and Q&A from Matthew Todd, multi-award winning author of Straight Jacket: Overcoming Society’s Legacy of Gay Shame and Pride: The Story of the LGBT Equality Movement.

The talk will include a discussion on mental health within the LGBTQ+ community, as well as discuss the importance of LGBTQ+ history and the important relevance it has today. The talk will end with a Q&A session.

Tickets can be found on the YUSU Website.

The Log Books: Stories from our LGBTQ+ history

On Wednesday 23rd February, producers of the award-winning podcast ,The Log Books, will be exploring ideas of family and discussing themes such as gay adoption, supporting an LGBTQ+ family member after coming out, and the importance of chosen family. The talk will also include a Q&A.

This event will be held online on Wednesday 23rd February at 3:30pm and Free tickets can be bought here.

Escaping persecution: LGBT+ stories of asylum, past and present

On Wednesday 23rd February The University of York is teaming up with York-based charity, Time to be Out, for a discussion of barriers faced by LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees, and how we can all make a difference.

This event will be held online at 6:30pm and free tickets can be bought here.

LGBTQ+ Club Nights

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LGBTQ+ Club Nights have been running since the Autumn term, run by YUSU LGBTQ+, and held at Flares. This term they have been held in weeks three, five, seven, and nine and included themes such as Queer Icons of History and Mas-queer-ade.

The next LGBTQ+ club night will be held on Thursday 24th February at Flares with a pre-meet in the Vanbrugh Arms.

Anne Lister in York Walking Tour

Take a walking tour this LGBTQ+ History Month based on York’s very own Anne Lister. Lister was cited as the first modern lesbian and her life was recently dramatised in the hit television series, Gentleman Jack which was also filmed in York.

This two-hour walking tour will explore the streets of York “where she lived, loved, partied and shopped!” The tours cost £12 and tickets can be bought here.

Jonathan Blake: HIV/AIDS and the LGSM Movement

On Friday 19th February, YUSU LGBTQ+ will be joined by Jonathan Blake who was one of the first people in the UK to be diagnosed with HIV in the UK in the early 1980s and has been an advocate for LGBT+ rights for over three decades.

Jonathan will be delivering a talk about attitudes towards HIV and AIDS, along with a history of the Lesbian and Gays Support the Miners movement.

This event will be held online and tickets can be found on the YUSU Website.

Featured image before edits via Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash

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