LGBT History Month got off to a quick start on February 1st with a flag-raising ceremony and a session on LGBT hate crime at Notts NHS Healthcare Trust. On the same day, Age UK Nottingham put up their display of 55+ year old gay and bi men - they run a social group for 55+ gay/bi men.
Broadway cinema ran a season of LGBT themed films and the University of Nottingham arranged several events including: “What became of Gay Liberation?” at Five Leaves Bookshop; a panel discussion about LGBTQ+ experiences in Nottingham and two events on LGBT progress in Taiwan.
Notts Healthcare, Nottingham City Homes, Notts Fire & Rescue, Nottingham Community Housing, Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, the Police and West Notts College came together to celebrate “Bisexuality and Other Identities”.
Several speakers dealt with their experiences as bisexual people and Jessica Lynn, a trans woman from the USA, talked about her roller coaster of a life and her mind-boggling encounters with the USA legal system. One thought to take away - steer clear of Texas. Jessica’s work and her story can be read at
Two of the organisations present faired well in the Stonewall Index. Notts Police was at no. 39 and Notts County Council at no.22
The month was rounded off with the annual (the 11th) Nottinghamshire's Rainbow Heritage Celebration and awards evening. The event took place on the coldest night of the Winter in a blizzard. Several people and groups weren't able to attend because of the weather, so it was slightly amazing that 75 people turned up.
There were stalls from the City Council, Nottingham City Homes, Notts Police, Notts Healthcare, Amnesty International, The Crown Prosecution Service, Notts LGBT+ Network, Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham Lions, Outburst LGBT Youth Group and Victim Care.
Awards were presented by Notts Chief Constable Craig Guildford to Rosey Donovan and Mel Jeffs, and the evening closed with a speech from the Chief Constable.
An award was scheduled to be presented to the Centre Place team for their work on LGBT issues and supporting young LGBT people in Bassetlaw. Though the weather was bad in Nottingham, it was appalling in Worksop and they were unable to attend. Nevertheless, the audience enjoyed a short film assembled by members of their WOW LGBT youth group as well as another film about the trial of John Clarkson, whose story has been related elsewhere on this website.
Several organisations - Nottingham City Council, Fire and Rescue, Notts Police, Notts Pride - got together on May 17th to commemorate IDAHO day - the international day against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
Enterprise Rent a Car is an organisation which is rsiing rapidly on the Stonewall index. In early June they presented a cheque for £1000 to Notts LGBT+ Network.
On June 3rd, Nottingham Lions arranged a charity cricket match when they played against a team of local celebrities and raised over £2000 for Notts LGBT+ Network.
Over the weekend of June 9th, the Call it Out Pride in Football group organised a symposium on LGBT issues in football at Nottingham Forest.
Many LGBT football groups were in attendance: Spurs, Arsenal, Notts Trickies, WBA, Celtic, Brighton, Aston Villa, Liverpool.
One session included a panel discussion on what it would take for an elite footballer to come out. This was set in the context of a lengthy article in the Sun about a bisexual footballer. The Sun proclaims that it knows the identity of the footballer, but chooses not to reveal it. Ryan Atkin, the sports first openly gay referee, expressed his anger at the story and at the fact that such high profile news outlets still feel it's acceptable to imply a threat that they could "out" the player in question. It's that "We know who you are" statement which is insidious.
The 3rd Worksop Pride.took place on July 7th and Nottingham Pride was on July 28th. Both were blessed with good weather.
Slide shows of photos can be seen below
In the Autumn, Notts LGBT+ Network and the North Notts LGBT+ Service began to work with Mansfield Town Football Club on equality and diversity issues.
Here’s Helen Azar from the North Notts Service and some of the young people from the Worksop WOW group at the Mansfield FC ground.
LGBT History Month 2019 was launched on February 1st by both Notts Healthcare, with a session on LGBT hate crime and a flags raising and Nottingham City Council, with an event at the Council House..
Councillor Catherine Arnold, the Sheriff of Nottingham, joined 120 people at the annual Celebration and Awards evening at Nottingham Council House on 27th of February.
This year, four awards were presented. The first award was presented to the team at Centre Place, Worksop - see above. It was delayed from 2018, as last year the “Beast from the East” left them snow bound. The team’s Helen Azar was also nominated for one of the Nottingham Women’s Centre’s Women of the year.
Jane from Five Leaves Bookshop accepted the award for the bookshop other awards went to Crystal Lucas, founder of Worksop Pride and Victoria Villasenor and Nicci Robinson of Global Words books.
As well as the team from Worksop, some other local LGBT groups and services were present: Outburst, Notts LGBT+ Network and Nottingham Lions Football Team. Notts Police, the City Council, Notts Healthcare, the CPS, Enterprise Rent a Car, Victim Care, Amnesty International, Trent Wills & Estates joined Stonewall top 100 entrants Nottingham City Council and Nottingham City Homes.
The free exhibition Desire, Love, Identity ran at the National Justice Museum (High Pavement, Nottingham NG1 1HN) until March 3rd. It included some pottery and coins from ancient Greece and ancient Rome. An ancient Greek pottery cup is on display and was used for all -male drinking parties where the wine was served by naked youths.
The gender fluid deity Bahucharaji is depicted (see above) and provided a link to India’s Hijra community. There was a collection of drag queen themed playing cards, some early sketches by David Hockney and details about Saint Sebastian, who seems to have become a gay icon. On display there was also a ceramic winged penis.
There was a collection of LGBT Badges illustrating aspects of gay activism - though we have to point out that the collection gathered by our own Rainbow Heritage is much larger and more varied!
On May 17th the Nottinghamshire Diversity Champions hosted their 4th annual conference. The theme was LGBT+ mental health. The champions are made up from Nottingham City Council, Notts NHS Healthcare Foundation Trust, Notts Police, Notts Fire and Rescue, Vision West Notts College, Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham Community Housing Association and Notts County Council.
Inspired by the Desire, Love, Identity exhibition at the National Justice Museum, the Museum in collaboration with Global Words books, produced a book of LGBT memoirs from 28 local contributors.
Each contribution was sparked by a visit to the exhibition. The contributors' ages ranged from 14 to 73.
The book was launched on June 12th with readings from several of the contributors. The book costs £8 and can be obtained from the Museum.
Saturday July 13th was the date for the 4th Worksop Pride. The parade was led by some children from the St. John's CofE School, Worksop - some of the children are shown here on the stage.
A slideshow of photos from Worksop Pride can be seen by cliking HERE
On July 16th there was a formal opening of 4 rainbow crossings on Broad Street. Some people took it as their opportunity to do an "Abbey Road". Some people went even further.
On July 18th, Lord Byron himself welcomed visitors to Newstead Abbey. He then scaled the heights of the tower to raise a rainbow flag - courtesy of Nottingham City Council.
Nottingham Council House got into pre-Pride mood when it was illuminated for several days in the run up to Nottingham Pride.
For the first time since 1998, there was a lot of rain at 2019 Nottinghamshire Pride. To see some rather more upbeat, click on the link to the slide show HERE
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