OUTing the past festival

Rainbow coloured light bulb
22 Feb 2020
Suitable for:
Free drop-in event, no need to book
Education area 3, first floor

We will once again be a hub for the National Festival of LGBT history OUTing the Past this year. We have an exciting line up of films, story telling, talks and performances. There will also be rainbow related craft, drag storytelling and a performance from Liverpool’s LGBT+ Choir in a fab day filled with events to showcase local and national LGBT+ stories.


  • 11am Storytime with Mama G in the Atrium. Mama G tells stories to children and their families about being who you are and loving who you want. The stories are full of audience participation and sing along moments.
  • 11.30am Welcome and introduction
  • 11.40 am Nan to the Rescue. A short film by Rosie Adamson-Clark, directed by Mel Plumley, about a teenage girl coming out in the 1980s in a homophobic town and the unexpected support of her Nan!.
  • 12.20pm A Brief Encounter with Non-Binary History This presentation by Non-Binary Leeds will cover artists such as Claude Cahun and Marlow Moss, Jewish Rabbinical literature as well as unknown individuals such as Thomas(ine) and personal histories and experiences. The presentation will be an expansion of the material in the zine produced by members of the local Leeds non-binary community with Non-Binary Leeds.
  • 1pm Storytime with Mama G in the Atrium.
  • 1.50pm BONA! A History of Polari Polari, the "lost language of gay men" was a secret way to communicate when the law prohibited open expression of queer sexuality. Flourishing in the 1960s and 70s (notably in the radio show "Round the Horne"), it began to die out in the 1980s - although it has enjoyed a resurgence of sorts on the London cabaret scene. Many younger people have never heard of it but it is an important part of queer history. Come and find out where it came from, why it began to die out and how it has left its mark on popular culture with Ian Nipper.
  • 2.30pm Everyman Theatre Records, Liverpool, 1965-1970. Valerie Stevenson tells the history of the censorship battles theatre companies had in the late 1960s, particularly with the Lord Chamberlain’s department, o put on plays with LGBT+ themes.
  • 3pm Storytime with Mama G in the Atrium.
  • 3.10pm 25 years of Bi Space and Voice Comparatively bi history is erased and the histories of bi organising are less documented and told than those of LG organisations and campaigns. Jen Yockney tells the story of the UK's longest-running bi support group, which marked its 25th birthday in September 2019.
  • 3.50pm Queering the Castle, Hillsborough Castle, NI. As the official Northern Ireland residence of the British Royal Family, Hillsborough Castle is a unique site with over three centuries of Irish, British, Royal and Political histories. Despite this, queer narratives have been absent from the Castle's story. In response to this, the Public Engagement team at HRP (Historic Royal Palaces) have developed a tour which explores this history. This presentation by Kris Reid will offer an insight into the ways in which LGBTQ+ history can (and should) be uncovered at heritage sites and shared widely with audiences.
  • 4.30pm Liverpool LGBT+ Choir performance in the Atrium

The festival is free and everyone is welcome.

This event is part of our LGBT History Month event series.