Special guest Stuart Milk opens LGBT festival hub

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OUTing the Past at Museum of Liverpool

Stuart Milk, the global LGBT human rights activist and political speaker, nephew of civil rights leader Harvey Milk and co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation, will open OUTing the Past 2017 at Museum of Liverpool on Saturday 25 February at 10am.

Stuart Milk will launch the Museum’s day of talks and performances as part of Outing the Past: The 3rd National Festival of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans History, which takes place throughout February.

As an official hub for the festival, the Museum of Liverpool has coordinated an exciting and invigorating programme of speakers and performances. From a presentation from Kop Outs, about their work to enable LGBT fans to attend a football match with confidence, to an exploration of outmoded psychiatric responses to LGBT people, there is a lot to discover, much to discuss and organisers hope, reasons to feel empowered and inspired by the work being done.

Janet Dugdale, Director of the Museum of Liverpool said:

“National Museums Liverpool is committed to telling diverse and hidden stories, by representing these within our collections and the work we do. We are delighted to be welcoming human rights activist Stuart Milk, as well as our brilliant panel of speakers and performers.

“It is the relationships we develop and maintain with our partners that enable us to deliver such a dynamic and important programme and help us to create a truly participative museum. We’re anticipating a day of lively discussion and thoughtful presentations. 

“We are extremely proud to be a national hub for LGBT History Month this year, as we mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales. OUTing the Past builds on the success of recent work we’ve done to tell the stories and share the histories of LGBT communities, such as our  Esmée Fairbairn-funded Pride and Prejudice research project and popular exhibitions like April Ashley: portrait of a lady.”

Speakers include:

• Stuart Milk, Harvey Milk Foundation – opening speaker.

• Matt Exley/Lynn Wray, National Museums Liverpool, presenting the Pride and Prejudice research project.

• Paul Amann, Kop Outs, sharing the work they’ve done to enable the LGBT community to feel confident supporting their football team.

• Val Stevenson discusses the long-running legal battle with the International Times (1969-72), for running gay personal ads which were deemed likely to "corrupt public morals”.

• Clare Stephens presents the history and broader consequences of psychiatric responses to LGBT people.

• Caroline Page explores transgender trailblazers in the military service.

• Jane Hoy and Helen Sander explore the relationship of 19th century sculptor Mary Charlotte Lloyd and feminist, Frances Power Cobbe.

• Sandi Hughes takes a personal look at Liverpool’s gay scene from 1975-2005 through her own archive material of film and photographs.

• Andrew Dineley gives a unique perspective of a gay man designing three decades of HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns during a hostile period of inequality.

• Kate Hutchinson explores trans-representation and gender expression in rock music.

• Jeff Evans takes a look at how victimless crime in the city’s gents’ toilets became a growing priority for Liverpool police from 1880 to 1945.

• Andrew Herm guides visitors through a comparative reading of early-20th century ‘gay’ literature.

With more to be announced to the day there is no need to book, just turn up on the day (10-5pm). Please check the website for details: www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/outingthepast

The event is in partnership with Schools OUT.

Notes to editors:

Museum of Liverpool  
The Museum of Liverpool is one of the country’s most visited museums outside of London. It is the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century, demonstrating Liverpool’s unique contribution to the world. The first national museum devoted to the history of a regional city, it showcases popular culture while tackling social, historical and contemporary issues. It has attracted more than four million visitors since opening in July 2011. The prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2013 was awarded to the Museum for its commitment to human rights as well as its work with children and families from all backgrounds. The Museum has received generous support from several major funders, and grants from trusts and foundations, corporate support and individual donations. Major funders include the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS),Garfield Weston Foundation and the Clore Duffield Foundation.  

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) was responsible for the sustainable economic development and regeneration of England’s Northwest and had five key priorities: Business, Skills and Education, People and Jobs, Infrastructure and Quality of Life.  

The European Development Fund (ERDF) is making a real difference to people and businesses in the North West. With €755 million to invest between 2007 and 2013, ERDF is enhancing the competitiveness of the region’s economy by supporting growth in enterprise and employment. ERDF in the North West is managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government – for further information visit www.communities.gov.uk/erdf.  

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage.  HLF has supported more than 30,000 projects allocating £4.5billion across the UK.  www.hlf.org.uk

About National Museums Liverpool
National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attract around three million visitors every year. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Border Force National Museum, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.