February 26, 2013

LGBT history month in Europe


LGBT History month in Scotland and partnership around Europe

‘LGBT History Month has been coordinated in Scotland by LGBT Youth Scotland since 2005.It provides an opportunity to celebrate LGBT lives and culture, by exploring our own and others’ histories in an LGBT context. It is also an opportunity for learning, discussion and debate around the continued fight for LGBT liberation.

This year a huge number of events, under the theme of ‘family’ are being hosted across the country, by LGBT organisations, local authorities and partner organisations. From book readings, to film showings, club nights to youth workshops there is something for everyone, however they identify, to take part in and celebrate the lives of LGBT people. This year two artists were also awarded commissions to explore the themes around LGBT History Month – one project using photography and illustrations to explore queer Scottish identities and the other a a documentary film about LGBTI artists in Scotland who also identify as disabled and/or deaf.

In 2011, LGBT Youth Scotland joined up with NGOs in three other countries to use culture to support attitude shifts within communities.  In that first year, The ‘Engaging Hearts and Minds, Changing Attitudes’ project, which receives financial support from the EU’s Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme, brought together LGBT Youth Scotland with Legebitra (Slovenia), Accept (Romania) and Inakost (Slovakia). In Phase 2 of the project (2012-2013) we recruited a further 5 EU NGOs: Hatter Society & Labrisz Lesbian Association (Hungary), Lithuanian Gay League (Lithuania), LGBT Synergy (Ireland), Charlie (Czech Republic), and Stichting Libertas International (Netherlands) who all coordinated LGBT History Month in their home countries for the first time this year.

The project builds on LGBT Youth Scotland’s success delivering LGBT History Month using cultural events to encourage a wide audience to learn and value the contribution that LGBT people have made to their societies.   For more information about the events in each country, please go to www.lgbthistory.eu. The project will end later this year and a toolkit sharing the learning and best practice from this will be available.


LGBT history month in Hungary

LMBT Történeti Hónap (LGBT History Month) was held this year for the first time in Hungary. It was organized primarily by Háttér Support Society for LGBT People, the oldest Hungarian LGBT organization still active, and Labrisz Lesbian Association, the country’s only organization for lesbian and bisexual women, but many other LGBT organizations and businesses also participated, such as Szimpozion Association, Budapest Pride, Queer Kiadó, and Charme Hungary. A variety of events were organized, including the following:

Pink Walk: a historical tour of LGBT places in Budapest (was repeated due to high interest, and held in both English and Hungarian) (photos), the Rainbow Quiz: quiz show–style discussion night about LGBT history (photos), number of discussion panels  on teh topics of the beginnings of Budapest Pride”, “Amor lesbicus” in medical literature before the war,
queer presence in Hungarian contemporary literature, screening of the documentary film Eltitkolt évek (Secret Years) (trailer), about the lives of lesbian women in Hungary under communism; the film was shown during the opening night in Budapest, as well as outside the capital, in Debrecen and Szeged.


LGBT history month in Wigan (UK)

Young people from Wigan set sail on a Tall Ships adventure of a lifetime

Explore. Dream. Discover…as Mark Twain once urged.

And that’s exactly what one group of young people from Wigan are about to do as they prepare to ‘throw off the bowlines’ and ‘catch the trade wind in their sails’. The 11-strong crew, who are all members of the Wigan Council-backed B.yoU group, have swapped their home comforts for the high seas to take the Tall Ships Challenge.

Setting sail from Portsmouth on a 72ft world class racing yacht, the Wigan team will be exploring the waters of the South Co st during the five day voyage. On the way they’ll be learning all about the joys of a life on the ocean waves through a series of team-building, character-boosting and confidence raising tasks. From climbing the spinnaker pole to scrubbing the decks, the young people all aged between 15 and 19 will be doing it all.

What makes the trip an extra special one is that the Wigan group will be making their own piece of nautical history by becoming the first ever from the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender (LGBT) community to take the challenge.

Setting sail to coincide with the national LGBT History Month celebrations, the team will be keep all us landlubbers abreast of their progress by a regular series of on-board blogs.

Website by Haiwyre