Jan 232015

History Month Logo 2015

***FULLY BOOKED***.  If you haven’t reserved a ticket and you turn up, we’re sorry to say you may be turned away.

Historian Josie McLellan tells the surprising story of gay activism in Cold War East Berlin. In the 1970s, a group of lesbians and gay men formed the HIB (Homosexual Interest Group Berlin), the first gay rights group in the Eastern Bloc. The HIB saw themselves as a ‘family’, supporting each other through difficult coming-outs, organising parties and balls for up to 200 people.

But they were also a highly political group, making interventions at public events and lobbying the East German authorities for official state recognition. Their links to Western gay activists were extensive – indeed a visit from Peter Tatchell was one of the key events in their early history.

dropping-out-slideHow was all this possible under a dictatorial regime which was insistent that homosexuality should remain behind closed doors? Josie explains all, drawing on a series of interviews with members of the HIB, as well as their archives of photographs and film.

Dr. Josie McLellan is Reader in Modern European History at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of postwar Europe, with a particular interest in the way that economic and social change affects people’s everyday lives.

Free talk, but contributions to OutStories Bristol gladly received (suggested donation £3).

You can reserve your place on Eventbrite. You do not need to print the ticket as your registration is communicated electronically.

Friday 27 February 2015,   7pm

Upstairs at Roll for the Soul café,    2 Quay Street,    Bristol.     BS1 2JL  

Website and location

Full café-bar downstairs for refreshments.

Unfortunately we could not secure an accessible venue for this event;  it will take place up a flight of stairs and there is no lift. However, a sound recording of the talk will be taken and made available to anyone unable to participate. We are very sorry for this shortfall of standards in our programme of events.


LGBT Bristol have produced a programme of all LGBT History Month events in Bristol and Bath. Click here for a full list.

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