Chris L

Jun 132020
 

I’m a trans foster carer. One big change over quarantine is although I’d had new young people come to stay with me, briefly, as an emergency carer, I haven’t been able to offer them a reassuring hug or to be physically close – not even sitting together on the sofa. This new distance has made things feel different to me.

I wrote this about looking after one young person in such a strange, distant manner, in one’s own home.

1 hour ago I said goodbye. I saw you put your bags in a stranger’s car.
I saw your upset, I saw your tears, I saw your confusion.
I cried too when I got inside.

2 hours ago that stranger rang you. ‘Hi, I’m coming to pick you up soon to take you to your new carer’s home…’
I saw your tears. Big tears. Big tears infront of me, another stranger.
I can’t comfort you except with my words. You sit on my sofa, I sit on the floor.
Thinking. Worried. Distressed. Me, as well as you.

4 hours ago you got in from work. Keeping that constant was a good choice amongst the chaos.
You brought more belongings with you. ‘My whole life is in these bags’ you said.
You worked your hours waiting for a call from a social worker so they could tell you your options.
You could sign yourself into care, I remind you. You have enough years behind you.

8 hours ago I took you to the bus stop for work.
Before you left we went over what is likely to happen today.
A reminder, a reassurance, I hope.
That bruise on your face still looks sore.

16 hours ago you went to bed for the second time in a stranger’s home.
I know you didn’t sleep well and I heard your sobbing.
I heard your anguish as you chat to your boyfriend.
I can’t comfort you though, except through the door.
No comfort really.

21 hours ago you got ‘home’ from work. A brave choice to go in given your upset.
You’ve brought some belongings collected from your home, I make you wash and shower in mine.
A social worker who you’ll never meet rings you to check you have all you need.
‘How are you feeling today after last night?’
You plead with me. ‘Don’t let them send me home’. ‘I won’t’ I reassure.

29 hours ago you woke up in a new room, with bedding that smells strange to you.
With pictures and toys that aren’t yours. With cats’ bells jangling round the house.
You gingerly venture out to chat a little.
I know you didn’t sleep. I can see it in your eyes and hear it in your voice.
You’re scared.

36 hours ago in the middle of the night the police brought you to mine.
I know your ‘story’. The officer didn’t stay long.
I saw you shake. I saw you shiver. I heard the pain in your voice.
But I could not put my arm around your shoulder.
Instead, I sat. I sat and listened to your questions, your outrage, your hurt, and your solitude.
You feel let down and alone.
You’re worried about ‘coming into care’, I know, too.
I give you a set of clothes to wear to bed, toothbrush, towel, and hairbrush, but you’ve just lost everything.

36.5 hours ago I said yes to the question:
‘Can you take a girl tonight?’

Alex Taylor (He/him)
Foster carer, Bristol City Council

Jun 102020
 

My life in early 2020 was settled, I had a  job, a house and a family. As a transgender woman of 56 years of age I was reasonably content with how things were. There were good things and bad things in my life for sure, but I felt that my life was going in the direction I wanted.

And then it happened. A global pandemic of a deadly virus. And by early March 2020 the virus was running out of control in the UK. Before we knew it we were asked to ‘lock-down’, to practise ‘social distancing’ and to ‘stay safe’. Everyone was impacted. But here I want to give you an insight into how it affected me, a transgender woman who had only transitioned in October 2018.

LGBT history month is February and it carried on as normal,  I was fortunate to attend some wonderful events. The highlight for me was listening to a trans woman, Catherine Paige, give a talk about her life. She was in the RAF and a pioneer for trans women being more accepted in society.  I took along a friend of mine, another trans woman, who like myself was a  ‘recent transitioner’ and ex-RAF herself. We were both inspired by Catherine, who quite clearly was a fantastic role model. My friend and I went shopping at the Mall, browsing at clothes in the sale, talking over lunch. The sort of things that any other women would do!

By early March it was clear the virus, known as Covid-19, was both deadly and highly contagious. It had spread out of China and was now rampaging through countries like Italy and Spain. It was inevitable that the UK would soon be in a pandemic.  At that point I was getting drugs to reduce my testosterone and a hrt gel containing oestrogen from an online General Practitioner. I needed a top up supply and was anxious as to whether I’d be able to get it – fortunately it arrived without a problem

We all have a back story. An intrinsic part of me is a hereditary blood condition that made me very ill as a child. Aged 16, with my informed consent, I had my spleen removed. That vastly improved the quality of my life but one impact of having no spleen is that your immune system isn’t as effective. Because of this I understood the consequences of Covid-19 way before the general population. In early March I asked to be isolated from my colleagues at work and 3 of us, vulnerable in one way or another, had a large office to ourselves. Within a very short space of time things got a lot worse. I knew I couldn’t go into the office any more. So on March 19th I left and said to my boss I was taking the whole of the next week off (go into work, pick up the virus and possibly die or stay away and live – it was an easy  decision  for me to make). Things moved so rapidly that just one week later all employees were instructed NOT to go into work. The lockdown had begun.

One immediate consequence of lockdown was the closure of non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and service providers, including dentists, hairdressers and beauticians. I had a filling fall out just before Christmas 2019 and was fortunate in that the dentist fixed it just before closing. Many others who got dental issues post the lockdown were forced to endure pain or try and sort the issue themselves. But lockdown did mean that my regular sessions at the beauticians were postponed. I was visiting a salon called Collistears run by a lovely lady called Caroline, which specialised in electrolysis for facial hair removal. It’s a very slow process and by then I had only had about 25 hours’ worth done – perhaps about ¼ of what is required. I would also go for body hair removal sessions by waxing on a less frequent basis. The cessation of these sessions didn’t impact me straight away, but as time went on would become more of a concern for me.

Not being able to go out and socialise or see people was a major blow. I had many different circles that I mixed in, some just  for the good company and conversation  and others because of causes and advocacy I was involved in. So in one fell swoop I could no longer:- meet my girlfriends for a coffee; go to a social meet up at a pub called ‘Thirsty Thursday’; go to a trans support group called ‘Crossroads’; go to any meetings of or campaign for a political party ; go to meetings of a group to represent LGBT+ voices in Bristol ; go to meetings of a Mental Health Network, for which I was a trustee. Yes, I was living a very busy life! Was.

Some  of the interactions I had moved to being online video conferencing. A computer application called ‘Zoom’ became a big thing, with people connecting with others from their homes. It became a thing to have a bookcase filled with interesting books in the background, to try and make yourself look intelligent. Whether a complete lack of a bookcase when I ‘Zoomed’ was a sign of complete stupidity or  a reflection of intelligent superiority is open for debate!

I was able to use a laptop computer to try and work from home. But this was fraught with problems. The laptop wasn’t a good one and with everybody else trying to work from home, the connection was very slow indeed. It was extremely frustrating, especially during the middle part of the day. Many people would work in the evening, myself included, just because the connection speed was better. During the day, when the connection to work was slow, I often became distracted by social media on the internet. Far too often I was using Twitter to see what other trans people were doing. But also to see what blatant transphobia was going on as well. Having lost a lot of affirmation opportunities due to the lockdown and to have this replaced by hate on social media – this made life for trans people feel much less worthwhile. I had some very depressing days;  when I felt the whole world was against me, when progress with my work was impossible and tension through being confined in home. Days when, quite frankly, it felt better to just give up.

Fortunately I am quite resilient and was able to overcome my own insecurities and low mood. I lived with my wife and two teenage children, so I had people to interact with. Many others I know lived alone and for them social media was a way of keeping in touch. That said, living with other people in a confined space can in itself be difficult, with ‘cabin fever’ setting in. There is no doubt that relationships were strained in many households.

As the death toll from Covid-19 increased the news media would often use the term ‘had an underlying health condition’ as a reason.  As somebody who comes into this category, broad as it is, this scared me even more. In time there would be so many people dying from the disease (the 1st peak was in early April 2020) that this wasn’t mentioned any more. But the Government asked ‘extremely vulnerable’ people to shield i.e. not to go out of their homes at all, not even for the allowed once daily exercise. Those in this category were contacted by phone/letter and were entitled to home support, such as delivery of food. At first I was not placed in this category. I had 4 mouths to feed, 5 including the dog. Slots for home delivery from the supermarkets were all taken up. We needed food supplies, to go to a supermarket. I decided to go myself, wearing protective equipment such as rubber gloves, a mask and goggles. I had to queue outside the supermarket, everybody was expected to stay 2m apart. Trying to read a shopping list with goggles steaming up was not fun. We were also expected to follow a one way system in the supermarket as well. And I tried to get enough supplies for 2 weeks, the trolley was full to the brim. It was hard work just to do the basic thing of getting food, but this needed to be put in perspective. There was food on the shelves (albeit some things were in short supply, such as flour) and orderly behaviour. Nobody was desperate for food.

In late April I had a phone call from my GP surgery. Because of my condition I was going to be placed in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ category. She had genuine empathy towards me and I was put on a low dose antibiotic, which would help control secondary infection if I did get Covid-19. I asked if I could have a follow up call to talk about my transition journey as well. Later that day I had really bad depression and anxiety. It was as if somebody had said to me ‘Get this disease and you will die’. Dealing with that in my mind was hard. Despite  my resilience I struggled to process what I had been told.

But another day arrived, I was still here, breathing, seeing the days get longer and life return to dormant gardens. Before the phone call from the GP I had been allowed  one piece of exercise a day, as had everyone. I would take the dog for a walk in the morning, fairly early, to avoid people. Not just because I wanted not to catch Covid-19 but because, as trans I was conscious of my appearance, the possibility of not being ‘read’ as a woman. Before the pandemic I had got to a position of reasonable confidence in my ability to ‘pass’, or at least not to be pointed out as being a ‘man’. But I found that this confidence started to wane, and as time went on became more of an issue. However, one benefit of lockdown was the distinct lack of background traffic noise. Only when it is gone do you realise what was there before. On my early morning walks in April the joys of Spring could be felt, the strengthening sun  and the birdsong. I appreciated these small things so much more.

Despite being told to shield I carried on as I had been living before and still did my daily dog walk and shopping trips. I weighed up the risk in everything I was doing and concluded that being totally confined would be bad for my mental health. It would also  have been extremely impractical, to ask others to deliver food for an entire family. A supermarket trip to get so much food requires a car and I was the only one who could drive at that point. As April turned into May things slowly got better with my work. I was given a better laptop and the connection improved. Whereas I was struggling to do ~25h a week of WFH (Working From Home) at the beginning of lockdown by the end of May I was able to do my full hours. And my regular commutes by car were a thing of the past. People talk about a ‘new normal’ as a result of Covid-19, less travel by road and air is likely to be one consequence. But along with this comes the economic impact. I work in the aviation industry and ~95% of planes have been grounded. Any recovery will take 2 or 3 years and as a result, many jobs are being lost. For me, it’s an opportunity to retire early. For many others, the impact on their lives and families will be dire.

In terms of my transition I feel that has been hit badly by what’s happened. After several weeks without electrolysis I sense that more dark hairs are appearing on my face, which needs more effort to cover up. I wait anxiously for the beauty parlours to reopen. I was referred to a Gender Identity Clinic in April 2018, all appointments were put on hold, which means the wait to get a 1st appointment will take longer. One piece of good news was that in the follow up call with my GP he agreed to prescribe the feminising drugs for me, which I had previously got online.

As we enter June 2020 who knows what lies ahead. Will I still have a job? Will I be able to go to the beauticians? Will I be able to meet people in confined spaces, at work, the pub, the coffee shop? Where am I heading with my transition? I’d like a formal diagnosis of Gender Dysphoria, should I go private?

The impact of Covid-19 has been massive on all of our lives. As an early transitioning male-to-female with an underlying health condition I have another level to deal with. But as I said before, I am resilient. I am still breathing. I still have things to do with my life.

‘Nevertheless, she persisted’.

Kaz (She/her pronouns)

7th June 2020
© All rights reserved

Jun 052020
 

I live in Monmouth Wales, in my flat alone, but I have a very friendly bunch of other residents here. We have a large garden to see each other & have bought plants which need attention. One neighbour knitted me a lovely pullover as a surprise gift just because I told her how a previous one had gone missing.

I have a Zoom meeting with Gaywest members on Saturdays and we have a WhatsApp group too. I also have quizzes on Zoom with family members, plus lots of messages everyday from friends. My car has been virtually used, I haven’t been anywhere, I walk to town doing shopping as needed.

I spend a lot of time alone in normal times so the virus so far has had little impact on me, apart from hearing about news of its impact on others, very sadly. Life has to go on. I am fond of music & listen to my favourite organist Gert Van Hoef a lot, he does live concerts on line. I do miss seeing friends in their houses but because of this virus sadly that isn’t possible at this time.

John Y

May 302020
 

I am finding the situation strange, and am missing so many things, especially seeing my friends at GayWest every Saturday in Bath, I am able to do adequate food shopping locally, and notice that there are many other people out and about who are over 70.

We have had some lovely weather and have been unable to make full use of it.

Best wishes,
Ernie Everest 🙂

May 282020
 

In all honesty, being in lock down for the previous two or three months has hardly had any impact on my life-style at all.

I am a seventy-four-year-old, post op transsexual who owns her own house and has two other trans lodgers living with me. Basically, I go out once a day cycling, buy my food at Aldi’s about three times per week. I go to B&Q about three times per week to buy materials while I do home improvements and then the rest of the time I work at home on my computer, writing stories for Big Closet – Top Shelf.

I speak to my 2M+ neighbours across the garden fence either side of mine and generally get on with life.

My computer and my bike have been life-savers.

The only real change is that I can’t go clubbing down the Bear Bar in Old Market nor can I go down the Queen’s Shilling to go ‘bopping’.

That’s all folks,

Beverly Guinevere Taff

Film celebrating 25 years of Freedom Youth

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May 242020
 

‘Freedom 25’ is a film made by members of Bristol’s Freedom Youth and local film-makers Black Bark Films
to mark 25 years of Freedom Youth, one of the longest running LGBTQ+ spaces for young people in the UK.

The film celebrates and recognises 25 reasons why @FreedomLGBTQ is as important in 2020 as it was in 1995, creating community and crafting friendships.

Watch and share Freedom 25.

#iWill   #powerofyouth   #youthvoice

OutStories receive grant from Voice & Influence Partnership

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May 182020
 

Five figures waist up, in silhouette, arms raised and speaking forcefully.The LGBTQ+ Voice and Influence Panel (LGBTQ+ ViP) have awarded OutStories Bristol a grant of £250 towards the gathering of oral history. When restrictions due to the Covid-19 virus end, some of our volunteers will resume interviewing and recording the stories of local people to expand our community history archive. The money will allow us to reimburse the travel costs of those experiencing hardship and other direct expenses. Thanks Vip!

Led by Off the Record, the LGBTQ+ ViP panel represents LGBTQ+ voices on the city-wide Voice and Influence Partnership. Funded by Bristol City Council, the Partnership ensures individuals, groups and communities whose voices aren’t always heard are listened to, and help them be a part of shaping Bristol’s future.

The Partnership consists of various local equalities groups: The Care Forum, Bristol Older People’s Forum, Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, Off the Record Freedom and WECIL. The forum aims to hear the voices of equalities groups and ensure their representation in citywide decision-making.

Everyone is invited to become a member of the Voice and Influence Partnership. Membership is free. As a member you will hear about events, upcoming consultations, participation opportunities and news about the Voice and Influence Partnership. You can sign up here.

"OTR" on magenta, purple, turquoise and yellow stripesLGBTQ+ Voice and Influence social media:
https://www.facebook.com/LgbtqVip/
https://twitter.com/lgbtqvip
https://www.instagram.com/lgbtqvip/

May 162020
 

Rainbow-coloured mask to cover mouth and noseWe are living in unprecedented times and OutStories Bristol want to hear how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected Bristol’s LGBT+ communities. We rely heavily on social interaction but now have to cope with isolation. What has been your experience?

My Queer Quarantine will collect and record your stories.

You can contribute in a variety of ways: video, audio, prose, poetry, art;  whatever you feel comfortable with. Our plan is to post as much as possible on our website for the rest of the community to see.

Email your contribution to us at contact@outstoriesbristol.org.uk with the subject “My Queer Quarantine”.
Please say clearly how you wish to be identified on our public blog: full name or just a first name / pen name.

Not comfortable about having your story posted publically? It will still be valuable to future historians so mark your contribution PRIVATE and it will not be seen by anyone except us and any accredited researchers who have been given access to our archives.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need further information or advice about how to record or submit your story.

We hope to hear from you!

Cartoon open-mouthed face with text Queer in Quarantine

©Sam Leighton-Dore
https://www.samuelleightondore.com/

Five figures waist up, in silhouette, arms raised and speaking forcefully.

Radio 3 ‘Queer Histories’

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Feb 232020
 

BBC Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinking’ podcast Queer Histories discusses how we apply modern LGBT+ language and identities to historical figures both real and fictional and what it means to have to “prove” your identity in today’s legal world.

Presented by Shahidha Bari, the participants are Jana Funke who teaches Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter, Senthorum Raj who teaches at Keele University School of Law, and Morgan M Page – writer, performance artist, and trans historian whose podcast is called One From The Vaults.

Other LGBT+ related podcasts from the BBC include:
Writing Love: Jonathan Dollimore, Sappho;
Queer Icons: Plato’s Symposium in which Shahidha Bari discusses the LGBTQ movement in the history of philosophy;
Censorship and Sex: Naomi Wolf on John Addington Symonds and Sarah Parker on Michael Field;
Comrades in Arms in which Tom Smith explores the East German Military’s fascination with its soldiers’ sexuality;
and a vast library of programmes in the Gay Britannia season that marked the 50th anniversary of 1967 Sexual Offences Act.

Avon Pride and the earliest known LGBT postmark in the UK

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Feb 182020
 
15 party balloons floating out of an inverted triangle.

The earliest known LGBT postmark in the UK

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first Avon Pride, the 1991 organising collective led by convenor and philatelist Rob Brettle sponsored a special postmark. It is the earliest known LGBT postmark in the UK and was only available by post from the Wales & West Special Handstamp Centre based in Cardiff.

The postmark comprised 15 balloons, representing the 15 years, floating out of a triangle. Gay men incarcerated in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s were forced to wear an inverted pink triangle on their prison clothes as an identifying symbol intended to be a badge of shame. In the 1970s the pink triangle was reclaimed as a symbol of LGBT pride and against homophobia.

 

Postal envelope with artwork showing 12 exuberant smiling people crammed in a small boat.iling part

Special cover

A special cover (envelope) was available and used artwork from the 1991 Avon Pride programme. It was designed by Kate Charlesworth, a British cartoonist and artist who has produced comics and illustrations since the 1970s. Her work has appeared in LGBT publications including The Pink Paper and Gay News, as well as national newspapers The Guardian, and The Independent.

Today Pride is seen as a festival with big-name singers and bars selling alcohol. Pride ‘back then’ was about the community getting together and sharing in activities: picnics, boat trips, films at the Watershed, singers at the Arnolfini, guided walks, coffee mornings, and an annual garden party at the Oasis Club which raised money for Bristol Lesbian & Gay Switchboard.

Chris Leigh, with thanks to Rob Brettle for information.
Last edited 18/2/2020

8 to 24 Feb 2020 – ‘Revealing Stories’ at Aerospace Bristol

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Feb 142020
 

OutStories Bristol’s highly successful ‘Revealing Stories’ exhibition is on display at the Aerospace Bristol museum from 8th to 24th February.

The exhibition is based on archival records and oral history interviews with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people associated with Bristol and the surrounding area. Focusing on living memory (c. 1940s to the present) it tells how people fought to shape and control their own lives. It is the story of those who witnessed these changes and helped to make history.

Saturday 8th to Monday 24th February 2020

Aerospace Bristol, Hayes Way, Patchway, Bristol, BS34 5BZ
Maps and how to get there       Opening times

Please note: the exhibition is located in the hanger housing Concorde ‘Alpha Foxtrot’, the last ever Concorde to fly. You will require a ticket to the museum to see Revealing Stories.

This display comprises vertical text panels only; it doesn’t include the objects that were in the original exhibition at Bristol’s M Shed in 2013.

P1030387 Revealing Stories display panelP1030397

HLF logoDelta wing pointing upwards and text "Aerospace Bristol"

19 Feb 2020 – seminar ‘Policing Desire: LGBT+ Persecution in the UK, 1970 to 2000’

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Jan 302020
 

Head/shoulders of middle-aged man wearing suit and red tieThe University of Bristol Law School is hosting an event for LGBT History Month ‘Policing Desire: LGBT+ Persecution in the UK, 1970 to 2000‘. The talk will be presented by leading human rights lawyer Jonathan Cooper.

The event is free and open to all. Registration required.

Wednesday 19th February 2020,  5pm to 7pm
at
The Lady Hale Moot Court, 8-10 Berkeley Square, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1HH
Map

University of Bristol

 

 

8 Feb 2020 – Voices and Visibility: uncovering hidden histories

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Jan 162020
 

A rainbow-coloured flag fluttering in bright sunlightJoin us for an afternoon celebrating LGBT History in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

This free event is brought to you by The Diversity Trust and Aerospace Bristol and includes exciting speakers, OutStories Bristol’s Revealing Stories Exhibition, and Drag Queen Story Time.

See full information and book your free tickets on Eventbrite.

Saturday 8th February 2020,   12pm to 4pm
Aerospace Bristol,  Hayes Way,  Patchway,  BS34 5BZ
Map

A Bristol LGBT History Month event
Voices and Visibility logo courtesy of LGBThistorymonth.org.uk.

22 Feb 2020 – Freedom to be yourself

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Jan 122020
 

Join a celebration of community, call to action and 25 years of Freedom Youth. This special day of activities will discuss human rights, intersectionality, and history and heritage for LGBTQ+ people in Bristol and overseas.

Programmed by Freedom Youth and involving local and international activists, this will be an opportunity to reflect on the past, consider the present and act on the future.

For the full programme, go to https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/lgbt-history-festival/.

Saturday 22nd February 2020,  12pm to 4:30pm
M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol, BS1 4RN
Getting there

Short Back and Sides – Bristol LGBT+ stories

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Nov 192019
 

Bristol-based sculptor Alec Stevens and illustrator & creative technologist Nicola Hogg are creating a city-wide ‘experience’ using mobile phone technology, storytelling and sculpture to reveal stories as the user makes their way through the city.

Called Short Back and Sides, the first instalment focusses on the city’s rich LGBT+ history and used OutStories Bristol’s ‘LGBT+ Life’ map as its source of information. Hear Alec and Nicola talk about the project.

The pair worked from Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio which supports the development of creative technology projects.

We are delighted to see our map and research being used to inspire others to engage with Bristol’s rich LGBT+ heritage in new and novel ways.

23 Nov 2019 – OutStories Bristol at Trans Pride South West

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Nov 142019
 

Group of happy brightly-clothed young people on a Pride Parade with a 'Trans Pride' bannerCome and say ‘hello’ at the OutStories Bristol stall at the Trans Pride South West Community Day on Saturday 23rd November. Find out about how we research and record the stories of LGBT+ people in this region.

We particularly want more material from the trans communities in the south west. Do you have documents, leaflets and newsletters about local groups that we could add to our archives? Newspaper cuttings? Photographs?

Above all we seek to record the experiences, life stories and recollections of anyone, regardless of age, who identifies as transgender, non-binary or intersex.

The Trans Pride South West Community Day is part of a week of events from the 19th to the 24th November.

Saturday 23rd November 2019, 12pm to 4pm
The Station, Silver Street, Bristol, BS1 2AG
Map

Website:  https://transpridesw.webs.com/

Bristol 24/7 article:
https://www.bristol247.com/whats-on/events/transgender/trans-pride-south-west-community-day-2019/

Logo with pink white and blue stripes forming a heart on a purple background

Rainbow Revolutions: new book documents LGBTQ+ history of the 20th century

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Oct 112019
 

On June 28 1969, around one o’clock in the morning, New York City Police raided the Stonewall Inn, a bar in Greenwich Village, New York …

Front cover of a book with a rainbow and text "Rainbow Revolutions - Power, Pride and Protest in the Fight for Queer Rights"Rainbow Revolutions is a new book for older children and teenagers that charts the rise of the LGBTQ+ rights movement during the 20th century and celebrates the individuals who stood up and demanded recognition. It is written by University of Bristol anthropologist and OutStories Bristol trustee Jamie Lawson.

The book covers the Stonewall Riots in 1969, the impassioned speeches of activists Karl Ulrichs and Audre Lorde, the birth of Pride, and the fabulous New York ballroom scene of the 70s and 80s made famous by Ryan Murphy’s smash hit TV series Pose.

Jamie Lawson says:

“As an anthropologist working with queer communities, I take seriously and am passionate about the roles of history and politics in modern LGBTQ+ identities.

“The opportunity to explain to a young audience the historical origins not only of oppression against queer people, but also queer radical activism itself was extremely exciting, and seeing it published is quite remarkable.

“While the book is written for everyone, I thought a lot during its writing about my young, queer readers: The mainstream, cis-het world often tries to pretend that LGBTQ+ identities sprung up, recently and out of nowhere – being able to connect young queer people to their own history is an important and deeply humbling experience.”

Rainbow Revolutions by Jamie Lawson and illustrated by Eve Lloyd Knight is published by Wren & Rook / Hachette Children’s Group.

21 Aug 2019 – the history of Pride (PROUDbristol event)

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Aug 092019
 

Logo comprising text "Proud Bristol" superimposed over a rainbow flag

PROUDbristol @ WYG: OutStories Bristol

PROUDbristol‘s August event will showcase OutStories Bristol and provide an opportunity for networking before and afterwards.

Speakers include;

  • Robert Howes, OutStories Bristol – Robert will give an overview of the development of Pride celebrations in this Country and abroad and of the LGBT movement in the Bristol area.
  • Charlie Beaton, OutStories Bristol – Charlie will talk about the first Bristol Gay Festival, which he was involved in organising in 1977.

Wednesday 21st August 2019
WYG’s offices, 90 Victoria Street, Bristol, BS1 6DP

Doors open: 18:30
Talks start: 19:00 – please arrive in time to take your seats as the talks will start promptly at 19:00.
Talks finish: 20:00

Drinks and nibbles (only) will be provided, with thanks to our sponsors and hosts, WYG.

Free event and open to everyone. Please register on Eventbrite.

5 Oct 2019 – talk on poet A E Housman + OutStories AGM

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Aug 032019
 

Queer loss, queer Classics: A. E. Housman’s ‘lost country’
Talk by Jennifer Ingleheart

Middle-aged man with moustache resting his chin on his left hand

A E Housman in 1910.
Photo: E O Hoppé.

Queer people have often experienced losses, such as missing the opportunity for marriage and children, the pain of unrequited love, and the potential loss of reputation and liberty. A. E. Housman (1859-1936) writes movingly in his poetry about various losses, including his unhappy love for Moses Jackson, who could not return his feelings. Many of his poems approach the theme of loss and attempt to find consolation for his loss through the framework of the Classics.

Face of handsome dark-haired man about 22

Moses Jackson c.1880

This talk looks at how Classics enabled Housman, a classical scholar and professor of Latin at Cambridge, to come to terms with loss. Housman has the reputation of being a divided man, who wrote very impersonal works of scholarship, and reserved his emotions for his poetry. This talk argues that Housman’s different personas and life were far more similar than this stereotype allows, and that he takes similar approaches to queer loss in his verse and his academic work. We will also explore the presentation of Housman’s attempts to deal with loss through the Classics in the fictionalised account of his life found in Tom Stoppard’s 1997 play The Invention of Love. Finally, the talk considers what Housman’s approach to loss as a queer classicist means for queer classicists and for queer people today.

Middle-aged woman with short spiky hair

Jennifer Ingleheart

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Jennifer Ingleheart is Professor of Latin at Durham University, where she has taught since 2004. She has published widely on Latin love poetry and on the ways in which Roman sexuality has influenced the modern world. Her recent projects have focused on Latin as a queer private language and on receptions of Rome in erotica and pornographic works.


Saturday 5th October 2019, 2:30pm to 5pm

The Old Council Chamber, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ
Map


The talk will be preceded by the Annual General Meeting of OutStories Bristol (very brief!).

Everyone is welcome to both the AGM and talk. Admission and refreshments are free but a small donation towards the running costs of OutStories Bristol would be appreciated. Please book on Eventbrite so we know numbers.

The Old Council Chamber is on the first floor of the Wills Memorial Building – go up the main stairs and turn right.

Disabled parking is on the left side of the building with a lift to the first floor.

This is the 6th Annual John Addington Symonds Celebration event held by OutStories Bristol in collaboration with the University of Bristol’s Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition (IGRCT). Our thanks to them for sponsoring this event.

Find out more about the IGRCT on their website; you can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

John Addington Symonds (1840-1893) was a Bristol-based writer, art historian and pioneer of homosexual rights. 5th October is his birthday!

UnivOfBristol_logo_colourOutStories Bristol logoAncient sculpted head on black background with text "Institute of Greece, Rome, and the Classical Tradition"