Outing the Past

Come along and find out more about LGBT and its history in Somerset Libraries first ‘Outing the Past’ Festival taking place in Taunton Library on 2 February 2019.

In celebration of the national LGBT History month, the Festival programme starts at 10.45am and covers a wide variety of topics and historical periods – attendees can expect to journey from Spartan Greece all the way through to the growth of LGBT activism in modern day Britain.

In this centenary year for the commemoration of the First World War, the Festival is also delighted to welcome the first openly transgender officer in the British Armed Forces to talk about three key transgender figures to serve in the armed forces this century.

Finally, there will the opportunity to explore local LGBT history with two talks from the Somerset area. Local playwright, Malcolm Martin, will take us back to Taunton in 1954, where the arrest of a young man accused of approaching another man on a train led to one of the first public calls to decriminalise homosexuality in the UK.

The event is completely free, but attendees will need to reserve a ticket in order to guarantee a seat. Attend for one event or attend all throughout the day!

In addition to the Festival, Taunton Library will also be welcoming Drag Queen Story Time on 2 February at 11am. Drag Queen Alyssa Van Delle and Taunton’s own Drag King, Kurt Sovain will be reading a variety of stories to children.

A host of local LGBT and history organisations will also be running stands on the day including 2BU, Mind and the Somerset Heritage Service.

Cllr David Hall, Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries at Somerset County Council said: “Taunton Library is joining other libraries across the country and promoting a number of LGBT events on 2 February during LGBT history month. Somerset is proud of its diverse communities and everyone is welcome to attend the event free of charge and find out more about LGBT and its history.”

Details of the full programme, how to book tickets, and information about additional complimentary events are available at http://somersetlibraries.co.uk/Outing-the-past or pop into your local library.

Updates will be posted on Twitter @SomersetLib and Taunton Library’s Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/tauntonlib


For more information, please contact Somerset County Council’s press office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk

Notes to editors

*** If any members of the media are planning to attend the event, please confirm your attendance by contacting the press office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk ***

Programme – 2nd February 2019

Welcome 10:45 – 11:00

Slot 1 11:00 – 11:30 Kerry Baigent Our Proud History: from lone voices to collective union action for LGBT equality.

Slot 2 11:45 – 12:15 Cheryl Morgan Meet the Spartans


Slot 3 13:00 – 13:30 Caroline Page War into Peace – A Trans ‘Twenty in a Hundred’ Perspective

Slot 4 13:45 – 14:15 Martin Malcolm Open Door: The Start of a Campaign


Slot 5 14:45 – 15:15 Robert Howes Gay West’s Pop-Up Coffee Shop: Civil Society Refreshes Itself

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