The latest news from
LGBT History Month UK  

creators of the initiative
every February since 2005 

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Who We Are

Schools OUT UK is the founding charity of LGBT History  Month, an initiative which is:

Claiming our past.
Celebrating our present.
Creating our future.

Please continue to give us your support. Don't forget you can buy this year's badge (opposite) only £3 from our online

In This Issue

  • Meet our new Patron - Matt Cain
  • Margate Pride 2018
  • Manchester Pride Vigil
  • SOUK & Sue Sanders Archive
  • OTP 2019 - Call For papers
  • Pride In London 2018
  • Burston Strike School
  • Next Lesson at Above The Stag Theatre
        ....and more!

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Facebook - updated daily

Meet Matt Cain 

TV journalist and author of the hit novel 'The Madonna of Bolton' joins Schools OUT UK as Patron
I’ve always been interested in the history of the LGBT community and this has only increased as I’ve grown older. In 2017, when the UK commemorated the 50th anniversary of the start of the long process of decriminalisation of homosexuality, I was working as Editor-in-Chief of Attitude magazine. As the editorial team researched and re-told the stories of gay men who’d been arrested, imprisoned, dismissed from their jobs or even tortured because of their sexuality, I felt both moved and fascinated. And the anniversary also prompted me to ask questions about the lives of LGBT people viewed from outside the prism of prosecution, and in periods much further back in time than the ones that can still be recounted by survivors.

It gradually dawned on me just how little we know about our LGBT ancestors. And I realised that, as queer people, we are one of the few minority communities who don’t usually grow up around older family members from within the same minority group. Consequently, very little sense of our cultural history or heritage is handed down through the generations. Of course this kind of information is much more readily available in the digital age than it used to be – but we have to look for it ourselves, sometimes at considerable effort, and it’s much easier to stumble across news and accounts of current LGBT life than it is historical material. Perhaps as a result, young LGBT people rarely shape their identity by drawing on the past – it’s much more common for them to work out who they are by responding to what’s happening in the present.

Complicating things further is the lack of evidence about the lives of LGBT people from previous generations, people who may have gone to great lengths to conceal their identity in order to survive. Add to this the fact that labels such as L, G, B and T didn’t exist at various stages in history – and the understanding of our sexuality contributing to any sense of identity is a relatively modern one. All of which only makes it easier for straight historians to wipe our stories from the record. The patchy record that does exist is, more often than not, that of the oppressor. And, where possible, this should be challenged. 

So I was delighted to be asked to be a patron of LGBT History Month. I hope to be able to contribute to the momentum powering the current wave of interest in LGBT history, something that is now beginning to engage large numbers of straight as well as queer people. This is an exciting time and I can’t wait to get cracking – there are so many incredible stories waiting to be told!
Matt Cain
Patron - Schools OUT UK

Manchester Pride Vigil 

As Manchester Pride drew to a close, Sackville Gardens turned into an icon for all that pride stands for.

Manchester Pride has always been the closing ceremony of pride season. Taking place over the August bank holiday weekend it marks the last big city pride event of the year and is a marathon of celebration, reflection, sadness, commemoration and defiance.

This year’s event took place in the wake of the controversial revelations that, as of next year, the main stage and dance stage would not take place in Manchester’s Gay Village. Their future location is unknown but this has brought about many questions regarding gentrification and the cleansing of historically gay areas.

Celebrations began on Friday night with the parade running on Saturday afternoon. Musical acts included Rita Ora, Todrick Hall, Jakes Shears and Ana Matronic.

Monday night brought the weekend to a close with the ever-emotional candlelit vigil, which took place at 9pm in Sackville Gardens. Approximately 4,000 people armed with candles listened to the stories of those living with HIV. We commemorated those we have lost and celebrated those who are surviving and thriving. Many tears were shed during the Manchester Gay and Lesbian Chorus’ performance and Alexandra Burke’s live rendition of ‘Hallelujah’.

A minute of silence was followed by a minute of applause, representing the fight and perseverance of the LGBT community. Speakers included mayor Andy Burnham, former mayor and current LGBT Adviser Carl Austin-Behan, HIV activists Greg Owen and Bakita Kasadha.

Burnham announced the excellent news that Manchester is to become a Fast Track City - aimed at bringing the number of new HIV cases to zero within 25 years. A £1million commitment has been promised and the council’s site claims that ‘actions being introduced include:

  • Encouraging the use of PrEP and PEP medication amongst the most at-risk groups, which has been proven to stop HIV in its tracks
  • Establishing new peer-led services and support tailored to individual needs 
  • Substantially increasing screening and testing at home, in the community and through sexual health services
  • Maximising prompt and effective treatment for those diagnosed
  • Challenging stigmas and other social and cultural barriers that prevent people accessing testing and support.
  • Further promoting and encouraging safer sex practices.

This news ended the vigil on a high note, showcasing the progress that has been made since 1985 when six gay HIV activists set up Manchester AIDS-Line (which would become George House Trust) in response to the virus.

The crowd dispersed a little more emotional but hopefully reminded of the need to fight for every member of our community.

Maisie Barker
Schools OUT UK

Margate Pride 2018
Most of you know I have moved down to Broadstairs which is next to Margate on the Kent coast which is a lovely stretch of the shoreline and full of lovely places to go. I do feel very lucky to be here as there is so much going on.

Margate Pride is a wonderful non sponsored, grass root community event made possible by a tiny dedicated team that has worked so hard to get the community of Margate involved. You may remember that Nigel Farage attempted to become an MP in the area as he hoped his messages of discrimination and exclusion would strike a chord. He was defeated and the area has consistently become more inclusive and celebratory on difference ever since.

The influx of young artists to the town supported by the work of Sink the Pink who have set up workshops and an arts club has undoubtedly helped and it was Amy of Sink the Pink with some of her friends and members who started on the work to get the Pride more embedded into the town in the last couple of years.

 Pride has been here before, in fact, our CEO Tony knew it when it was run by our gay pub The Sundowners. Three years ago it was started again by a  few people but neither groups felt they could sustain it hence the idea of Amy to build a team and involve the community.

We are fortunate in that we have both Dreamland and The Turner gallery who want to be involved and support the event. Support it they did with events not only on the day of Pride but in the run-up as well. Tony and I with Amy Mac who joined us after an absence of a few years, ran the Schools OUT UK stall and we met parents and students who were excited to know about the free resources we have. It was great to work with Amy again made us realise how much we missed her.

The sun shone after a vile day on the Friday, so we felt blessed by the Goddess. The parade was great, much creativity had gone into costumes, and everyone was in high spirits.

Having been involved in the Pride in London, see Andrews piece which was chaotic, long and very commercial. It was a joy to be in a Pride that was just full of people who wanted to celebrate inclusivity and joy, it was obviously very diverse, plenty of heterosexual people along with the full diversity of the LGBT + community all thrilled to be there and just celebrate.

 Both Phyl and I when we spoke made sure that while we were totally celebratory about our day, that we remembered and pledged our support to the many LGBT+ people round the world who could not have such a day.

Plans are in place for next year and the date set on Saturday August 10th 2019. So I want to thanks Tommy Poppers and his band of helpers that made the day such success and the massive work that they all did to enable the community to be part of an event that celebrates and demonstrates the importance of community

Sue Sanders 
Professor Emeritus, Harvey Milk Institute, Chair - Schools OUT UK

The day in pictures here

Schools OUT UK &

Sue Sanders Archive

I am very excited to tell you that the launch of the archive will be on the 24th October 2018, 7pm - 9pm.

We will, we hope, have a few speakers and maybe some music and chance to look at the archive. We are very lucky to be looked after by Bishopsgate which is now collecting many vital materials from organisations and people who have played their part in the struggles of our community. I do hope that as you have such an important link to us you will be able to come.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for all you do for us and look forward to seeing you there.

Sue Sanders 
Professor Emeritus, Harvey Milk Institute, Chair - Schools OUT UK


OUTing The Past 2019

The Call For Papers

Schools OUT is delighted to announce the Invitation for History & Archival Presentations for the 5th Festival of LGBT History to be celebrated at Regional Hubs throughout February and March 2019 and, for the first time, celebrated internationally!

This year we are delighted to invite individuals and groups to showcase either:

1. A historical reading of the past, or
2. An archival source and personal oral testimonies, sets of photos, or significant documents and the stories behind them, or
3. A researched presentation on a piece of unknown LGBT+ history.

Your historical presentation/reading/interpretation might cover a past local, regional or national:

o event or related events of direct relevance to the Human/LGBT+ Rights agenda & experience
o history of a group or a specific campaign
o an account of a personal journey that includes a number of view-points

The theme for LGBT History Month 2019 is ‘History II: Peace, Reconciliation, and Activism’, celebrating the official end of the First World War and marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. This is to enable us to reach out to a more international perspective of ideas, experiences, and concepts with an LGBT+ focus. The theme is desirable, but not exclusive to other 2019 LGBT+ anniversary ideas.

Each festival presentation is intended as a vignette of no more than twenty minutes long, followed by a ten-minute Q&A session. We are particularly keen to showcase past experiences and history presentations from those sections of our community whom we too rarely hear from, such as; black and ethnic minority, disabled and bisexual people, and their history. A fee of £20 is payable by Hubs to successful applicants’ post-presentation, along with qualifying travel expenses. We are also exploring the possibility of making appropriate presentations into lesson plans accessible on The Classroom website.

Your presentations source might be:

o A testimony about a personal or collective experience
o A set of campaigning leaflets/publicity and the story behind them
o Personal or other photo-images and the stories behind them
o A letter or document that again provides a reading of that past commonly ignored or denied.

What all categories of presentations have in common is that they help educate the general public about the neglected understanding of past attitudes towards sexual orientation and gender identity.

Your contact details and presentation information will be retained by OUTing the Past’s Gazette Coordinator for future use, unless you request them to be deleted. The Gazette Coordinator can be contacted at

If you wish your information to be shared with third-party organisations expressing an interest in showcasing LGBT+ history, or if you would like your presentation submission to be placed on the LGBT History Month Websites, please tick the boxes that apply on
The Application Form (PDF
2019 Timetable (with Word version of application form)
Best wishes and again many thanks for your kind interest.
JGM Evans Sue Sanders 
Schools OUT
Joint-Coordinator OUTing the Past: The National Festival of Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Trans History
& Visiting Research Fellow of Liverpool JM University

Chair Schools OUT
Professor Emeritus, Harvey Milk Institute 
Joint-Coordinator OUTing the Past: The National Festival of Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Trans History
Tel: 07960493544 or Twitter @suesanders03 or 
Skype salsanders03 

The timetable leading up to next year's Festival can be found on the OTP website - here

Burston Strike School

A glorious and unexpectedly warm September Sunday was spent by Steve Boyce, our Head of Trustees and Committee member, his partner John, myself and our friend Imelda at The Burston Strike School Festival held in the eponymous village in Norfolk.

The story of the school is quite remarkable. When Annie and Tom Higdon went to rural Norfolk to teach in the school they were appalled at the conditions the children were expected to work in, the absenteeism of the children who were kept away from school when there was farm labouring to be done and the notion of education there; that children should be taught just enough to follow orders and know their station as children of farmhands and the next generation of farm hands. They set out to change all this, but the authorities, particularly the farm owners and the local priesthood, liked things the way they were and sacked them for their pains.

Then, on 1 April, 1914 the pupils of the Burston village school, supported by their parents, took to the streets in protest at the dismissal of their teachers, an alternative strike school was set up to educate the children from Burston and surrounding villages, paid for and sustained by national trade unions and the working class movement. The strike school lasted for over 25 years and still stands.

Every year the Unite union organises a festival for the first Sunday in September to commemorate the longest strike in history- and they still have a march too. Schools OUT UK is proud to have been there for 5 years now because we believe that education is about bringing out rather than shovelling in.

In the photos we are with the main speaker, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, who spoke out for a broad curriculum and a fully-funded education system.
Tony Fenwick 
CEO - Schools OUT UK

Norwich Pride -

10 Fabulous Years
The heatwave relented and the rain stayed off for a fantastic Norwich Pride.

Celebrating its 10th year, this brilliantly organised not-for-profit Pride still maintains a political dimension and has debates and panel discussions so there’s brain food to be had as well as the usual costumes and pizzazz; not that Norwich Pride is short of pizzazz.

Schools OUT UK was there with a stall as it always has been, staffed by Steve Boyce, his partner John and myself. The convivial welcome and atmosphere was overwhelming as ever. Thanks to Jules, Nick, Helen and Shelley. What a fantastic bunch you are.

Tony Fenwick 
CEO - Schools OUT UK

Next Lesson

Above The Stag Theatre

written by Chris Woodley
directed by Andrew Beckett 
I have to admit that I approached this production with some trepidation. I was concerned that it may reproduce the main myth concerning Section 28 and schools: that it made it illegal for schools to mention gays or lesbians (it only impacted on local authorities). I also feared it might focus on homophobic bullying of a white male boy and a white male teacher.

I’m delighted to say I couldn’t have been more wrong. Chris Woodley’s deft writing ensured that the play dealt effectively with a range of issues concerning Section 28 and its effects as well as touching on race, class, religion and ignorance as other socially divisive factors we have to confront in challenging prejudice and inequality; plus the cast balances the sexes and includes BAME roles.

Set in a secondary school in Bromley, which the main character Michael (Sam Goodchild) attended as a pupil and returns to as a teacher, Next Lesson involves a number of different but inter-connected narratives played out in a series of vignettes from 1988 to 2006. There is comedy, tragedy, frustration and some lesson learning going on as we follow the lives of eight different characters played by the rest of the cast. With a few school props and a blast of pop tunes to familiarise us with each year as the calendar moves on, the play is authentic and we feel a part of it. Andrew Beckett’s skilful direction and the actors’ flexibility ensure we stay engaged.

One particularly striking scene involves two women at the school who share a relationship and a home. One is desperate to be out and proud but the other is hiding the fact that she is desperate for promotion to a new post and fears that revealing their domestic and romantic arrangements will scupper her chances. As the penny drops in her partner’s head we are left hanging as to whether their relationship will survive.

The one scene that didn’t quite work for me involved a Head of Year trying to dissuade the drama teacher from doing a 6th form production of Mark Ravenhill’s Shopping and F**king following a parent/governor’s expression of concern. As the ‘discussion’ between them develops it is revealed that the teacher is coping with a personal tragedy following the Admiral Duncan bombing. This could have been explored in more detail in a longer play but as a vignette in a 75 minute play it felt a bit ‘dropped in’ and the way the rapport between the two characters jumps from professional to personal seems a bit too sudden. That said, there is one unmissable scene where school pupil Chloe does what is in effect a monologue explaining the exact circumstances that led to her using violence and inappropriate language in the dining hall to defend the reputation of the form tutor who is keeping her in detention.

Pure bliss. You had to be there.

Playing till September 16th at Above the Stag Theatre

Tony Fenwick 
CEO - Schools OUT UK


Put Her Forward To

Immortalise SOUK


Put her forward is an artwork by non zero one that recognises living women who have done remarkable things to positively impact the people around them.

There are 925 public statues in the UK. 158 of these are women, and of these only 25 are of non-mythical, non-royal women. There are more statues of people called John. There are more statues of goats. With your nominations we aim to double the statues of non-mythical, non-royal women in England by September 2018. 

Between June-July 2018 the put her forward team travelled England asking the public to nominate women they found inspirational. Hundreds of nominations were gathered through workshops, online nominations and live interviews, and from these 25 were selected to be 3D scanned and printed into small statues. The 25 selected women include:

Christine Burns MBE

Christine is a retired computer consultant and equality rights campaigner who has lived in Manchester most of her adult life. She became a leading figure in Press for Change (PFC) shortly after its foundation in 1992. PFC led on establishing trans people’s legal rights in the UK and Christine was influential in achieving and shaping legislation such as the Gender Recognition Act. She has written and edited several books, including “Trans Britain” (Unbound, 2018), the first book to fully chart the emergence of trans people in the UK.

Phyllis Opoku-Gyimah

Phyllis, also known as Lady Phyll, is the powerhouse behind UK Black Pride and has been one of the most visible lesbian women of colour in the UK. In her many roles she acts as a community builder and organiser, including as a senior official at the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) trade union, a Stonewall Trustee and a Diva Magazine columnist. Lady Phyll also regularly gives public talks about race, gender sexuality and class intersectionality. This year Lady Phyll co-edited “Sista!” an anthology of work by 31 LGBT writers of African/Caribbean descent with a connection to the United Kingdom.

Here is the full list of nominees

Another Pride


Pride In London 2018
Once, when asked by a particularly eager young enquiry about the quality of his aeroplane journey from the Bahamas, the Duke of Edinburgh is said to have responded “Have you ever flown? It was like that.” The thought of trying to find something new to say about Pride in London felt pretty similar.

My first Pride march for many a year didn’t start well. Having had my rendezvous point moved from The Albany, a pub with more than a passing resemblance to the RVT, thanks to the presence of a suspiciously-parked vehicle (a Skoda; you don’t get more suspicious than that), causing dozens of glitter and tinsel festooned homoxuals to pick up their cocktails and totter to the west end sooner than they intended, I joined my marching companions behind the Albert Kennedy Trust’s rainbow painted Routemaster bus, where we waited for the off. And waited.  And waited. Even the welcome sight of hot actor Jonathan Bailey changing his t-shirt in front of me did little to alleviate my restlessness. Complimentary fans (of the 18th century posing variety) enabled us to fend off the stifling heat of what was yet another blazingly hot summer day.

After well over an hour on Devonshire Street, off we trolled, dragging our lavender arses through the streets of London for all to see. And that’s the point – for all to see. Pride is existential. It is, in the words of Harvey Fierstein “Visibility at all costs”; bare-breasted women and buff boys in tighty whities. And students, and teachers and soldiers, and police and factory workers and every other profession and occupation. We are here, we are queer and we most certainly are not going away.

Past the BBC (with its one solitary, tiny rainbow flag fluttering in a seventh story window), down Oxford Street and through to Trafalgar Square we walked, we laughed and we waved. And thousands of smiling people of every colour and creed waved back, and clapped and cheered.

Thanks to our colleagues at FHF, our new media and PR partners, Sue and I had a Schools OUT UK banner to announce our presence and I handed out History Month postcards to any and all who would take them – and everyone did. Everyone was Queer for a day. So like a very queer Scrooge I rediscovered the magic of Pride. At last, tired and with aching feet, but with my principles recharged, we dispersed at the base of one of London’s biggest erections.

Join us next year?

Andrew Dobbin
Promotions Officer - Schools OUT UK

Voices and Visibility

Digital Resource Project

We have raised £1550 - nearly a quarter of the money we need to make our history visible in every classroom, lecture room, workshop and laptop in the land.

How visible were lesbians, gays, bisexuals and trans + people when you were at school?

Could you name an LGBT+ person who had live a great life or achieved wonderful things?

Did anybody teach you about Alan Turing, Jackie Kay, Frida Kahlo or Jan Morris?

Young people know about Ru Paul and Caitlin Jenner but that is because of the media; not because of school.

We have a wonderful wallchart but it was made in 2015. We want to make it digital and interactive, so it can be accessible to everyone, can provide details through hyperlinks and can be updated so it’s relevant to young people in the present day, whether the present day is now or in the future.
The end product will also be audio-described.

To do this we need funds so please help us out:



Faces of
2020 - 2023 

nominate your heroes and your icons!

We have now finalised the theme for 2019 and the next four Februarys:
2019: History II
peace, reconciliation & activism

2020: English
poetry, prose and plays

2021: PSHE II  
mind, body, spirit

2022: Art & Politics  
the arc is long

2023: Art II  
behind the lens

For each year we would like you, our supporters, to nominate the L,G,B and T Faces who will represent queer contributions to the various chosen art forms and topics. Our only specification is that your nominee is now dead. We are particularly keen to expand the list of BAME LGBT contributors to the UK. If possible, please also let us know the source of your evidence - hearsay and rumour are not enough.

So if you have a name who you believe has been forgotten, straightened or even deliberately misrepresented by history in one or more of the above subjects, let us know:

Contact Andrew Dobbin, Promotions Officer for Schools OUT UK here

or send a message to

 You can support LGBT History Month by
organising events, quizzes, exhibitions, recording histories, contributing to events; asking to be put in our OUTing the Past gazette, promoting our events; keeping an eye on our website, resources and calendar; attending events; buying our badges and books and other materials in our shop and anything else you can think of!
for more information contact
To find these and other events

near you in February 2018 

and beyond
- or to advertise your own -

take a look at our

Event Calendar!


Schools OUT UK is an ambitious organisastion. 
We need your help. 

For years, decades in fact, Schools OUT UK, and before that The Gay Teachers' Group has survived - and thrived - as a purely voluntary organisation, with a small income based mainly around the sale of our annual History Month badge. None of the committee receives any income for the work they do.

We have done so much and we want to do so much more. A one-off donation of £20 (less than £2 a month) would help us. A regular donation would be amazing.

Imagine more lessons posted on The Classroom, LGBT HM in every school in the UK, a Festival Hub in every county or major town in Britain, a National Museum of LGBT Heritage. 

With your continued support, those dreams can become reality.

You can either copy and fill in the above donation form and post it to us, together with a cheque to BM Schools OUT London WC1N 3XX or go here to set up a  regular donation online.
Our pioneering Classroom resource site gets bigger and better! With primary and secondary lesson plans, the site is bursting with new practical ideas and resources.
You can find the Classroom here 
or go to our website 
and scroll down the left-hand side till you reach Classroom Resources.


LGBT History Month is the most famous project by Schools OUT UK.
Both have their own dedicated Facebook page, updated daily by Promotions Officer Andrew Dobbin and former committee member Nic Chinardet. 

Follow us for all news LGBT related.

LGBT HM on Facebook:
95,070 likes as of 6th January 2018
Schools OUT United Kingdom is registered in England as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (no. 1156352)

John Amaechi  Christine Burns    Angela Eagle MP  
Professor Viv Gardner  Professor Martin Hall  Sir Ian McKellen Cyril Nri  Dr Harry Cocks
Professor Ian Rivers  Professor Sheila Rowbotham   Labi Siffre
 Professor Melanie Tebbutt  Gareth Thomas
 Jeffrey Weeks  Professor Stephen Whittle OBE  

Phyll Opoku-Gyimah  Peter Tatchell 
Tom Robinson  Aderonke Apata
Matt Cain 
Copyright © 2018 Schools OUT UK, All rights reserved.

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