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OUTing the Past Festival At The Higgins Bedford

Saturday 15 February 2020


Celebrate LGBT+ History Month through the national OUTing the Past Festival. Enjoy a day of FREE talks by a range of dynamic speakers and creative workshops to share the hidden histories and stories of the LGBT+ community.

Programme of the Day:

Fedration of Gay Games – History of the Movement by Viv Woodcock Downey.

11:10am – 11:30am

Explore the history and philosophy of the Gay Games Movement. Featuring original footage and materials from the 10 games over the last 36 years, the Gay Games Movement has challenged stereotypes of LGBT+ people in sport, and has encouraged inclusion, participation and inspiration.

Forty Years Out: Performing the Archive by Rose Collis

11:40am – 12pm

British playwright, performer, author and activist, Rose Collis, speaks and performs her personal experiences as a witness to many key events in LGBT+ History, including the early Gay Pride marches, the community’s response to the AIDS crisis; tabloid media attacks; the creation of ground-breaking documentary Frame Youth; and the battles against Section 28, Rose shares the untold and forgotten stories of lesbian involvement and the importance in the development of what has become known as the LGBT+ community.

'Speaking out, Fitting in' – Spoken Word Workshop with performance artist, Alice d’Lumiere

12pm – 1:30 pm

Alice explores the wonderful and occasionally counter-intuitive, position of the transgender / gender-fluid individual striving to both fit in to another gender, whilst at the same time needing to establish a unique, personal voice for themselves. In this workshop Alice will lead you to try some creative speaking. It’s a FREE, safe space where people can talk, write, experiment and let their voices sound out in verse, or in prose. The focus for the session is “self expression”.

This workshop is free but booking is essential. To book your place, please email thehiggins@bedford.gov.uk or ring 01234 718618.

Archiving our Futures by Josh Rivers from 'Busy Being Black' Podcast

2pm – 2:20pm

Listen to an audio presentation by Josh Rivers, Podcaster of ‘Busy Being Black’ as he discusses the importance of uncovering vital black LGBT+ history, challenges the perception of black people in the community and shares the stories of LGBT+ literary figures that are inspiring a new generation of writers today.

Space Invaders by Sacha Coward

2:30pm – 2:50pm

Freelance museum professional, Sacha Coward, continues the day witha talk exploring the history of LGBT+ themes and representations in videogames. Videogames are an art form that is gaining credibility alongside other mediums such as film, theatre, fine art and music – the whole world is playing videogames more than ever before! In this talk, Sacha passes the same critical eye over videogames as in other art forms, questioning who they are for and how they tell people’s stories.

From RAF to Mr Gay UK, Lord Mayor of Manchester to LGBT Advisor by Carl Austin-Behan

3:30pm – 3:50pm

Carl Austin-Behan shares his own incredible personal story. One of the last serving members of the RAF to be discharged for being openly gay at a time when it was a criminal offense, Carl went on to join the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, and won the titles Mr Gay Manchester and Mr Gay UK. He became the youngest and first openly gay Lord Mayor of Manchester in 2016 and now serves as LGBT+ Advisor to The Mayor of Greater Manchester.

There will be time throughout the day to visit the stalls in the foyer, providing information on LGBT History, as well as LGBT rights, support and activism. Confirmed stallholders include Rogan’s Books, offering the chance to discuss your favourite books and authors.

Event in Bedford Town Centre

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