New Interactive Timeline of LGB&T History Launched

Publish Date: 17/09/2013

In January 2013, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF) received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to undertake a history project which encouraged local people to learn more about the LGB&T past.

Earlier this year, they hosted a series of fun LGB&T heritage quizzes across Greater Manchester as well as a series of bi-monthly learning events which looked at the Polari language and the LGB&T history of Manchester among other topics.

As part of the project, 10 volunteers also worked to create an exciting new interactive timeline charting the many challenges and successes experienced by the LGBT community over the last 100 years. The timeline has a UK focus and charts events and people of significance including the death of Alan Turing in 1954, the first Gay Pride March of 1979 and the launch of the first magazine for lesbian women in 1963.

Being Manchester-based, The LGF were also keen for the timeline to celebrate the LGB&T heritage of the city as it has played a large role in pushing the equality agenda in the UK. The timeline therefore charts the rise of various charities that grew up in the region to support LGB&T people and progress the fight for equality.

Dr Caroline Yorston, who is leading the project, said “Historically LGB&T people have stood in the shadows of popular history, but projects like this ensure this once hidden history metaphorically and literally ‘comes out’. 

Dr Yorston added; "Timelines are great for illustrating the course of a journey, in this case from criminalisation in 1885 to marriage equality in 2013. We made the timeline online and interactive as we really want LGB&T people to engage in a meaningful way with their heritage.”

The Lesbian & Gay Foundation are looking forward to welcoming Clare Summerskill on 21 October when she will deliver a public talk about her work gathering oral histories from older LGBT people. They will also host Dr Holly Furneaux, who will be presenting her work on queer readings of Charles Dickens at the final event on 17 December, both in Manchester.

The timeline will be a lasting legacy of the project and it is hoped that future milestones will be added in due course, making it a ‘live’ timeline. The timeline can be viewed at: www.lgf.org.uk/heritage-timeline. For details about the timeline or any of the events please email history@lgf.org.uk