We are participating in OUTing the Past 2017

This year, The National Archives is proud to be one of the national hubs for the OUTing the Past: National LGBT History Festival.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, the theme for this year’s festival is ‘Law, Citizenship and PSHE’.

We are delighted to invite a range of speakers to reflect on topics relevant to our collections and to add balance to the state’s perspective of queer history.

The afternoon event on Saturday 11 February at The National Archives will explore varied aspects of LGBTQ+ history, from a queer view of the suffrage movement to reflections on the current recording of trans history.

Speakers will include:

  • Hilary McCollum – Sapphic Suffragettes: The key role of lesbians in the fight for Votes for Women
  • Emma Vickers – ‘Dry Your Eyes, Princess’: documenting the lives of trans veterans of the British Armed Forces
  • Gillian Murphy – Protest photographs from Hall Carpenter Archives
  • Laura Rowe – Sex at Sea: Homosexuality and the Royal Navy in the Great War
  • E J Scott – The Museum of Transology: Object-ifying trans narratives
  • Mark Dunton – The Sexual Offences Act, 1967

The afternoon will include a performance of ‘Suffering is one very long moment: The imprisonment of Oscar Wilde’.

In 1895, Oscar Wilde was found guilty of a gross indecency following his relationship with Alfred Douglas. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with hard labour.

This short play explores these events as they appear in the records of The National Archives.

You will hear extracts from documents relating to Oscar Wilde’s trial, a petition he made to the Home Secretary, and letters sent about him to the governor of Reading Jail.

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Tags: homosexuality, lgtbq+, protest, sexual offences act, suffragettes, trans history