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OUTing The Past


The Love that Dares to Speak its Name: Mary Whitehouse and her Shropshire girls

The girls at Madeley Modern School do remember as the; ‘Power crazed dictator witch!’ 

Mary Whitehouse taught at Madeley Modern School (then a Shropshire County Council school) in 1963, her determination to tackle (what she saw as a rising tide of immorality) came to fruition. Along the way her targets were many; she became a ‘household name’ and developed a style of attack that was all her own.

Hostility toward homosexuality was a given. Her prosecution of ‘Gay News’ and editor, Denis Lemon, in 1977, was a very low point in our history. 

Peter Roscoe will take us on a journey through her story and bring to life what some have forgotten, as one of the most successful attacks on our community.

Forty Years Out: Performing The Archive

Rose Collis has been an out and proud lesbian writer, performer and activist for four decades. She has witnessed, participated in and chronicled many key events in lesbian and gay history, including 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. This rich, diverse history will form the basis of a new solo mixed media stage show, written and performed by her. This work will be the cornerstone of a multimedia project, comprising online and physical exhibitions and a variety of public engagement events throughout the UK from summer 2019 onwards, featuring anecdotes and rare cuttings, photos, artefacts and ephemera from Rose’s private archive. This presentation, which incorporates images, acappella music, firsthand testimony and historical documents, gives a ‘taster’ of what the show and the project will share with audiences.

Importance of the pink triangle

In the Nazi concentration camp system, the pink triangle, with the cone end of the triangle pointing downward, was the badge to identify the homosexual male prisoners. The early gay rights movement reclaimed the pink triangle as a symbol of gay pride, now with the cone end of the triangle usually pointing upward. In the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade, the rainbow flag, designed by Gilbert Baker and originally consisting of eight stripes, was flown for the first time. With other LGBTIQ communities adopting this flag, it has replaced the Pink Triangle as the world-wide symbol of LGBTIQ pride, solidarity and identity. In this session Rainer Schulze will argue that the Pink Triangle and its history remain of vital importance for today’s LGBTIQ movement and must not be forgotten. Whilst under the Nazis a badge for (mainly German) gay men only, the Pink Triangle can serve as a powerful umbrella for the historical experiences and long battles that the LGBTIQ in the western world fought and that LGBTIQ communities in other parts of the world are still facing, linking generations from before and after the “AIDS crisis” of the 1980s and 1990s as well as LGBTIQ communities across the world, and underpinning political activism with historical study. Whilst the rainbow flag symbolises the diversity and vitality of the LGBTIQ movements, the Pink Triangle keeps the necessary link with the past which all too many of today’s younger LGBTIQ generation in the western world are increasingly unaware of.

And more to be confirmed.


22 Feb 2020


12:00 pm - 5:30 pm

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Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, B3 3DH

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