OUTing The Past 2019 Festival Programme: Taunton

Somerset Libraries are very excited to be hosting their first Outing the Past Festival in Taunton Library in February 2019. Our festival programme therefore covers a wide variety of topics and historical periods and hopes to provide ‘something for everyone’.

Attendees can expect to journey from Spartan Greece, where we will explore whether the Spartan army was as macho as we think it was, all the way through to the growth of LGBT activism in modern day Britain. In this centenary year for the commemoration of the First World War, we are also delighted to welcome the first openly transgender officer in the British Armed Forces to talk about three key transgender figures to serve in the armed forces this century. 

Finally, there will the opportunity to explore local LGBT history with two talks from the Somerset area. Local playwright, Malcolm Martin, will take us back to Taunton in 1954, where the arrest of a young man accused of approaching another man on a train led to one of the first public calls to decriminalise homosexuality in the UK. Following this will be a talk about the significance of the LGBT coffee shop in Bristol, which will be complemented by an exhibition in the library on the LGBT history of Bristol, Bath and Somerset. 


Festival Programme for 2. February 2019

Time Speaker Talk
Welcome 10:45 – 11:00 Alex Cunningham-Scott: Development Officer at Somerset Libraries
Slot 1 11:00 – 11:30 Kerry Baigent Our Proud History: from lone voices to collective union action for LGBT equality.
Slot 2 11:45 – 12:15 Cheryl Morgan Meet the Spartans
Slot 3 13:00 – 13:30 Caroline Page War into Peace – A Trans ‘Twenty in a Hundred’ Perspective
Slot 4 13:45 – 14:15 Martin Malcolm Open Door: The Start of a Campaign
Slot 5 14:45 – 15:15 Robert Howes Gay West’s Pop-Up Coffee Shop: Civil Society Refreshes Itself


Details of the full programme, how to book tickets, and information about additional complimentary events will be available on our website www.somersetlibraries.co.uk from January. Social Media users will also find regular updates on our Twitter page @SomersetLib and Taunton Library’s Facebook Page www.facebook.com/tauntonlib 

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