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LGBT+ history month: Loud and proud!

Due to the coronavirus lockdown, an exciting series of events will move online

05 February, 2021

Mzz Kimberley. Photo: Adam Khadaroo

WE may all be stuck inside at home but the coronavirus lockdown will not stand in the way of Camden and Islington’s LGBT+ History Month, which takes place every year through February.

A series of online events have been planned so that this important time in the borough’s calendar continues to be celebrated despite the restrictions.

They include film screenings, discussion groups, history talks, quiz nights and maybe a bit of dancing in front of your laptop screen.

Michael Bolstridge’s artwork Spirit

Tonight (Friday) evening, everybody can tune into a special launch night of Loudest Whispers, an exhibition of works by LGBT+ artists. Normally, they would be shown in a physical gallery but will be accessed this time remotely through a web alternative.

The main organisers of the month-long event are forum+, a group that has supported victims of homophobic and hate crime in north London, as well as helping those feeling isolated or alone. It has warned that the strength of the area’s community does not mean that harassment has gone away and it advised the council in the aftermath of a bloody attack on two lesbians during a bus ride, which drew national newspaper coverage for its severity two years ago.

Nicole Faraday

This month, however, is about celebrating that strength and support, and forum+ has again brought together many organisations with a similar goal.

Tessa Havers-Strong, director of forum+, said: “We have a wonderful line-up of performers to lead off an amazing programme of events, brimming with talent and creativity.”

Tonight’s launch of Loudest Whispers will be broadcast on forum+’s YouTube channel from 6.30pm with the help of hosts Christopher Hamilton and Shimi Goodman.

And they will be joined by Nicole Faraday, who starred in Emmerdale and as Snowball Merriman in prison drama Bad Girls, the powerhouse cabaret artist Mzz Kimberley and comedy poet Robert Garnham.

Robert Garnham

Peter Herbert, curator of The Arts Project and Loudest Whispers, said: “The surprise is how well this year’s exhibition works, shifted by the pandemic from our physical gallery into an online display with a virtual online walk-through gallery. There is no denying Loudest Whispers is true to its name and reveals that whatever the challenge LGBT+ creativity is alive and thriving.”

For those going out on daily walks during lockdown, Queering Your Camden is a tour of some of the places on the LGBT+ map. This can be listened to at home but also as you go. Organisers have advised that this is intended to take place individually and only within immediate neighbourhoods due to Covid. The recordings include stories from people around the world explaining how a place in Camden has made an impact on their life.

Tessa Havers-Strong

We will be publishing links to the full programme of events on our website – as there is something to do, see or hear every day.

Upcoming in the next seven days, however, is the Zodiac Interactive Video Quiz – also this evening. This is being run by the Zodiac bar, which started off in Junction Road before moving to a bigger venue in Tufnell Park. Register at Zodiac’s Facebook page – although you have to be over-18 for that one.

On Saturday night, the Club Kali Network is running its LGBT Month celebration from 7pm – called Are You Game? Tickets are via Eventbrite for that one.

Then on Tuesday, you can tune into the Queer Space Research Forum’s discussion on Gay Liberation Movements, Lesbian Motherhood and LGBT+ People in the Indian Workplace. It’s from 6pm to 7.30pm and again can be booked through Eventbrite.

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