London Food & Culture

Queer Britain

LGBTQ+ History Month 2023: five London highlights

Don't miss these queer events in King's Cross, Bloomsbury, Bank, Stratford and Clapham

KING’S CROSS: Queer Britain’s first year

Have you checked out the UK’s only permanent queer museum yet (main pic, above)? It’s based right in the heart of King’s Cross at Granary Square, and probably the best place to start if you wish to mark this year’s LGBTQ History Month. The inaugural exhibition, We Are Queer Britain, marks the 50th anniversary of the UK’s first Pride March, while also covering over a century of queer life. Open Wed-Sun, 12-6pm, free entry, Follow @queerbritain

And if you’re already a fan, Marta Lomza, its Head of Collections/Curator, will be giving a talk on the first year of the museum at Shoe Lane Library later this month. Find out how they’ve connected with local communities, their ambitions for the future, and what still needs to be done to mark queer history as part of LGBTQ History Month and beyond. Free, 17 Feb, 1pm – 2pm, Shoe Lane Library, EC4A 3JR

Gays The Word
Legendary Bloomsbury landmark: Gay’s The Word. Photo: SE

BLOOMSBURY & BANK: Two Queer Walking Tours in the capital

These guided strolls are a uniquely thoughtful way to reflect on the capital’s deep-rooted queer identity. Haunting Squares: Bloomsbury LGBTQ+ History Tour takes in 300 years of lesser-known tales around the bohemian central London neighbourhood, exploring pioneering women doctors, gender-crossing Victorians and the long-running bookshop Gay’s The Word (tickets £16/£14 here, 18 Feb, 11:30am-1:30 pm).

Meanwhile, Roaring Girls and Mollies: a Queer Tour of Old London explores the riverside area around Bank, including gender non-conformity in the time of Chaucer, molly houses and even “surprising goings-on” at St Paul’s cathedral. Tickets £16/14 here, 26 Feb, 1130 am-1:30 pm.


Stratford’s impressive Old Town Hall. Photo: SE

STRATFORD: Raze Cabaret

A little bit further east is this cabaret soiree at Stratford’s eye-catching Grade II-listed Town Hall. It’s curated by the Raze Collective, a charity named in response to LGBTQ+ venues being “razed” in recent years, and now dedicated to promoting the “boldest” queer performance in the UK. With comedy, music and drag artists, there’ll also be a chance to pose for Holly Revell, a photographer specialising in queer portraiture. Free tickets here. 7pm, 3 February, starts 7.45pm, Old Town Hall, Stratford 29 The Broadway London

CLAPHAM: Out On An Island, An LGBTQ+ History

Down in Clapham, the Omnibus Theatre hosts the first ever project dedicated to LGBTQ+ oral history on the Isle of Wight. An exhibit of recordings and portraits asking the question, “LGBTQ+ Rights and Representation, is the battle over?”, Out On An Island considers how in rural areas the queer community still has to fight – as well as to celebrate. Visitors can listen to spoken testimonies while portraits are by Jon Habens: bring a smartphone and earphones. Free entry, 4 Feb – 3 March, Omnibus Theatre, 1 Clapham Common North Side, London

Read my round-up in The Guardian of the best LGBTQ History Month events across the country, from Margate to Glasgow, here.

Find out more about all the events for LGBTQ History Month online here.

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