This post is like a month late, but I still really wanted to talk about all the awesome events my university put on in February for LGBT+ History Month. It was an amazing program! I also took some really bad-quality photos throughout the month, so you can get an idea of what the event set-up was like.
This one is a picture of our student union with all the lovely flags hanging down from the railing!
Queer History: Riots and Revolution | February 6
This was not exactly what I expected, and it definitely wasn’t my favourite event on the list. I went in thinking it would be about queer riots and revolutions of the past, since the title says ‘history’, but instead it was a discussion on current riots and protests. It was still interesting, even though I disagreed with a lot of the things that were said, but it was not what I wanted, and I think the title was fairly misleading.
Colours party | February 9
This was an LGBT+ themed club night at the LCR, our campus club. I’m not the biggest fan of clubbing because I get easily tired around large crowds and sometimes feel a bit anxious (although most of the time it’s just very tiring), but I really wanted to go to this one because of the theme. I went to a gay club in town called Flaunt before this event and I have to say that the quality of the venue, music, and just the night in general was much better in the city. A friend of mine also wasn’t feeling too well so the Colours party was a bit of a miss – but if clubbing is your thing, I would still recommend it! I’m pretty sure they repeat it yearly.
Beyond LGBT: Exploring IQAP with Katy Jon Went | February 16
This was an AMAZING event. Katy Jon Went is a trans woman who lectures and does some really cool events at my university, and she is really good at talking about what it means to be LGBT+ and the struggles the community faces. She is hilarious as well! This event was very small, attended by only about 4 or 5 people, and we just sat on some chairs and listened to Katy as she showed off her colourful PowerPoint slides with hundreds of identities and talked us through all of it. She also told us how difficult is has been over the years to convince people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or even trans that other identities exist beyond the binary. Wonderful event!
Live Music Society hosts UEA Pride | February 17
This was a fun event, but nothing mind-blowing. It was a live music and poetry reading night in our Blue Bar on campus, and it mostly consisted of people sitting around in the bar with a drink and some food, chatting and listening to the performers. The music itself was really good (we have a lot of incredibly talented artists at UEA), but because it was just a bar night it wasn’t that exciting.
Rant and Rave | February 22
This was SO GOOD. It was a theatre night with lots of performances I hadn’t seen before at uni (and I’ve been to a lot of events). There was a sketch by a friend of mine who I had never seen perform before, a short play, a burlesque show in drag (that’s definitely something I hadn’t seen before!), and then your everyday poetry readings. The event was organised and put on brilliantly, and the venue (the LCR on campus) was chosen perfectly. I’m still really impressed and it’s been almost a month!
Faith and being LGBT+ Panel Discussion | February 23
This was another really good event, and the attendance was surprisingly high! We managed to fill an entire room, which was pretty awesome. Now, I always love discussion panels and groups – they’re my favourite type of event. But this one was particularly great, because it wasn’t just a few people from uni talking. They actually got a bishop, a rabbi, and a guy from a mosque to speak about their experiences, as well as our local trans lecturer Katy, who has a very interesting religious background. Everyone had a fantastic sense of humour, and the two lovely people in the middle did a great job of leading the discussion and asking everyone questions. The bishop and the guy from the mosque were both straight but had interesting experiences with LGBT+ people in their communities, and the rabbi was gay and super flamboyant and proud of it, which was both heart-warming and incredibly funny. He told a lot of stories about his time at university and how he would tell everyone that he was gay just because he wanted the whole world to know. He then also talked about the bright pink shoes he used to wear. Katy, on the other hand, told us how she used to be a really conservative catholic missionary and ignored her gender identity for a very long time, until she started being more open-minded, accepting herself and leaving her fundamentalist views behind. It was such an amazing event!
LGBT+ Literature | February 24
This was a discussion group on LGBT+ literature, and we talked about our favourite books, movies and TV shows, as well as some that we thought were terrible. It was a good event, but there were a lot of people there (because my university is hella gay and everyone studies literature), and lit students tend to be very loud when they get excited about books, so it was a bit intimidating. I really enjoyed the last half of the discussion though, when we went on a website that lists tropes in media, and we discussed some really bizarre ones.
There were some events throughout the month that I unfortunately couldn’t make it to:
- On February 1 there was a promising discussion on women-loving-women, which I couldn’t attend because I went to a Trump Protest in the city, and I am kind of mad that both events were on the same day because the amazing YouTuber Rowan Ellis actually spoke at the LGBT+ event and I really wanted to see that.
- On February 8 there was an event on LGBT+ sex education, which I just didn’t feel like going to. Looking back now, I wish I would have gone, but I think I was having a bad day or just didn’t feel like hearing people talk about sex.
- On February 20 there was an event that I am still angry about not attending, because it was called ‘Around the World in 80 Genders‘, and it was supposed to be another super interesting lecture by Katy. A friend of mine convinced me to go to another protest in the city even though I was feeling a bit anxious that day (she didn’t know at the time), but she miscalculated the time it would take us to get there, so I missed both the protest and the event. It was definitely not a good day, and because I was already feeling kinda crap before missing the protest, I was in a bad mood for a while after as well. Sigh.
- On February 28 the last LGBT+ History Month event took place, and I mainly didn’t go because there was no description of the event on the page and I just didn’t know what it was about. If there is something that puts me off going to places and events it’s when it’s not clear what it is that I’m going to. A friend later told me that it was kind of like a discussion group where the LGBT+ officers at UEA talked about the changes they had made so far to make the university a better and more inclusive place, and the changes they were planning to implement in the future.
And that is the whole program! This was surprisingly fun and quick to write – I’m not sure if I’m just having a really good day or if it’s the nature of the post. In any case, I hope you guys enjoyed reading this and that you will consider attending similar events in the future if you happen to be at UEA. I would love to know if there was anything exciting happening for LGBT+ History Month near you – hearing about events in different places would be really cool!
‘Till next time and happy reading!