LGBT+ History Month: Celebrate online

Published 1 February 2021

Celebrate love this February as museums go digital for LGBT+ History Month. Discover a hand-drawn map that helped save an iconic LGBT+ venue from closure, the powerful photography of artist Zanele Muholi, and more.

This February, celebrate LGBT+ History Month with a range of online events, stories and collections from museums across the UK.

From events on queer Muslim art and trans pioneers to treasures in museum collections, there’s a huge variety of things to immerse yourself in online. Get involved to explore and learn.

Online events

Here are a couple of digital event highlights to pop in your diary.

OUTing the Past

Completely free to attend, OUTing the Past is a collection of talks and workshops diving into the forgotten histories of the LGBT+ community. Featuring a range of speakers from around the globe, events are being hosted by a number of venues throughout February including Royal Museums Greenwich, Ancient House, Bishopsgate Institute and many more.

They’ll be chatting everything from gender diversity and attitudes towards sex to tackling heteronormative behaviours.

Michael Dillon: Trans pioneer

Bristol Museums will explore the life of a key figure in 20th-century trans history, Michael Dillon, the first trans man to undergo phalloplasty. This event is part of a series of special events celebrating LGBT+ History Month; other events will explore queer Muslim art and the work of author Nicola Griffith, looking at the creation of her bisexual heroine in Hild (2013).

Queer Disrupt

Follow drag performer, Ibi Profane on a journey through British history, exploring how key events affected and shaped the LGBT+ community with Herbert Art Gallery & Museum. There will be a special focus on the city of Coventry, the gallery's home turf.

Queer lives in the ancient world

How did politics, power and passion shape the queer identities of ancient Greece and Rome? With a focus on literature and theatre, the Museum of London explores the legacies of these classical ancient worlds, and how we interpret their relationship to the present.

Digital stories

LGBT+ history of South London

The Museum of London are showcasing this beautifully hand-drawn map, created to help save an iconic London venue, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, from closure. It details the rich heritage of LGBT+ nightlife and community in the capital and you can see this historic London gem up close.

Rewriting visual history with Zanele Muholi

Artist and activist Zanele Muholi uses photography to rewrite the narrative of marginalised groups in South African society, particularly looking at lesbian, trans and non-binary identities through a new lens. The mesmerising Tate Modern exhibition sadly had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, but for now you can read all about their practise and photographic series online.

You can also dive deeper into Zanele Muholi’s work as well as browse online events centred around the exhibition.

Icons at the National Portrait Gallery

This heart-warming article features quotes from some of the well-known LGBT+ faces who appear in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, including inspiring words from actor Ian McKellen, former poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and fashion expert Gok Wan, among many more.

Museum collections online

The V&A’s ‘Out in the museum’ trail

The V&A have been scouring their collections in recent years to bring previously hidden and untold stories of gender and sexual identity to the surface. There are a number of fascinating finds as part of their out in the museum trail, including a non-binary Buddhist figurine, a gorgeous pocket snuff box belonging to Frederick the Great and a playful surrealist evening gown depicting the faces of artist Jean Cocteau and his lover.

National Museums Liverpool’s extensive LGBT+ collections

Covering themes from gender identity, changing attitudes and activism to visibility, eroticism and wellbeing, National Museums Liverpool’s collections reflect the diverse history of Liverpool’s LGBT+ communities. Some highlights include David Hockney’s Peter Getting Out of Nick's Pool (1966), and an invitation to the legendary queer arts festival Homotopia.

Back to top