23 February 2017

It’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) History Month and a weekend of activities closing the celebration will kick off on at noon on Saturday 25 February.

The LGBT History Month is recognised yearly and 2017 is especially important as it marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England and Wales. Although the law was only aimed at men it was a big stepping stone towards equal rights – it was the first time in 500 years same sex relationships were accepted by the state.

To celebrate the achievement Sheffield City Council are supporting the Sheena Amos Youth Trust (SAYit) in a weekend of events.  The weekend will kick off with a free event open to all at the Millennium Gallery at 12 noon.

Speakers at the event will include Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Communities, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox, and the Rotherham born Author Terry Sanderson. Woodhouse prize brass band will be providing musical accompaniment.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Community Services said: “This weekend is an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate our diverse communities and reflect on how far we have come in terms of prejudices that have affected people in the past and Sheffield’s proud role in this tackling this issue. It’s also a chance to consider how we can support people who still feel unable to express who they really are, or are held back from achieving their potential.

“I hope to see lots of people on Saturday from all different walks of life, and look forward to being involved in what promises to be a fantastic weekend of celebrations.”

Chief Executive of SAYiT, Steve Slack said: “We are delighted to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of male homosexuality with a weekend of events in Sheffield. It is not only important to mark the occasion but to remind ourselves how far we have come in the past half century in terms of recognising equal rights. Young LGBT+ people also need to learn  more about their history and be instilled with a sense of pride. Sheffield Museums will also be putting on display a bronze bust of the gay rights campaigner Edward Carpenter who lived in and around Sheffield at the end of the 19th century. We are grateful to Sheffield City Council for supporting this important event.”

Following the opening there will be a full programme of events including talks from Sally Goldsmith, who will delve into the past and talk about the LGBT family tree, and Clare Summerskill, author and actor will consider the importance of LGBT history.

There will also be a concert on the Saturday hosted by Friends of Edward Carpenter and SAYiT, and on Sunday there will be a sparkling celebration, DJ set and film premiere.

For more information and tickets to parts of the weekend visit www.sayouthtrust.org.uk and

www.cliffordevents.co.uk .For more information about LGBT history month visit http://lgbthistorymonth.org.uk/