A display of book spines to mark LGBT+ History Month

From talks and book clubs to a film screening, a variety of events are being held across Cambridge to mark LGBT+ History Month.

Founded by the charity Schools OUT and celebrated every February across the UK, the theme this year is #BehindTheLens, celebrating LGBT+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film from behind the lens.

Events include a lecture by leading former civil servant Sir Richard Heaton KBC, a screening of the film A Fantastic Woman, and an exhibition celebrating literature by LGBTQ writers in the early 20th century.

Dr Duncan Astle, Chair of the LGBTQ+ Network at the University, said:

“Whether it’s Richard's lecture, the University Library exhibition about challenges faced by LGBTQ writers and their publishers, or a discussion around the classic queer novel, you’ll be sure to find an interesting event throughout February.

“I hope you can join us as we celebrate this important month. Understanding our history is a crucial step towards addressing the many inequalities that sexual and gender minorities still face today.”


This year’s LGBT+ History Month events include:


LGBT+ History Month film screening: A Fantastic Woman

6pm, Thursday 16 February

Clare Hall, Herschel Road, Cambridge CB3 9AL

Free and open to all to attend

Clare Hall’s Graduate Student Body Committee presents a screening of A Fantastic Woman (2017) to mark LGBT+ History Month 2023, together with Javier Pérez-Osorio, PhD Candidate from the Centre for Film and Screen.

For more information, click here.

LGBT+ History Month Lecture: Sir Richard Heaton KBC

6pm, Wednesday 22 February

McGrath Centre, St Catharine’s College

Free and open to all to attend

Sir Richard Heaton, Warden of Robinson College, delivers the University of Cambridge's LGBT+ History Month lecture.

Before coming to Cambridge in 2021, Richard was Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office from 2012 to 2015, and at the Ministry of Justice from 2015 to 2020. As a Home Office official earlier in his career, Richard advised Ministers on the reform of sexual offences law, including the contested issue of age of consent and the abolition of the offence of gross indecency.

For more information, click here.

Queer Connections in Literary Cambridge

2.30pm to 4.15pm, Thursday 23 February

Milstein Seminar Rooms, Cambridge University Library

*** This event has been cancelled due to strike action. The organisers apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.***

The early decades of the twentieth century saw a flourishing of literature by LGBTQ writers, many of whom had connections to Cambridge, as students of the University or friends of those who worked here.

Writers like Edward Carpenter, Siegfried Sassoon and Rupert Brooke had links with Charles Sayle and Theodore Bartholomew (both members of University Library staff), who in some cases helped them to publish and promote their work through their own networks.

This display of books and archival material from the University Library highlights some of these links and explores the stories of those involved.

For more information click here.

Bulgarian tendencies: The perils of publishing queer books

5.30pm to 6.30pm, Thursday 23 February

Milstein Seminar Rooms, Cambridge University Library

*** This event has been cancelled due to strike action. The organisers apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.***

Justin Bengry, Director of the Centre for Queer History at Goldsmiths, delivers a special talk to mark LGBT History Month on the challenges encountered by authors and publishers whose books explored the lives and experiences of LGBTQ people.

For more information, click here

The Really Popular Book Club: The Hours by Michael Cunningham

7-8pm, Tuesday 28 February

Online via Zoom meetings

Free and open to all to attend

The Really Popular Book Club is the reading group hosted by Cambridge University Libraries. This February, we will be discussing Michael Cunningham’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Hours. Our special guest for the evening will be Dr Diarmuid Hester, a writer and radical cultural historian who teaches at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of English. He is the creator of A Great Recorded History, an audio trail of Cambridge focused on the city’s LGBTQ+ past, and the co-founder of Club Urania, a monthly performance and music night for LGBTQ+ people and their friends at Cambridge Junction.

For more information, click here.

Also happening:

6.30-8pm, Monday 20 February: All members of the Churchill College community welcome to take part in 'Pride Patches', a collective wellbeing art activity. For more details click here.

7.30–9pm, Tuesday 28 February: Spoken word event with readings of queer works and poetry in the St Catharine’s Chapel.

Throughout the month: King's College Library and Archives have prepared an exhibition featuring items written by and relating to prominent LGBT King’s figures. College members can visit in the Library but anyone can enjoy here.

Throughout the month: Art and other forms of media nominated by the St Catharine’s community will be displayed in the college’s Shakeshaft Library.

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