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LGBTQ courses

Our archivists and librarians have been collecting books, pamphlets and archives covering the social and cultural history of London and further afield. We have become one of the national repositories of LGBTQ+ history in the UK. This is based around the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive, a national collection of over 350,000 press cuttings from the straight press covering all aspects of LGBTQ+ history from 1900 to the present day.

Our unique programme includes courses and events exploring LGBTQ+ culture and history. 

 

Why was John Gielgud told to see a doctor and how many lesbian pulp fiction novels can one library hold? Come into the archive to explore our holdings and find out more about LGBTQ+ history. 


An Introduction to LGBTQ+ Literature - BOOK NOW


Part historical overview and part literary analysis, this course will examine LGBTQ literature through the decades as a vital source of strength and understanding. 


Walking Tour: Queer Soho - BOOK NOW


Along the way we will hear stories of how Soho’s  LGBTQ inhabitants have shaped society as we know it today, as well as discovering  tales of loves lost and found, deceit, and debauchery: from a sensational Victorian scandal involving the heir to the throne, to the recording of Lou Reed’s sexually ambiguous album Transformer. 


Pink Jukebox - BOOK NOW



A Ballroom and Latin dance club for members of the LGBT community and their friends. With classes followed by social dancing, these events are open to dancers of all levels.



Polari - The Lost Language of Gay Men - BOOK NOW



Polari was a form of language spoken mainly by British gay men in the first half of the 20th century. Homosexuality was illegal in the UK, so Polari acted as a secret code, enabling gay men to communicate with one another. Learn about its origins and try your hand at speaking some yourself.



Male cross-dressing performance has endured as an essential part of the fabric of British entertainment. From the Elizabethan boy player, to the bawdy Victorian dame, to the glamorous and avant-garde incarnations of the medium seen today, drag has long held the power to arouse amorous passions, laughter, pathos, and controversy – sometimes all at once.





From press coverage of the Wolfenden Report to grassroots campaigns opposing Section 28, this workshop uses photographs, pamphlets and ephemera from our Special Collections to explore and discuss the daily realities of life for an emerging LGBTQ+ community in a changing social, and political British landscape.






Take your first steps into partner dancing with a gentle pace and friendly environment, to become more confident as leader or follower, or both. Everyone is welcome in this safe space for LGBTQ+ people, and the partnering is gender neutral, meaning anyone can lead or follow as they wish.



Quickstep for Absolute Beginners - BOOK NOW



Take your first steps into partner dancing with a gentle pace and friendly environment, to become more confident as leader or follower, or both. Everyone is welcome in this safe space for LGBTQ+ people, and the partnering is gender neutral, meaning anyone can lead or follow as they wish.

Book tickets online | call us on 020 7392 9200 | via box office

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