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LGBT+ History Month

LGBT+ History Month

Councillor Saima Ashraf, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership & Engagement, is proud to present a month of events to celebrate LGBT+ History Month in Barking & Dagenham - even in these times of social distancing.

LGBT+ History Month   is an annual month-long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions please note that events will be taking place online. Please check each listing for further information.


Flag Raising

Monday 1 February 2021.

The raising of the Pride flag at Barking Town Hall will take place to mark the start of LGBT+ History Month and will remain flying for the duration of the month.

LGBTQ+ History Month at Barking & Dagenham Libraries

1  to 29 February 2021.

A range of books available for all age ranges. Including books on those questioning their sexuality, support for those who have come out, books for parents with children who are part of the LGBT+ community, some biographies of well known LGBTQ+ celebrities, and some books on the history of the LGBTQ+ community.

Selected libraries are open for collection of books only.

Studio 3 Arts - Watch Party

Thursday 4 February 2021. 7.30pm.

Come and join in our Watch Party of the LGBTQIA+ film Pride (2014).

Realising that they share common foes in Margaret Thatcher, the police and the conservative press, London-based gay and lesbian activists lend their support to striking miners in 1984 Wales.

Director: Matthew Warchus
Screenplay: Stephen Beresford

For further details and booking, visit the Studio 3 Arts website.

Studio 3 Arts - Spoken, Not Stirred

Thursday 18 February 2021. 7pm.

Spoken, Not Stirred is Studio 3 Arts’ open-mic event for poetry and spoken-word. In February there will be a special LGBTQIA theme with Antonia Jade King as the featured artist.

The Be&Do Project will also be launching a LGBTQIA Book Club (funded by LBBD Equalities & Diversity Community fund)

For further detail and booking, visit the Studio 3 Arts website.

Cocoon presents their Celebrating Diversity event: BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE!

An engaging and fun session filled with songs, stories and dancing.

Date: Saturday 20 February 2021

Time: 10am to 10.30am

Contact us to book: earlyyearscocoon@gmail.com

Flipside LGBT+ Youth Group

Flipside is the councils youth group for lesbian, gay, bi & trans+ young people (aged 11-25).
They will continue to meet throughout February every Thursday, between 4pm and 6pm.  

Are you a parent, carer, family member or friend of a young person who is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Non-Binary, Questioning or Queer?

This LGBTQ+ History month we are putting on two webinars, separating LGB+ (sexual orientation) and trans & non-binary+ (gender), to help those that live and care for LGBTQ+ youth to provide them with the best support.   

Speakers from the LGBTQ+ community talk about their personal and professional journey’s, how being LGBTQ+ has impacted their lives, what helped them and a few things that weren’t as helpful, the educational and careers choices they made as a result.

Also hear from people who support families and friends in similar situations to your own and find out all the best tips to become a champion of your young person.

This event will help you understand a little more about your young person, what being part of the LGBTQ+ community means and also welcome you to the wider LGBTQ+ community of family, carers and friends.

The online webinar will allow you to watch and ask our speakers questions from the privacy of your own home, helping you to take a step into the wider LGBTQ+ family at your own pace.

Questions can be submitted confidentially during the event or in advance by emailing flipside@lbbd.gov.uk.

Barking & Dagenham’s LGBTQ+ Solidarity Event  

Wednesday 24 February 2021. 5pm to 6.30pm.

In solidarity with LGBTQ+ people everywhere, Barking and Dagenham will host an event to recognise the experiences of LGBTQ+ people.

Sponsored by the Deputy Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council and Cabinet Member for Community Leadership & Engagement, it will mark the occasion in December 2020 when world religious leaders came together to call for a ban on conversion therapy - the attempt to change a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. This is an important moment in LGBTQ+ History and shows solidarity between Faith and LGBTQ+ spaces - and demonstrates that being an LGBTQ+ person and a person of Faith is not irreconcilable.

In honour of this historic moment, the borough has invited a speaker from Hidayah, an organisation providing support, education and welfare for the Muslim LGBT+ community, as well as for friends and family. We will also have Galop speaking about their services for LGBTQ+ survivors of violence and abuse and will round off hearing about Be and Do.   

The event is free and open to everyone. You can be book your place via Eventbrite.

Be & Do Project (run by Studio 3 Arts)

The Be & Do project is designed to support and strengthen the borough’s LGBTQIA+ community and led by Studio 3 Arts, Be & Do uses creativity as a vehicle to start conversations, tell stories, bring LGBTQIA+ people together and challenge stereotypes and myths. 

Be&Do Monthly social meeting

Thursday 25 February 2021. 7.30pm

Meetings currently take place via Zoom.

For further detail and booking, visit the Be&Do Project website.

LGBTQIA History Month Cabaret Night - A Queer Night Out But In

Saturday 27 February 2021. 7.30pm. Free online Zoom event.

Join Grace and Matty from Be & Do to celebrate LGBT+ History Month. We’re bringing you a gorgeous line-up of live online performances from the one-person cabaret troupe Rhys's Pieces, acclaimed drag king Christian Adore, poet Chris White and the queen of balls Fatt Butcher with a very camp and naughty Disco Bingo.

Book in advance on the Studio 3 Arts website.

Metropolitan Police (in partnership with the NHS)

Join us throughout the month for a series of lunch and learn sessions to celebrate this years LGBT+ History month theme of ‘Mind, Body and Soul’.

This past year has taught us many things but probably the most valuable lesson is how important our health and wellbeing is to us, both mentally and physically. Many of us have faced extremely challenging times, but it is also key to recognise that some communities encounter barriers around health and wellbeing long before COVID-19 dominated our world.

Our hope is that each of our lunch and learn session will give you the opportunity to listen to the different experts and ask questions that may have been difficult to raise in the past. We also aim to not only empower the community but break down obstacles being faced.

Please join us throughout the month on various days at 12 o’clock, starting on Monday 1 February. 

Some of the topics covered are: Mental Health awareness, STD and HIV home testing, Romford Pride, LGBT+ Hate Crime, Chem Sex, Tackling LGBT+ Hate Crime in Football, COVID-19 and many others.

For full list of events and to book your free tickets visit eventbrite:

    Book lunch and learn tickets on Eventbrite

    Pen to Print - LGBTQ+ Month events

    Pen to Print: LGBTQ+ Mind, Body, Spirit Poetry workshop with Dean Atta

    Thursday 4 February 2021. 6.30 to 7.30pm.

    Join Dean for an hour-long poetry workshop dedicated to the theme of 2021’s LGBTQ+ History Month.

    Award winning author and LGBT+ History Month patron Dean Atta will lead a one hour event on the theme of mind, body and spirit. Dean will share some of his own poetry, then he will take your questions about his writing process and finally he will guide you through writing your own poem.

    Come armed with a pen and paper and be prepared to write!

    Dean Atta’s debut poetry collection was shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize and his debut novel, The Black Flamingo, won the Stonewall Book Award. He was named as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK by the Independent on Sunday. Dean’s work often deals with themes of gender, identity, race and growing up – and has appeared on BBC One, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, and Channel 4. Dean regularly performs across the UK, and internationally.

    Pen to Print partnered with the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation in 2020 to bring a variety of professional talks from Editors, Literary Agents and Writers.

    Pen to Print: LGBTQ+ Mind, Body, Spirit Poetry workshop with Dean Atta

    Pen to Print: Gender Swapped Fairy Tales with Karrie Fransman

    Thursday 11 February 2021. 1.30pm to 3pm.

    Description: Welcome to a world where kings long to be fathers, princesses race to rescue sleeping princes and young men look past the flaws of ugly and beastly princesses. A world where gender is turned on its head and the glass slippers on the other foot.

    Join Karrie Fransman, comic creator and illustrator and co-creator (alongside Jonathan Plackett) of Gender Swapped Fairy Tales(Faber & Faber) to explore the art and activism of gender swapping. Create your own gender swapped characters and breath life into them by learning about character development. Come and bust some gender binaries and feel free to adopt whatever roles you want.

    Pen to Print: Gender Swapped Fairy Tales with Karrie Fransman

    LGBT+ History Month Online Writing Workshop with Andreena Leeanne

    Tuesday 23 February 2021. 6pm to 8pm.

    Andreena briefly talks about her journey to speaking and writing her truth and her debut collection CHARRED.

    Participants are invited to free write for to get the creative juices flowing, then explore the theme: Self Care and to write anything they like in the style that feels comfortable to them. It can be a poem, short story, script, anything with a space to share what you have written but only if you feel comfortable to do so. Andreena ends the session, with a poem from her book CHARRED, a survivor speaks her truth to inspire.

    Andreena Leeanne, is an out and proud Black working-class Lesbian Inspirational Speaker & Poet.

    She writes and performs poetry to come to terms with and speak out about her personal experiences with homelessness, mental health, childhood sexual abuse & the many other challenges she has faced in her life. By speaking her truth, she hopes to inspire and empower others.

    In 2018 She was one of Stonewall’s Black History Month role models. In 2020 she has been shortlisted for a Positive LGBT Role Model National Diversity Award.

    LGBT+ History Month Online Writing Workshop with Andreena Leeanne

    Subwize events

    Open to anyone aged 13 to 24 years. If you are interested, contact gemma.latham@wdp.org.uk or phone 07584 522716.


    Tuesday 9 February 2021.   
    60 minute session in mindfulness techniques using the 5 senses and a sharing of ideas on how to become more mindful.


    Tuesday 16 February 2021.  
    60 minute dance session with a small chat on how physical exercise can improve your mental health.

    Soul=Love, appreciation, representation

    Tuesday 23 February 2021. 
    60 minute session looking at and discussing key figures that have helped to shape the LGBTQIA community to get it to where it is today (this brings in the history element of the month) so we will look at people within the media, politics, history and celebrate them.