London: Islington and Camden to host UK’s ‘biggest’ LGBT History Month celebrations

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Organisers in the London boroughs of Islington and Camden say February’s programme of events for LGBT History Month will be the largest in the UK.

The nationwide theme for LGBT History Month in 2013 will be maths, sciences, and engineering. In particular, organisers are looking to honour the gay mathematical genius Alan Turing.

Turing was best known for his codebreaking work in World War II which contributed significantly to the Allied victory.

In 1952 Turing was publicly outed and charged with gross indecency. He was subject to forced chemical castration, and died in the same year in a suspected suicide.

During September 2009, Gordon Brown issued an apology to Turing on behalf of the government.

Calls for a posthumous pardon have been made from a number of public figures, including Stephen Hawking.

Islington and Camden are celebrating Turing’s contribution to science by running their annual LGBT History ball with the theme “The Big Bang Ball”. It will take place on Friday 22 February, at Islington Assembly Hall on Upper Street, north London.

Other events in Islington and Camden will include an exhibition at St Pancras Hospital by LGBT artists on the theme of Change and Changes, the play ‘Vincent River’ showing at the Pleasance Theatre on the 26 and 27 February, and talks from author Neil McKenna about his book ‘Fanny and Stella: The Young Men Who Shocked Victorian England’.

Local school children will also display their sporting and performing talents in an anti-homophobia showcase at the Emirates Stadium on February 28.

Islington Council leader Catherine West said, “Camden and Islington have worked hard to make sure that this year’s history month is the biggest in the UK with more to offer than ever before.

“LGBT History Month is a great chance to show our support for the LGBT community in Islington and celebrate the many positive LGBT contributions to British society.”

Nigel Harris of the Camden LGBT Forum said: “Everyone has really pulled together this year to bring Camden and Islington the biggest LGBT History Month in Europe.  With so much talk about same-sex marriage, it’s a good time to remind LGBT people and our straight allies that our vastly rich heritage is nothing new.”