24 February 2024

LGBTQ+ History Month 2024

Celebrate and discover lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer and trans people’s lives across the centuries. In partnership with OutStories Bristol, this event features a fascinating range of talks highlighting LGBTQ+ stories and heritage. Topics range from the search for ancient trans celts to a cheeky look at butts in art and historical images.

Take the opportunity to pick up an LGBTQ+ audio tour of M Shed on one of our ipods created by artist Tom Marshman, and visit the various stalls run by local LGBTQ+ organisations and others.




Each session includes time for Q & A and breaks between talks.

11.10am – 11.15am  Welcome by hosts Chloe Little and Marek Barden (Trustees of Outstories Bristol)

11.15am – 11.55am  H.H. Gore – Bristol’s Nineteenth Century Gay Christian Socialist Solicitor – Mike Richardson, Bristol Radical History Group (BRHG)

12.05pm – 12.45pm  Novelist Mary Renault’s Bristol & “The Charioteer” – Jonathan Rowe

12.55pm – 1.35pm  In search of Trans Celts – Cheryl Morgan, trans history specialist and diversity advisor

1.35pm – 2pm                         INTERVAL

2pm – 2.40pm  The Gender Exhibition – Helen McConnell Simpson and Steve Bradley, Bristol Museums

2.50pm –  3.30pm  Museum Bums: a cheeky look at butts in art and historical documents – Mark Small,  Museum Bums

3.40pm – 4.20pm  “A Sinkhole of Vice and Infamy: Transportation for Sodomy in 1840s Bristol” – by Andrew Foyle, social historian and member of OutStories Bristol.

4.45pm                               EVENT CLOSES


Confirmed stalls

  • Bristol Pride
  • Bristol Radical History Group
  • Gay West
  • Outstories Bristol
  • Bristol Museums – Meet the Gender exhibition team and discover volunteering opportunities.

About the talks

H.H. Gore – Bristol’s Nineteenth Century Gay Christian Socialist Solicitor

Hugh Holmes Gore was a key figure in Bristol’s labour movement during the last two decades of the 19th century. A popular “people’s solicitor” at the service of Bristol’s working class, he also defended militant trade unionists, anarchists and revolutionary socialists.

However in 1898 Gore vanished under mysterious circumstances. His friends suggested a scandal, most probably because of his sexual attraction to men at a time when homosexuality was a criminal offence.

Mike Richardson is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of the West of England and an expert on the history of the labour movement in Bristol. One of Bristol Radical History Group’s most prolific writers, his publications include the biography The Enigma of Hugh Holmes Gore.

Novelist Mary Renault’s Bristol and The Charioteer

This talk by Jonathan Rowe is about lesbian novelist Mary Renault, her Bristol associations and her ground-breaking 1953 male gay love story The Charioteer which is set in a fictionalised Second World War Bristol.

Jonathan is a local historian, Bristol born and bred. He regularly writes for OutStories Bristol and the Bristol Times supplement of the Bristol Post. He is also chairman of Brislington Conservation and History Society, and Secretary of his local drama group for which he has written several productions.

In search of Trans Celts

Tribal societies around the world are known to make space for gender diversity in their societies. We’ve observed this in places like the Americas, Africa, Polynesia and Australia. But similar societies in Britain are in the distant past, and from times when little or no writing was done. What can we tell about gender amongst the ancient people of Britain?

Cheryl Morgan, is a Senior Trainer and Consultant in Trans Awareness for the Diversity Trust and a former co-chair of OutStories Bristol. An expert in trans history and literature, she writes for various history blogs and is a frequent speaker at LGBTQ+ History Month events.

The Gender Exhibition

Find out about this exciting exhibition due to open in Spring 2025 exploring the complex and rich theme of gender identity. The show is being developed in partnership with National Museums Liverpool, Brighton & Hove Museums and local communities. The exhibition will tour following its debut in Bristol. Hear about:

  • the museum’s queer objects and artworks
  • new approaches for contemporary collecting
  • how you can potentially get involved.

Speakers: Helen McConnell Simpson (Senior Curator of History) and Steve Bradley (Exhibitions & Displays Manager)

Museum Bums: a cheeky look at butts in art and historical documents

Based on the eponymous viral Twitter (‘X’) account @museumbums, Museum Bums take us on a whirlwind tour of butts in museums and art galleries around the world. Heritage scholars and art educators Mark Small and Jack Shoulder pair tongue-in-cheeks humour with insightful commentary on the representation of the naked body in history, and how galleries and museums approach gender and sexual diversity today.

A Sinkhole of Vice and Infamy: Transportation for Sodomy in 1840s Bristol

Andrew Foyle presents new research on the harsh lives of two Bristol men convicted for sodomy in 1842, constructing from scant evidence a plausible hypothesis for their discovery and betrayal. He follows the extraordinary tale of their transportation and eventual fates in the notorious convict stations of Tasmania.

Andrew is an architectural and social historian, and a founder member of OutStories Bristol.