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LGBTQIA+ History Month

In Person Events

Join us during LGBTQA+ History Month for a variety of in person events throughout February that celebrate and highlight the LGBTQA+ community.

New! LGBTQA+ History Month Celebration and Reflection Event

Date: Tuesday 28th February

Time: 10.30am-12.30pm

Location: Dept W, Sofa Room, 1st Floor

The EDI Team warmly invite you to join us in celebrating and reflecting on the marking of LGBTQA+ History Month throughout Queen Mary this February.

An informal drop-in event will be held at Dept W, Sofa Room, 1st Floor between 10.30am-12.30pm on Tuesday 28th February to chat with colleagues, discuss thoughts on the range of events that took place during the month and share any suggestions you have for future LGBTQA+ inclusion and awareness dates.

We would love it if you could join us and pop by on the day. Refreshments will be available

LGBTQA+ History Month – Flag raising

Date: Friday 3rd February

Time: 12.30pm-1.00pm

Location: The Queens’ Building

Panoramic photograph of the Queens' Building on Mile End campusTo mark the beginning of LGBTQA+ History Month that is taking place throughout February, you are warmly invited to a flag raising ceremony that will be held on Friday 3rd February 2023, 12.30pm-1.00pm at The Queens’ Building, Mile End Campus. The Pride Progress flag will be flown as we begin our programme of events to celebrate the history and achievements of LGBTQA+ communities, and as a visible symbol of Queen Mary’s commitment to championing the welfare and wellbeing of all our LGBTQA+ staff and students.

Coming out with it: Language, gender and sexuality after Section 28

Date: Monday 6th February

Time: 2.00pm-3.00pm

Location: Laws 210, Mile End Campus

Speaker: Robert James Hellyer 

Progress Pride FlagSummary: Repealed in 2003, the law prohibiting teachers from discussing and supporting LGBT+ young people had a lasting effect on education in the UK. 20 years later, the formation of LGBT+ school groups marks a shift in the tide of socialisation for 11-18 year olds.

In this talk, from the Department of Linguistics, Robert James Hellyer will discuss their research funded by the London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership. Through sociolinguistic ethnography with the young people, the study considers how historical and contemporary oppression proliferates in the students’ lived experiences, but also how moments of gay, trans and queer joy, rooted in social progress, are shared and celebrated.  

Photograph of Robert James HellyerBio: Robert James Hellyer (they/he) is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Linguistics. Their research centres around sociolinguistic variation, queer linguistics, education, ethnography, and linguistic anthropology, currently investigating societal shifts in spaces for LGBTQ+ young people.



Polari beginners’ taster session with the Department of Linguistics

Date: Tuesday 7th February

Time: 3.00pm-4.00pm

Location: Laws 112, Mile End Campus

Speaker: Robert James Hellyer 

The Department of Linguistics invites all to a session on Polari, Britain’s gay secret language of the 19th and 20th centuries in the UK.

Join us for a brief romp through the history and linguistic background of Polari’s origins, then have a go at picking up a few phrases yourself. It’s not just for omee-palones and queens, you know!

Photograph of Robert James HellyerBio: Robert James Hellyer (they/he) is a doctoral researcher in the Department of Linguistics. Their research centres around sociolinguistic variation, queer linguistics, education, ethnography, and linguistic anthropology, currently investigating societal shifts in spaces for LGBTQ+ young people



Film Screening: The Imitation Game

Date: Wednesday 15th February

Time: 5.15pm-7.15pm

Location: Maths Lecture Theatre (MLT), Maths Building, Mile End

As part of LGBTQA+ History Month, the School of Mathematical Sciences are hosting a screening of the Oscar-winning film The Imitation Game

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, this biopic tells the story of one of the most celebrated LGBTQA+ mathematicians in history.  

The Imitation Game is "based on the real life story of legendary cryptanalyst Alan Turing. The film portrays the nail-biting race against time by Turing and his brilliant team of code-breakers at Britain's top-secret Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II". - IMDB

This screening is for Queen Mary students and staff only and will not be open to the public. The film will be subtitled and accessible seating is available in the back row of the Maths Lecture Theatre. Please contact if you require accessible seating.

‘An introduction to the Queen Mary Chaplaincy and its fascinating (and queer) history’

Join Ella Sharples, the Chaplain at St Benet's Chaplaincy, who will be discussing the fascinating queer history of the Queen Mary Chaplaincy. Following a short tour of the building, Ella will talk about the work of the Anglican priest Malcolm Johnson, his time at St Benet’s and his counselling and campaigning work for the LGBTQA+ community. St Benet’s is a Christian chapel and meeting place that is open to all students and staff at Queen Mary University of London. These events are inclusive to all, with those who identify as LGBTQA+ being especially welcome.

Capacity for the events will be limited to 10 people per session. If you are unable to attend the event, you can find out more by reading the book ‘Diary Of A Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker’. The Queen Mary library has a copy of the book available for loan.

Dates: Session 1: Wednesday 15th February lunchtime, 12.00pm-1.00pm. Session 2: Tuesday 21st February, 5.00pm-6.00pm

Location: The events will be held in-person, at St Benet's Chaplaincy on the Mile End campus, near the Queens' Building. The address is 327a Mile End Road, London, E1 4NT. The Chapliancy contact us page has a map and useful contact details. For disabled access an Access Guides is available via DisabledGo.

How to book: To register your attendance for either session, please email

LGBTQA+ History Month Pop-up stands around our campuses

Photo of a desk with Rainbow lanyards, pronoun badges, Inclusion & Awareness calendars, Pride flags and a laptop displaying the LGBTQA+ History Month webpagesHave a chat with members of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Team and collect a rainbow lanyard and pronoun badge to signify your commitment to providing a safe and comfortable environment for all of our LGBTQA+ staff and students.

Dates and locations across Queen Mary campuses will be added throughout the month.

Whitechapel Pop-up

Date: Thursday 9th February

Time: 1.00pm-3.00pm

Location: Garrod Building, Ground Floor

Dept W Pop-up *DATE CHANGED*

Date: Wednesday 15th February

Time: 11.30am-1.30pm

Location: Dept W, Staff Hub, 1st Floor

Mile End Pop-up

Date: Monday 27th February

Time: 12.00pm-2.00pm

Location: Peter Landin Building, Hub Space, 3rd Floor

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