Gay rights street march 1970s

Events

OUTing the Past: 1950s Pioneers

Hosted by the LSE Library

Education Room, LSE Library, Lionel Robbins Building, Portugal Street, United Kingdom

Speakers

Alex Bakker

Historian and author

Martin Malcolm

Ben Priestley

Chair

Dr Debbie Challis

Education and Outreach Officer LSE Library

Discover ground breaking gay and trans rights activists of the 1950s who inspired change. Part of OUTing the Past / LGBT+ History Month.

Transgender Pioneers of the Fifties: a secret history

Alex Bakker

Alex Bakker will give a researched presentation on a piece of unknown LGBT+ history. The fifties of the 20th century can be regarded as a kind of birthplace of modern trans identity. In December 1952 a media hype was born: Christine Jorgensen, a former GI from New York, had had sex reassignment surgery in Denmark. Jorgensen was the first transgender woman to receive such elaborate attention from the press, and the first to get both hormone treatment and surgical correction. Christine’s story was sensationally exploited but for transgender people all over the world it was also a landmark. Many of them had not even known how to understand their own feelings, thinking they were the only ones with this “craziness” inside them.

Open Door: The Start of a Campaign

Martin Malcolm and Ben Priestley

This presentation explores the untold story of a now-forgotten activist, Dr RD Reid and the tragic court case that prompted him to make what may have been the first public call for a campaign to decriminalise homosexuality in the UK. It's a story that started in the Somerset town of Taunton in 1954.  Martin Malcolm is writing a play, Open Door, about this story and plans to illustrate his talk with photographs (of Reid and of the prison cells) as well as readings of Reid's letter and newspaper coverage of the case (found in the LAGNA archive) and material about other cases (found in the LSE Hall Carpenter archive).

Alex Bakker is a historian and author of Transgender in Nederland.

LSE Library is delighted to be a hub for OUTing the Past: LGBTQ+ History Month.

The British Library of Political and Economic Science was founded in 1896, a year after the London School of Economics and Political Science. It has been based in the Lionel Robbins Building since 1978 and houses many world class collections, including The Women's Library.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSELGBT

Accessibility

If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, as well as on accessibility and special requirements, please refer to LSE Events FAQ. LSE aims to ensure that people have equal access to these public events, but please contact the event's organiser as far as possible in advance if you have any access requirements, so that arrangements, where possible, can be made. If the event is ticketed, please ensure you get in touch in advance of the ticket release date. Access Guides to all our venues can be viewed online.

Twitter and Facebook

You can get immediate notification on the availability of an event podcast by following LSE public lectures and events on Twitter, which will also inform you about the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what's happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page.
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.

Whilst we are hosting this listing, LSE Events does not take responsibility for the running and administration of this event. While we take responsible measures to ensure that accurate information is given here (for instance by checking the room has been booked) this event is ultimately the responsibility of the organisation presenting the event. 

How can I attend? Add to calendar

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required.

Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For further information get in touch by email or call 020 7107 5472.

Twitter

LSE Library LSELibrary

The Artists' Suffrage League was established in January 1907. One of its first members was Mary Lowndes whose fabu… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

12 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

LSE Library LSELibrary

RT @MWA_research: Today I am excited to speak to the Friends of the Women’s library @LSELibrary about my current work on the Married Women’…

13 hours ago

Reply Retweet Favorite

  Sign up for news about events