Hogmanay in Scotland is always a night to remember, but for some revellers last year’s celebrations were particularly memorable! On 31 December 2014, the first Scottish same-sex marriages took place, with numerous happy couples bringing in the New Year as newlyweds and Scotland entering 2015 as a more equal nation.
January saw more than 500 same-sex weddings take place, while February now marks the return of LGBT History Month. Organised by LGBT Youth Scotland, this annual event both explores the past and celebrates the future of LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other) communities in Scotland, one of the most open and accepting countries in the world, with a special emphasis this year on education.
Open to all, this year’s programme includes parties, film screenings, discussions, art workshops and much more. Find out what’s going on near you, or check the official programme to see how you can get involved with LGBT History Month 2015.
Not a fan of Valentine’s Day? Round up three friends and spend the evening scoring some points for Leap Sports’ LGBT History Month Bowling Competition! The official Aberdeen heat takes place on 14 February, but teams can compete at any venue for a chance to qualify for the final, due to be held at AMF Bowling in Stirling on 28 February.
From Doonesbury to Dykes to Look Out For, comics have long been a platform for LGBT expression. Currently hard at work on a short animation for this year’s LGBT History Month Cultural Commission, Scottish illustrator and comic book artist Gary Mac takes time out from his busy schedule to give four comic book workshops at East Kilbride Arts Centre this month. Join him on Monday evenings throughout February and start creating your own cartoon characters.
Scotland’s capital hosts a wide range of LGBT events this month: Edinburgh University Footlights bring a touch of Broadway to the programme with their production of Jonathan Larson’s Tony Award winning musical, RENT, from 10 – 14 February, while the Living Memory Association presents an intergenerational storytelling event on Equal Love on Valentine’s Day.
On 12 February author Zoe Strachan will present Out There, an anthology of poetry and prose from leading and emerging Scottish LGBT writers, at Waterstones Princes St. The next day, alternative queer party DIVE hosts Broken, a fabulous Valentine’s ball featuring blood artistry, burlesque, drag and live performances at arts centre Summerhall.
Later in the month, catch a screening followed by a discussion about Pride, Matthew Warchus’ comical (yet very touching) retelling of a London LGBT group’s efforts to support the miners’ strikes of the 1980s, on 27 February, or don your kilt for Edinburgh University’s LGBT ceilidh (or ‘gaylidh’) the same night.
Glasgow’s galleries and libraries are hosting a range of events for LGBT History Month 2015. Discover an array of books and DVDs in Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art Library throughout February, or make your own zines, inspired by the OurStory Scotland collection at Glasgow City Archives, at a special workshop on 14 February.
Join the Glasgow Frontrunners to walk, jog or run their 5k ‘Rainbow Run’ on 22 February, and look out for theatre-maker Sam Rowe’s debut show, Denton and Me, at the Arches on 24 and 25 February. Based partly on the life of artist and writer Denton Welch, the play weaves Welch’s 1940s diaries with Rowe’s own autobiography, combining in a touching, comedic reflection on loneliness and longing.
Discover (or rediscover) works of LGBT cinema with the Scottish Queer International Film Festival in Inverness. Known as SQUIFF, the festival brings special screenings to Eden Court Theatre, including Stephen Frears’ classic My Beautiful Laundrette on 15 February. While you’re at Eden Court, make sure to check out the exhibition on Highland LGBT Lives, on display at the theatre throughout the month of February.
Horse McDonald is the ‘mane’ event at LGBT History Month in South Lanarkshire! The Fife-born singer-songwriter is offering a range of exclusive workshops at Lanark Memorial Hall and Hamilton Town House, with tips on songwriting, practising, performing and recording for budding young musicians aged 12 and up. No experience necessary – just bring your instrument, a laptop, a phone or notepad and pen and get writing!
Click here for full dates and times. If you’d rather leave the performing to the pros, catch Horse in concert at Lanark Memorial Hall on 13 March.
Saints LGBT and Amnesty International welcome Ireland’s premier drag queen and gay rights activist, the inimitable Panti Bliss, to St Andrews on 12 February. Having recently notched up 700,000 YouTube views and the support of celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Madonna for a moving speech at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, Panti will lead a discussion on her life and dedication to LGBT and human rights.
Discover more events around Scotland at LGBTHistory.org.uk or download the full events listings for more information. Make sure to also take a look at visitscotland.com/LGBT, where you’ll find info on more events around Scotland plus other tips and things to see and do.