Thursday, 26 November 2015

History Month Launch

Tonight sees the official launch of the UK’s LGBT History Month 2016. It takes place in the hallowed surroundings of Queen’s College, Cambridge. The chosen theme for 2016 is “Religion, Belief and Philosophy”. It’s a subject which gets many people hot under the collar and it may not appeal to many in the lgbt community, but no matter what religious beliefs or philosophy you believe in (or not) there is no doubt that the lgbt community has been shaped by it, and religion, belief and philosophy have been shaped by members of the lgbt community.

As before with the theme for the UK LGBT History Month I intend to run a whole series on articles on this blog on the subject throughout 2016. The title I’ve chosen for these articles is “Believe It Or Not…” To whet your appetite, and to illustrate the massive range that the theme covers, I hope to include articles on subjects ranging from astrology to atheism, Christian homophobia to lgbt churches, Wicca to Utopia, and ancient Babylon to outer space.
Back to tonight’s launch at Queen’s College. The city of Cambridge has a rich lgbt heritage, largely due to the university.

Below is a list of colleges at Cambridge University and I have selected one lgbt alumnus from each. I haven’t been able to identify alumni from all the colleges.

Christ’s College – Sir John Finch (1626-1682), ambassador.

Churchill College – Rev. Diarmaid MacCulloch, Kt. (b.1951), historian.

Clare College – Kwame Anthony Appiah (b.1954), philosopher.

Corpus Christi College – Christopher Marlowe (d.1593), writer and spy.

Downing College – Hamish Henderson (1919-2002), poet.

Emmanuel College – Graham Chapman (1941-1989), member of the Monty Python team.

Fitzwilliam College – Brian Paddick, Lord Paddick (b.1958), ex Metropolitan Police commissioner.

Girton College – Dawn Airey (b.1960), CEO of Getty Images.

Gonville and Caius – Simon Russell Beale (b.1961), actor.

Homerton College – Dame Carol Ann Duffy (b.1955), Poet Laureate.

Jesus College – Philip Hensher (b.1965), novelist and journalist.

King’s College – E. M. Forster (1879-1970), novelist.

Lucy Cavendish College – Sandi Toksvig (b.1958), broadcaster and comedian.

Magdalene College – Prof. Peter Coles (b.1963), cosmologist.

Murray Edwards College – Sue Perkins (b.1969), comedian.

Newnham College – Miriam Margolyes (b.1941), actor.

Pembroke College – Chris Smith, Lord Smith of Finsbury (b.1951), ex Labour minister.

Peterhouse College – Guy Black, Lord Black of Brentwood (b.1964), media mogul.

Queen’s College – Stephen Fry (b.1957), broadcaster and writer.

St. John’s College – Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980), fashion designer and photographer.

St. Catherine’s College – Sir Ian McKellen (b.1939), actor and activist.

Selwyn College – Simon Hughes (b.1951), ex Liberal Democrat MP.

Trinity College – Sir Francis Bacon, Viscount Verulam (1651-1626), statesman, philosopher, scientist.

Trinity Hall – Edward Carpenter (1844-1929), philosopher and socialist poet.

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