The LGBT History Month 2016 Showcase, held in Cambridge at Queens’ College on the evening of Thursday November the 26th was nothing short of a miracle.

Tony Fenwick, CEO of LGBT History Month opened the evening with an explanation of 2016’s theme: Religion, Belief and Philosophy, followed by Sue Sanders telling everyone about the nationwide LGBT History Festival in February and what else to expect in 2016.

Music was provided by Labi Siffre, who movingly expressed his anger at religious doctrine and sang a fantastic version of Something Inside; Mark Jennett, a silky smooth vocalist who sings jazz when he isn’t training teachers or teaching children about equality and diversity; and a recording of a very early religious piece by Benjamin Britten, as presented by Dr Lucy Walker of the Britten-Pears Foundation.

A range of speakers from different religions presented their perspectives. Manjinder Singh Sidhu presented his viral video on coming out to his mum in a Sikh family. He went on to explain how his spirituality got him through a difficult period inhis life when he felt isolated and alone as a South Asian gay man. Robert Brown told us how Nichiren Buddhism helps him make sense of life and his sexual orientation after a childhood in a dour Scottish Presbyterian environment; Surat Shaan Knan busted some Old Testament myths while describing how it’s okay to be a trans man from a liberal Jewish background; and Terry Weldon explained that the top of the Roman Catholic hierarchy was currently going through a homo/transphobic phase while it actually has a history of acceptance of same-sex relationships and gender variance.

The philosophical contribution was provided by Dr Alison Ainley, who spoke of proponents of free thinking: Friedrich Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir and Michel Foucault.

Bobby Tiawni presented two of his marvellous animated films on being young and lesbian or gay as a South Asian on either side of the interval. Actor and LGBT History Month patron Cyril Nri and singer-songwriter Claire Mooney presented the evening showcase and Multifaith Minister Razia Aziz opened and closed with a song and wise words.

The Mayor of Cambridge Robert Dryden, Cambridgeshire Council leader Edward Cearns and Kevin Coutinho and Diane Jeffery of the University Equality Section were given plaques engraved with the text of The Cambridgeshire Equality Pledge. Professor Eilis Ferran of the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law was one of the first to sign it.

CEO Tony Fenwick said: “The showcase rounded off a day of events including lessons for local primary school children and workshops for youth workers, faith workers and librarians. All in all it was a fantastic day and we are indebted to our crew, volunteers and supporters without whom this event would never have got off the planning sheet. They are too numerous to mention here but special thanks are due to Stephen Boyce, Lara Jaffey and Amelia Lee, as well as the National Union of Teachers, Association of Teachers and Lecturers, CHE and Barefoot Wines”.

Article sourced from Fynetimes website.

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