Heritage Open Days: 10-19 Sept. 2021 - what did you discover?!

Highlighting LGBTQ heritage

Celebrating heritage means celebrating all our stories, including those which have been left unsung…

Leeds Pride taken by Terry George© Terry George - Leeds Pride

2017 marks an important year in LGBTQ history- 50 years ago the partial decriminalization of male homosexuality was passed. This year Heritage Open Days is running with the National Trust’s ‘Prejudice and Pride’ programme to celebrate LGBTQ heritage across the country. Working with local artists, Heritage Open Days have arranged four Arts Projects to celebrate the ‘Unsung Stories’ of queer heritage. Alongside this, organizers from around the country have arranged events to embrace, represent and share stories from their LGBTQ local communities.  Below are some of these highlights to get you excited to explore the heritage of the LGBTQ community!

‘Criminal Minds’

How have things changed for LGBTQ people since 1967? Leeds City Museum asks this question and wonders how gay/bisexual women and transgender groups were affected by criminalisation. Led by Jude Woods, with talks, discussions and stories from local LGBTQ people, this event promises to celebrate the unsung stories of West Yorkshire.

Leeds City Museum where discussions about gay/bisexual women and trans groups in local history will be given. (Credit to Michael Taylor).

LGBT Theatre

The arts have long been a place where LGBTQ people have felt accepted, embraced and been able to share their history. Theatre Royal, Norwich will host events, talks and workshops all based around LGBTQ heritage. From an exhibition of local art, to a free performance capturing personal experiences of those in Norfolk (pre-booking required!), the theatre offers exciting celebrations of LGBTQ history within the arts for you to explore.

LGBT- Voices 

Portrait of Anne Lister by Joshua Horner. Find out more about this remarkable lady, known as the first modern lesbian, at Shibden Hall.


The LGBT Centre in Leicester has been supporting the queer community for 40 years! Their Oral History Project will run throughout the festival, involving a drop in exhibition capturing personal histories, memories and experiences. LGBTQ voices are sure to be heard, culture will be shared and songs will be sung to celebrate the diverse nature of local heritage.

Shibden Hall

Who was the first modern lesbian? Exploring Shibden Hall will reveal the remarkable story of Anne Lister who lived there throughout her life. One of Halifax's best known LGBTQ figures of the past, Anne's life as a business woman, landowner, traveller and mountaineer, and her secret diaries can be explored in a wonderful guided tour. 

Find out more…