Gay Gordon’s Manchester … Representation on TV … Celebrate Women’s History Month


Gay Gordons Manchester

The Gay Gordons Manchester came to an Out In The City meeting to make a presentation and to demonstrate some dances. Audience participation was encouraged.

They are a group of Scottish Country Dance enthusiasts that felt the Gay Community in Greater Manchester could benefit from something new and different.

It is a great way to exercise, to meet new people and to learn a new skill. It is open to everyone – from complete beginners to the more advanced dancer. The only stipulation is that you are LGBT+ friendly and are willing to dance.

The main dance classes are held in the upstairs bar of The Thompsons Arms, 23 Sackville Street, Manchester starting at 7.45pm every Monday (except Bank Holidays).

A drink around the Gay Village usually follows classes, although not compulsory!!

For more information, please see their website.

Brits believe there are too many LGBT+ people and minorities on TV, alarming survey finds

A new YouGov poll has found that close to half the British public believe LGBT+ people and ethnic minorities are over-represented on TV.

The survey, of 1,000 people found that 44 per cent of the public believe LGBT+ representation on TV did not reflect an accurate view of the UK population.

It also found that 45 per cent of the public felt similarly about ethnic minorities, while only 26 per cent thought they were under-represented.

Shows such as The Last of Us, The White Lotus, Heartstopper and Euphoria have been huge hits in recent years, and all have been praised for their representation of LGBT+ people.

Census data for England and Wales published on 6 January 2023 revealed that at least 1.5 million people (3.2 per cent) identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

It also found that 262,000 (0.5 per cent) identify with a gender identity different from the sex they were assigned at birth.

Additionally, 18.3 per cent of people in England and Wales see themselves as coming from an ethnic minority.

The YouGov figures show a striking difference compared with surveys in other countries, with France finding that only 19 per cent of its population believed ethnic minorities to be over-represented.

The UK also has a higher percentage of citizens than Italy, France, Spain, Chile and Australia who believe LGBT+ people are over-represented on TV screens. Meanwhile, the survey suggests almost 60 per cent of Britons believe people classified as obese are under-represented in media, while almost half think disabled people are not seen enough on telly.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Women Who Paved the Way

The roots of Women’s History Month traces its beginning back to the first International Women’s Day in 1911.

For Women’s History Month, we celebrate the accomplishments of women who moved the needle forward for generations to come through their activism, grit, and in many cases by just being unapologetically themselves in the face of sexism and anti-LGBT+ oppression.

These people all helped push toward wider acceptance of LGBT+ people through their contributions to their fields of expertise and through their legacies.

Sally Ride

Astronaut Sally Ride

A physicist and astronaut, Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. As a physics student at Stanford, Ride answered a newspaper ad for female astronauts and became one of six women picked. She flew on the space shuttle in 1983 and in 1984, controlling the robotic arm, the tool that places satellites in space.

After she left NASA, Ride taught at the University of California, San Diego. Upon her death in 2012, her obituary revealed that she had been in a relationship with a woman, Tam O’Shaughnessy, for 27 years.

Toto Koopman

Model, Spy, and Arts Patron Toto Koopman

Born to Indonesian and Dutch parents in 1908, Toto Koopman flew in the face of racist attitudes of the time, embracing her mixed race heritage. The earliest known Vogue cover model, Koopman, who was bisexual, was also an in-house model for Coco Chanel. During World War II she fell in love with a man in the Italian Resistance and helped to carry out espionage missions. Following the war, she met German-born art dealer Erica Brausen. The pair would spend the rest of their lives together. They opened the Hanover Gallery in London, where they showed the work of Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Marcel Duchamp, and Henry Moore.

Later in life, Koopman became an archaeologist and went out on several digs.

She died in 1991, having lived a long, rich life.

Lorraine Hansberry

Playwright Lorraine Hansberry

While Lorraine Hansberry is best known for her critically acclaimed play A Raisin in the Sun, she was also an activist and a writer who contributed to early publications including the lesbian-oriented The Ladder and the gay magazine One. She often tackled the intersection of feminism and LGBT rights, long before many thought to.

She was married to Robert Nemiroff, a marriage that was rumoured to be mostly platonic, but she had affairs with women.

She died of pancreatic cancer when she was just 34.

Winaretta Singer

Philanthropist and Arts Patron Winaretta Singer

Heiress to the Singer sewing machine empire, Winaretta Singer was a lifelong patron of the arts who hosted a salon in Paris from the late 1800s up through 1939, hosting artists including Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, Cole Porter, Kurt Weill, Isadora Duncan, Colette, Claude Monet, Jean Cocteau, and Marcel Proust.

Beyond helping to fund the arts with donations to the Paris opera and symphony, she partnered with Marie Curie to send mobile radiology units — in limousines — to the front during World War I.

Singer was married twice to men, once to a European aristocrat with whom she did not consummate the marriage, and again to a prince, Edmond de Polignac, who was reportedly gay. Among her female lovers were painter Romaine Brooks, novelist Violet Trefusis, and composer-conductor Ethyl Smith.

She died in 1943.

Lorena Hickok

Journalist Lorena Hickok

While Lorena Hickok was a renowned journalist of her time, she’s likely best known for her proximity to Eleanor Roosevelt. Wisconsin-born, she began her work as a journalist at her small hometown paper but soon moved up and around, taking a job as society editor for the Milwaukee Sentinel before finding a foothold at the Minneapolis Tribune, where she wrote about sports and politics.

She joined the Associated Press in 1928, but she quit that job five years later when her friendship with Roosevelt had become so close that she felt she could no longer report about President Franklin D Roosevelt and the first lady objectively. In 1940, Hickok was named executive secretary of the Democratic National Committee, and she moved into the White House. Over the years, Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt exchanged many ardent letters.

She died in 1968.

Edythe Eyde

Journalist Edythe Eyde

Also known as Lisa Ben (anagram of Lesbian), Edythe Eyde founded Vice Versa, the first lesbian publication in the US. A secretary at RKO studios in the late ’40s, Eyde produced Vice Versa secretly at work and made copies with carbon paper. She only managed to produce nine issues of the publication, but she joined the lesbian organisation Daughters of Bilitis and contributed to its publication The Ladder as Lisa Ben. Her contribution to LGBT journalism lives on with the Lisa Ben Award for Achievement in Features Coverage from NLGJA, the Association of LGBT+ Journalists.

Born in 1921, Eyde died in 2015.

Florence Nightingale

Nurse Florence Nightingale

Likely the most famous nurse in all of history, Florence Nightingale was working as a nurse in London when she learned of deplorable conditions sick soldiers faced during the Crimean War in the 1850s. At the behest of Secretary of War Sidney Herbert, Nightingale was tasked with forming a team of nurses to help tend to the soldiers in Crimea. She pulled together a team of nearly 40 nurses and set off to Scutari, where she helped vastly improve the sanitary conditions of the infirmary there.

With money bestowed upon her for her heroism during the Crimean War by Queen Victoria, Nightingale founded St Thomas’ Hospital and the Nightingale Training School for Nurses.

Having contracted a bacterial infection while in Crimea, by age 38, Nightingale was primarily confined to her home, if not her bed.

Nightingale never married, but she was reportedly completely devoted to various women in her life, including her cousin Marianne Nicholson, about whom she wrote, “I have never loved but one person with passion in my life, and that was her,” according to the book Superstars: Twelve Lesbians Who Changed the World.

Babe Didrikson

Athlete and Professional Golfer Babe Didrikson

Mildred Didrikson, better known as Babe, was a renowned athlete in sports including basketball, track, softball, and tennis. At the 1932 Olympics, she broke records in the javelin, the 80-metre hurdles, and the high jump, earning her two gold medals and a silver.

She later began to focus on professional golf, becoming the first woman to compete in the PGA tournament. She went on to win 14 golf tournaments in 1946 and 1947 and became a founder of the LPGA.

Didrikson married wrestler George Zaharias in 1938. She became very close with and was rumoured to be in a relationship with fellow golfer Betty Dodd. At 45, she died of colon cancer.

Barbara Jordan

Politician Barbara Jordan

There were plenty of firsts with Barbara Jordan, an attorney who’s best known for being the first African-American to be elected to the US House of Representatives from Texas and the first post-Reconstruction African-American state senator.

Another first for Jordan include being the first woman and the first African-American to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention. She authored the first successful minimum wage bill in Texas and she served as Governor for the Day in 1972, becoming the first African-American woman to serve as the chief executive of any of the states. In 1979 she moved away from politics and became a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. President Bill Clinton awarded her the Medal of Freedom in 1994. Two years later Jordan died, and it was revealed in her obituary that she had been in a more than 20-year relationship with her partner, Nancy Earl.

Rainbow LGBT

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