LGBT+ Extra Care Housing Scheme … Voter ID … Celebrate Women’s History Month (Part 2)


LGBT+ Extra Care Housing Scheme

In 2013, Manchester City Council commissioned research through LGBT Foundation that indicated higher levels of loneliness and isolation amongst LGBT older people, and a lack of specific affordable accommodation where they can be open about their identity later in life.

The first purpose-built Extra Care scheme for LGBT+ people in the UK was first announced in 2017.

LGBT Foundation and Manchester City Council are really pleased to announce that Manchester City Council’s Housing Board has given approval to open formal negotiations with Great Places as the preferred provider to deliver the LGBT+ majority extra care scheme on Russell Road in Whalley Range. 

We expect a 100 to 110 apartment complex, with a variety of amenities including a restaurant, which will aim to have a majority of LGBT+ residents. 

The scheme is to be built on the former Spire Hospital site on Russell Road. Credit: via BCEG

Great Places has a long track record of delivering specialist and affordable housing, both in Manchester and across Greater Manchester and the North West. They already have five extra care schemes.

Helen Spencer, Executive Director of Growth at Great Places, has said: “We are very delighted to be working with the Community Steering Group on this exciting new scheme and look forward to sharing the experience of co-producing this innovative project. We look forward to the first meeting and getting going.” 

Local Elections

The local elections are on 4 May 2023.

You must be registered in order to vote in the Local Elections.

If you are not already registered, make sure you register by 17 April 2023 – visit in order to make sure your voice is heard.

Voter ID

This year voter ID is required, and there are concerns that some older people may be unable to vote, or may be put off voting because of this. It is important that a wide range of voices are heard in these difficult times.

Accepted Voter ID includes: 

  • Passport 
  • Provisional or full UK driving licence
  • A Blue Badge
  • Older or Disabled Person’s Bus Pass funded by the UK government
  • Identity card bearing the Proof of Age Standards Scheme hologram (a PASS card).

For anyone who does not have any of these they can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate – the deadline is the 25 April 2023. If you are not sure if you have eligible Voter ID, pop into your local library. The staff can check your ID and help you to apply online for free voter ID if you need it.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with Women Who Paved the Way (Part 2)

Towards the end of Women’s History Month, we celebrate the accomplishments of some more women who all helped push toward wider acceptance of LGBT+ people through their contributions and through their legacies.

Louise Lawrence

Building Manager, Artist and Activist Louise Lawrence

A building manager by trade in San Francisco in the 1940s, Louise Lawrence, a trans woman, was also an artist and activist who helped build a correspondence network for trans people that became the basis for the Transvestia magazine subscription list.

Lawrence also corresponded with Dr Alfred Kinsey, introducing him to trans people for his studies.

She also lived with her female partner for many years before she died at 63.

Eleanor Roosevelt

First Lady and Diplomat Eleanor Roosevelt

The longest-serving first lady in history, Eleanor Roosevelt worked to change the position during her husband Franklin D Roosevelt’s four terms in office. A politician and diplomat, as first lady, she performed the duty of playing hostess but also held press conferences and delivered radio addresses and lectures.

After Franklin’s death in 1945, Roosevelt waited about a year before becoming the American spokesperson for the United Nations and carried on with her career until her death in 1962.

The first lady met AP journalist Lorena Hickok in the ’30s and the pair maintained an ardent relationship for several years and over many love letters.

“Hick darling, All day I’ve thought of you & another birthday [when] I will be with you, & yet to-night you sounded so far away & formal, oh! I want to put my arms around you, I ache to hold you close. Your ring is a great comfort, I look at it & think she does love me, or I wouldn’t be wearing it!” Roosevelt wrote to Hickok in 1933.

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Poet, Diarist and Teacher Alice Dunbar-Nelson

A poet and diarist, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, born in New Orleans in 1875 to mixed-race parents, often addressed her African-American, Native American, and Creole heritage in her work. She began her career as a teacher but published her first book, Violets and Other Tales, in 1895, when she was just 20.

Dunbar-Nelson married three men throughout her life, but her affairs with women were documented in her diaries. Later in life she returned to teaching and began a relationship with her school’s principal, Edwina Kruse.

Nancy Kulp

Actress and Politician Nancy Kulp

Fans of The Beverly Hillbillies will remember Kulp best as the staid banker’s secretary Miss Jane Hathaway (an early crush for many a budding lesbian back in the day), but she was a character actress with a long career that extended into the era of The Love Boat and Fantasy Island. A journalism student in college, Kulp was a publicist for a time before she became an actress. Later in life, she tried her hand at politics, with an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1984. She was a Democrat running against a Republican in a heavily Republican district. That was not her swan song, however. She became an acting teacher at a Pennsylvania college.

Regarding her sexual orientation, Kulp told writer Boze Hadleigh, “As long as you reproduce my reply word for word, and the question, you may use it,” she said. “I’d appreciate it if you’d let me phrase the question. There is more than one way. Here’s how I would ask it: ‘Do you think that opposites attract?’ My own reply would be that I’m the other sort — I find that birds of a feather flock together. That answers your question.”

She died in 1991.

Margaret Mead

Anthropologist Margaret Mead

Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead is renowned for her book Coming of Age in Samoa (1928), in which she researched adolescent girls in Samoa. Mead was also famous for fieldwork in New Guinea, where she studied children and gender throughout the years. Some of that work is found in her book Growing Up in New Guinea.

When her work in the South Pacific was cut short because of World War II, Mead and her former professor at Columbia University, Ruth Benedict, founded the Institute for Intercultural Studies. Mead worked with the American Museum of Natural History for several years, and she authored or co-authored more than 20 books.

Mead married three times, but she spent the last part of her life with anthropologist Rhoda Metraux. The women were together from the mid-1950s until Mead’s death in 1978.

Mercedes De Acosta

Writer and Costume Designer Mercedes De Acosta

Infamous for her affairs with women, including Greta Garbo, Alla Nazimova, Marlene Dietrich, and Isadora Duncan, De Acosta was a poet, playwright, screenwriter, novelist, and costume designer. Born in New York City in 1893, the youngest of eight siblings, she dressed in male clothing for much of her life, including as a child.

In the 1930s she moved to Hollywood, where she and Garbo began their epic affair. De Acosta published her autobiography, Here Lies the Heart, in 1960.

She died in 1968.

Gladys Bentley

Blues Singer Gladys Bentley

An out and proud, tuxedo-sporting blues singer, Gladys Bentley was one of the toasts of the Harlem Renaissance. Born in Philadelphia, Bentley found a measure of acceptance in the open, artistic environment in Harlem at age 16. She performed at clubs where she often improvised lyrics and flirted with women in the audience. At the close of the Renaissance in the late 1930s she moved to Los Angeles, where she continued to perform in gay clubs.

“From the time I can remember anything, I never wanted a man to touch me. … Soon I began to feel more comfortable in boys’ clothes than in dresses,” Bentley once told Ebony magazine.

She died of the flu at age 53 in 1960.

Dorothy Arzner

Director Dorothy Arzner

One of the few female directors in early Hollywood, Dorothy Arzner was also a pants-clad lesbian iconoclast who reportedly had affairs with women including Joan Crawford.

After driving an ambulance for a time in World War I, Arzner worked in Hollywood beginning as a script typist and becoming an editor.

Having successfully made the shift from the silent era to talkie films, Arzner directed her best-known work with Christopher Strong, which starred Katharine Hepburn as a no-nonsense British aviatrix. She worked with Crawford on the films The Bride Wore Red and The Last of Mrs Cheyney.

Following World War II, Arzner moved away from feature films and concentrated more on television and theatre. She also taught film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and at Pasadena City College. She died in 1979.

Christine Jorgensen

Nightclub Performer, Lecturer and Author Christine Jorgensen

Born in 1926, Christine Jorgensen unwittingly became famous as one of the first women to undergo gender-confirmation surgery. A native New Yorker, Jorgensen showed an early interest in photography, taking classes at the New York Institute of Photography before being drafted into the military in 1945.

Upon her release from the military, Jorgensen sought confirmation surgery in Denmark in 1950, and while she was still in Copenhagen, she became the subject of many newspaper headlines.

Jorgensen launched a nightclub act upon returning to the US, saying, “I decided if they wanted to see me, they would have to pay for it,” according to The New York Times.

She also became a lecturer and an author. Her autobiography is titled Christine Jorgensen: A Personal Biography.

She died of lung and bladder cancer in 1989.

Josephine Baker

Singer and Nazi Fighter Josephine Baker

Baker was born to a single mother in St Louis in 1906. Impoverished, she went to work as a domestic servant while still a child, and she often suffered sexual abuse by the white men who employed her. She had a couple of early marriages but found her calling as a dancer in vaudeville, in nightclubs, and on Broadway, and she enjoyed love affairs with other female performers. Later, her lovers included the French author Colette and the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Baker went to Paris to perform in the mid-1920s and quickly became a major star with her sensual dances, sultry singing, and barely-there costumes. There was an element of racial stereotyping in the audience response, as white people had a preconceived notion of Black women as wildly sexual. But she did encounter less racism in Europe than she did in the US, and she has been credited with subverting stereotypes.

In the late 1930s, she married Jean Lion, a white Jewish Frenchman, and although the marriage did not last long, she helped him and his relatives flee the Nazis. By then a French citizen, she was a valued member of the anti-Nazi underground during World War II, smuggling documents and assisting in espionage.

After the war, she married Jo Bouillon, another white man – a musician who was gay. While each had relationships with other people, they lived grandly at a chateau in southern France and adopted 12 children from around the world – children Baker called her “rainbow tribe.” Postwar, she also became more involved in antiracism work, and in 1963 she spoke at the Rev Martin Luther King Jr’s March on Washington.

Baker gave her last performance in April 1975 in Paris, then suffered a cerebral haemorrhage the next day and died two days later.

One thought on “LGBT+ Extra Care Housing Scheme … Voter ID … Celebrate Women’s History Month (Part 2)

  1. Dorothy Arzner grew up around famous actors/actresses who went to her fathers restaurant and it was Dorothy who invented the sound boon, initially using a fishing rod!
    She had a 40 year or so relationship with Marion Morgan.
    When she taught film studies, one of her students was Francis Ford Coppola, who went on to direct The Godfather.
    Amazing woman


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