Exeter LGBTHM – Day 1

Today in Exeter we had the launch event. This is the one that I was more nervous about because most of the audience would not be there to hear me, they’d be there mainly for a bunch of gay men (and in particular local MP, Ben Bradshaw, who is the first openly gay man to have been elected to the UK Parliament).

As it turned out, it all went very well. Jana Funke and Jen Grove, who are running the event, have done a fantastic job. Everything ran pretty much like clockwork. The staff at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum were very helpful, and they even laid on a bunch of guys in Roman legionary outfits just for me. (Good job this wasn’t the talk about castration in Rome.) It was, as ever, an honor to share a platform with Noorulan Shahid who is doing a magnificent job in the NUS for both trans and Muslim students.

One minor piece of nit-pickery. When you are doing an LGBT event, please don’t begin your speech with “ladies and gentlemen”. Other genders do exist. I’d asked Jana and Jen to warn the speakers about this, and I know they did, but two of them still got it wrong.

Special thanks for the support go to Surat-Shaan Knan, to my pal Emma Hutson who drove down from Sheffield for the weekend, and to Emma’s friend Sonnie who is putting her up and acted as local guide. Emma is doing a PhD on fiction by transgender writers and is therefore the most awesome person in the universe.

At some point I will post the speech, but not now because I need sleep.

Tomorrow I get to talk about trans people from Mesopotamia and Rome.

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