Exeter LGBTHM – Day 2

I slept until 9:00am this morning, which I guess shows that I was tired. Of course that meant having to grab breakfast from a coffee shop on my way to the Phoenix for today’s talks. Sorry, I am an embarrassment.

I really enjoyed Michael Halls’ talk about Intercom Trust because of how he made a point of building a network. He said that it was a policy of the Trust never to compete with other LGBT+ organisations in the region for funds or volunteers, and only to work with those organisations that did the same. That sounds like a good way of fighting back against a government determined to make us all fight among ourselves for an ever-decreasing offering of scraps.

John Vincent on LGBT+ and public libraries was rather sad because libraries are in severe danger of extinction.

Shaan’s talk was mostly stuff I had heard before, but I was expecting him to put me on the spot about the Twilight People app and he duly did so. Fingers crossed I’ll have something available for the end of March.

Huge props to my friend Robert Howes for including in his talk the cover of a fanzine produced by a Brazilian cross-dressing club in 1968. He also had pictures of the Revealing Stories exhibition, and of the Bath Orlando vigil featuring the fabulous Ceri Jenkins.

For me the highlight of the weekend was Caroline Paige, the first person to transition in the RAF. I had no idea that there was a trans woman flying helicopters in Bosnia and Afghanistan. Way to go, Caz, you showed them! When I think about what she had to put up with, my own transition was a piece of cake.

The keynote speaker at the end of the day was Diana Souhami who has written many biographies of lesbians. She talked a lot about the large and very influential community of upper class lesbians who lived in Paris at the start of the 20th Century. I wish Bea Hitchman had been there, she would have loved it.

My own talk went well, for which thanks to Ishtar/Cybele/Isis for Her support.

Finally huge congratulations to Jana Funke and Jen Grove for a job well done. I was particularly pleased with the large number of young people who attended.

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