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Desire, Love, Identity: Exploring LGBTQ Histories


  • Bolton Library & Museum Services Le Mans Crescent Bolton, England, BL1 United Kingdom (map)
Desire_love_badges_624.jpg

This 2017 display offered glimpses into LGBTQ histories, experiences and lives by examining objects from around the world, covering ancient civilisations right up to today. The display was programmed to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act, a law that partially decriminalised homosexuality in England and Wales.

The British Museum have recently developed a touring version of Desire, love, identity: exploring LGBTQ histories. This exhibition will visit four venues, including Bolton Library & Museum Service.

The British Museum has longstanding relationships with LGBTQ organisations, and the expertise and experience of individuals within these groups helped shape the content of this display. The show was part of a season looking at LGBTQ histories which included a display of David Hockney’s etchings based on Cavafy’s poems in Room 90a.

Friday 15 March to Sunday 26 May  

Same-sex love, desire and gender diversity are an integral part of human experience. The way they have been expressed culturally has varied widely globally and over time.

Based upon Professor Richard Parkinson’s award-winning book, ‘A Little Gay History,’ this exhibition offers glimpses into the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer/Questioning) experience through the British Museum’s collection.

This exhibition also showcases Bolton’s LGBTQ history, personal stories and is the only Northern venue to host this touring collection from the  British Museum.

Join us at the following events to celebrate this exhibition: 

Lecture - Hadrian and Antinous 

Sat 4 May, 2 to 3pm

Free to attend lecture on Hadrian & Antinous with John J Johnston

Museum Monologues

Sat 11 May, 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm

Mon 13 May, 3pm

Thurs 16 May, 3pm, 5pm and 6pm

Fri 17 May, 12pm and 3pm

Sat 18 and 25 May, 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm

Actors will bring to life influential LGBTQ people and supporters from the past and present.

Matt Cain in conversation with James Edgington

Thurs 16 May, 7pm

Find out more about Matt’s coming of age, feel good book,  ‘The Madonna of Bolton,’ which was published last summer.

Magic and Sparkle Day

Sat 18 May, 11am to 4pm

Celebrate International Day Against Homophobia at Bolton Museum. Try your voice in a choir workshop. Get creative making badges and placards and chat with our Art Therapist. There will be Drag King storytelling sessions and lots of brilliant craft activities to take part in too.

Later Event: March 15
Play Dating (Gay Night)