“It’s a hugely important insight into LGBTQ+ history that’ll leave you both enlightened and angry”
BY ELEANOR NOYCE
The great milestones made by the LGBTQI+ community with regards to equality and acceptance mean that, more often than not, queer history is left by the wayside.
Despite movements by the contemporary government towards a more inclusive sex education, queer histories and queer narratives are often systematically written out of the picture.
I decided to take my mother to Bird’s performance which was, undoubtedly, a fantastic decision.
My mother laughed her head off at jokes about the methodologies of “oral” and “probing”, and a great time was had by all.
One of the main aims of the Queer People’s History Show, is to create a show which is both educational and accessible: all venues are wheelchair accessible and every performance provides captions and audio descriptions.
Now, how’s that for accessibility?
Bird La Bird‘s Queer People’s History Tour is doubly brilliant in that, first, it ensures that queer histories are not forgotten, and secondly, it creates an educational space which is both diverse and inclusive.
In a 70-minute talk, the brilliantly charismatic Bird opens the door of LGBTQI+ history wide open, accompanied by the voice of Silent Witness‘s “lezzy” Liz Carr (Liz actually identifies as bisexual, but noted that the opportunity for alliteration couldn’t be missed).
The performance covers a myriad of historical topics which even the queer eye might have previously ignored: I myself being an avid reader of LGBTQI+ history found that my eyes were opened far wider than they ever had been before.
Bird’s detailed research on the treatment of LGBTQI+ prisoners at Millbank Prison – formerly located at the present-day site of the Tate Britain – was particularly brilliant.
Bird’s performance was an amalgamation of comedy, education and sadness. Delving into areas of history largely ignored by mainstream historians and adding a personal touch by exploring the lives of individual LGBTQI+ prisoners, particularly those of the working class and queer people of colour.
The Queer People’s History Show is a hugely important insight into LGBTQI+ history that’ll leave you both enlightened and angry – catch it while you can.
Bird La Bird’s Queer People’s History Show is going on tour in February 2019, visiting Leeds, Hastings, and Brighton. For dates and tickets click here.
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