Online event: LGBT+ lives: the 1967 Sexual Offences Act
Over 50 years on from the passing of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act in England and Wales, join this free online event delivered in partnership between the History of Parliament Trust and Dr Justin Bengry, Director of Goldsmiths' Centre for Queer History, to explore the implications of the Act and how it impacted the lives of those affected by it.
Hear from Professor Matt Cook who will discuss what the 1967 Sexual Offences Act meant for the queer community at the time; why it was seen as an irrelevance for some but a blessing by others, and how it led to an increase in prosecutions.
Dr Justin Bengry will be joined by panellists Gregan Crawford and Dr Jane Traies to discuss the restrictions, fears and attitudes felt in the aftermath of the Act and to explore comparisons between those who were directly impacted by it, with those who lived outside of its jurisdiction.
The event is 60 minutes and the last 15 minutes will be available for you to ask questions.
Sign up here.
Justin Bengry is Director of the Centre for Queer History at Goldsmiths, University of London where he also convenes the world's first MA in Queer History. He is a cultural historian specialising in histories of sexualities with particular interests in capitalism, local history, family history and policy surrounding the so-called 'gay pardon'. He is currently part of an international partnership researching LGBTQ+ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and is completing a book on the history of the pink pound.
Matt Cook is Professor of Modern History at Birkbeck, University of London and a cultural historian specializing in the history of sexuality and the history of London in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He has a background in literary and cultural theory and strong interests in cross-disciplinary work and queer, public and community history. He is an editor of History Workshop Journal, sits on the steering committee of the Birkbeck Institute of Gender and Sexuality (BIGS), and was director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre (2009 - 2018).
Gregan Crawford came out in Scotland in 1972 and made contact with the Scottish Minorities Group (SMG). The SMG campaigned for the reform of the law on homosexual offences in Scotland, which was not under the jurisdiction of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. Alongside other members of the group Gregan lobbied MPs, campaigned and raised funds to aid the campaign for law reform; this included his management of regular licensed gay discos in the mid-seventies. Gregan is now a retired a telecommunications engineer and is heavily involved in local politics.
Dr Jane Traies is a writer, researcher and storyteller who uses oral history methods to bring to light the experiences of marginalised lesbian and bisexual women. She is the author of The Lives of Older Lesbians (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) and Now You See Me: lesbian life stories (Tollington Press, 2018). Her most recent book, Free To Be Me (Tollington Press, 2021) features the experiences of lesbian asylum-seekers in the UK. Jane and some of her interviewees have appeared in the short films Now You See Me (Esme Waldron, 2016) and Older Than What? (Steen Starr, 2017).
This is an online event and will be hosted on Microsoft Teams which you can access through web browsers like Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge. Safari is not currently supported. You do not need a Microsoft account to join the event. We will send full details of how to join the event online following registration.