Peter Tatchell – Because We Exist: What’s next for LGBTQIA+ human rights?

May 18, 2021

Because We Exist: what’s next for LGBTQIA+ human rights?

It can be a confusing time to be queer: the UK government has yet to make meaningful action to ban conversion therapy in the UK, President Biden’s executive order allowing transgender female athletes to compete against cisgender women, members of the Tokyo 2020 Human Rights, Labor and Participation Committee have called on Presidency Seiko Hashimoto to pass an anti-discrimination law and Bangladesh welcoming their first transgender TV anchor. There is much to be hopeful for, and much to left to do. In this exclusive keynote speech, LGBTQIA+ campaigner and human rights activist Peter Tatchell will give us his take on the future of LGBTQIA+ human rights, with discussion and questions from the BBC’s LGBTQIA+ correspondent Ben Hunte.

Peter Tatchell has campaigned for LGBT+ freedom for over half a century. He came out and began campaigning in late 1969, inspired by the post-Stonewall gay liberation protests in New York. A pioneer of the London Gay Liberation Front from 1971, his early activism challenged police harassment and gay conversion therapy. He staged the first LGBT+ protest in a communist country, East Germany, in 1973. He was the defeated Labour candidate in the 1983 Bermondsey by-election – one of the most dirty, violent and homophobic elections in Britain in the twentieth century. Later, in 1990, he co-founded the LGBT+ direct action group OutRage! He has outed homophobic bishops, exposed the Nazi war criminal SS Dr Carl Vaernet, and ambushed anti-gay Prime Ministers and sports stars, including John Major and Mike Tyson. He spearheaded the fight for same-sex marriage from 1992 onwards and his sexually-explicit 1994 HIV prevention book, Safer Sexy, helped save lives and end the censorship of sexual imagery. His human rights activism resulted in him being beaten badly by President Mugabe’s bodyguards in Brussels in 2001 and by Russian neo-Nazis in Moscow in 2007. He is currently Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

Ben Hunte is the BBC’s first LGBT Correspondent, reporting on stories surrounding sexuality and gender. He took the top spot of The Guardian and DIVA Magazine’s Pride Power List 2020. He has uncovered how UK universities played a historic role in attempting to ‘convert’ gay men; he has exposed how the government quietly axed LGBT anti-bullying projects in schools; he revealed Poland’s ‘LGBT Free Zones’ and investigated how British LGBT people are still under attack and ‘failed’. Ben’s digital films have been seen by millions, with topics ranging from men feeling ‘too ugly’ to be gay, to racism within the LGBT dating scene, and LGBT Muslims finding their voices on social media. He has been nominated for the British Journalism Awards, Royal Television Society, PinkNews and British LGBT Awards.

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Proudly supported by The Institute of Creative Enterprise at Edge Hill University’s MA in International Creative Enterprise.

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Panel Discussion with Readings

Date: Tuesday 18th May

Time: 7:30pm

Price: £10/£5

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