Never going underground

NEVER GOING UNDERGROUND: the fight for LGBT+ rights

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts in England and Wales (1967 Sexual Offences Act). The events that took place before and after this form a major exhibition at the People’s History Museum in Manchester (opening 25 February 2017); charting from 1967 when it was illegal for men to have sex together, lesbianism was condemned as sinful or seen as a medical misfortune, and trans rights were non-existent to 50 years later when LGBT+ legal protection and equality is almost UK-wide.

Never Going Underground takes its name from the campaigning and protesting against Section 28, an infamous piece of legislation that forbade the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ and which saw the UK’s largest ever gathering for LGBT+ rights in Manchester in 1988.  The exhibition is the culmination of almost two years of intensive work to present the political and legal fight for LGBT+ rights, past, present and future. Spanning a full season the programme will include exhibitions, events, talks, community projects and a schools learning programme; it will discuss, explore and navigate the LGBT+ movement showing the struggles and the social and historical context of decades of activism.

The lead exhibition is being curated by a group of 11 volunteer Community Curators, who have been appointed by the People’s History Museum, who have gathered materials and memories to creatively inspire their vision for how the anniversary is marked and how this significant chapter of LGBT+ history is told.

Catherine O’Donnell from the People’s History Museum, says, “Never Going Underground isn’t just about a moment in history, it’s about the activism, campaigning, people’s stories, past and current issues facing the LGBT+ community.  Manchester itself is a huge part of this story and, as the home of ideas worth fighting for, we are hugely excited about the plans we have in place to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Act.”

Four partners are working with the People’s History Museum on Never Going Underground: The Proud Trust, LGBT Foundation, Proud 2b Parents and Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus.  The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

25 February 2017 to 3 September 2017 @PHMMcr #NGU2017

For further information on the People’s History Museum visit 


story published on  Fri, 25 Nov 2016