Here at GFF we celebrate all inclusivity all year round, but this month is about the history that we don’t get told about.
Manchester is a big part of the LGBTQ+ history in the UK, and as it’s our GFF home, we wanted to share some Manchester LGBTQ+ History!
1940: The Union pub (now known as the New Union), plays host to drag shows during WW2 ( come through Manchester drag!)
1952: Alan Turing, who played a huge part in the success of WW2, was prosecuted for being gay
1964: The first meeting of the North West Homosexual Law Reform Committee is held in Manchester, which led to the Campaign for Homosexual Equality in 1969
1973: The Manchester Gay Alliance is formed by the Uni’s Lesbian & Gay society, CHE, a lesbian and a trans group
1975: The Manchester Gay Switchboard is open to provide support to its callers. And in 1978 it is provided with the first council grant.
1984: Manchester City Council forms the Equal Opportunities Committee and in 1985 we have our first Manchester Pride!
1986: Europe’s first purpose built Gay Centre is built in Manchester – you can still find this centre today on Sidney Street
1987: Not all Manchester history was progressive and 1987 saw the GMP launch the Operation Spanner investigation in same sex sadomasochism. But this wasn’t going to hold the Mancs back and in 1988 a HUGE anti-section 28 protest is held in Manchester where over 20,00 take to the streets to be herd.
1990: Manto opens the first bar to be open and proud, with huge glass windows for all to see the fabulousness inside.
1995: The UK's first conference on policing LGBT communities "Police and Diversity: An Agenda for Change" is hosted by the Greater Manchester Lesbian and Gay Policing Initiative at Manchester Town Hall, attracting approximately 350 delegates.
1998: Once again, even though we have turned a corner, there is another block and the Bolton 7 are convicted of gross indecency. But 88’ wasn’t all bad news as the first gay and inclusive Rugby Union team the Manchester Village Spartans is formed.
1999: Queer as Folk, a drama based on Manchester gay scene is broadcast. It is watched all over the world and even has an American remake
The 2000’s saw The Lesbian & Gay Foundation formed, Mardi Gras beating the GMP & attracting 1000,00 visitors, Europride is held in Manchester, The first Sparkle weekend for the trans community, Gaydio makes its first broadcast and Carl Austin-Behan becomes the first openly Gay Lord Mayor of Manchester.
Manchester is forever an evolving city, and as such its where our GFF Founder Damian Kutryb knew he had found the perfect place to set up an all-inclusive Gay Friendly Fitness Dance Studio (how many of you knew what GFF stands for?).
But as the past has shown us, there are still some the cannot accept that love is love, and so there is much more that can be done to spread the message. So please read up on your history, fight the good fight & help out those who only want to love who they love.
Love from your GFF Family
Here are some Manchester/UK Charities to support: