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Tower Hamlets celebrates LGBT History Month

February is officially LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) History Month and Tower Hamlets will be celebrating with a number of exciting free events for people of all ages and backgrounds.

The celebrations are funded by Tower Hamlets Council and kick off at a launch event at The Reach Community Hub, Poplar on Wednesday 5 February, 6 – 9pm. The event includes a 7pm performance of ‘This is who I am’ by Ice & Fire, which features stories of LGBT+ asylum seekers. Doors open at 6pm with information stalls, HIV and STI testing, refreshments and networking.

The event includes a special question and answer panel discussion with representatives from the Peter Tatchell and Bisi Alimi Foundations, UKLGIG (UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group) and Galop.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “Once again we have an exciting free programme for everyone to enjoy as we celebrate LGBT History Month. We remember the struggle for equal rights, which I’m pleased to say has seen great progress in my lifetime but we must continue to fight discrimination in all its forms. There are events and activities for people of all ages and backgrounds and I hope that many local people will take up the opportunity to celebrate this important month in Tower Hamlets.”

The second event is a free screening of five short films celebrating LBTQ older women in front of and behind the camera at Positive Easton Tuesday 11 February, 6 – 8pm. The event includes a question and answer session with the Director of WOFFF (Women over 50 Film Festival), Nuala O’Sullivan, and is open to all. For more information and to sign up for the screenings visit the Eventbrite website.

Poplar Union is also hosting a Rainbow Family Fun Day on Sunday 16 February, 11am – 3.30pm. Aimed at all Tower Hamlets families with children, the day starts with arts and crafts, face painting, games and storytelling. A free screening of Gnomeo and Juliet at 2pm wraps the day up. Residents can email events@elop.org with any questions.

Councillor Asma Begum, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Equalities, said: “Tower Hamlets has a long and proud history as a place where people from all backgrounds come to live, work, study and visit. Our LGBT+ community play an enormous role in making our borough a place which celebrates our diversity.”

The history month’s events come to a close with an LGBT History Month Quiz back at Positive East on Thursday 27 February, 6 – 8pm. Visitors can come alone or with a team. There will be refreshments and a chance to socialise, meet new people and to find out about support services available in the borough.