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20 February 2023 - 20 February 2023

6:30PM - 7:30PM


  • Free

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An illustrated talk by Stephen Bourne

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Photo credit: Alan J. Robertson

For LGBT+ History Month, historian Stephen Bourne will give an engaging, informative and sometimes humorous illustrated talk about his acclaimed book Fighting Proud, in which he explored the lives of gay men in battle and on the home front in the Second World War. Among those highlighted will be the heroic Battle of Britain fighter pilot Ian Gleed; prisoner of war Dudley Cave; Police Sergeant Harry Daley a policeman who served during the London Blitz; and Ken 'Snakehips' Johnson, the popular bandleader who was tragically killed in an air raid in 1941.

He has also been writing Black British history books since 1991 for which the Booker Prize winner Bernardine Evaristo has named Stephen a ‘hero of our history.’ For more information about Stephen go to

Short summaries of books: 

Brief Encounters (Bloomsbury, 1996) 

Prejudice and misconception mean that lesbian and gay representation in British cinema has largely escaped the attention of critics and historians. Informative and entertaining, Brief Encounters reveals a cinema more varied, vital and sensuous than we could ever have imagined. 


Fighting Proud (Bloomsbury, 2017) 

In this astonishing new history of wartime Britain, Stephen Bourne unearths the fascinating stories of the gay men who served in the armed forces and at home, and brings to light the great unheralded contribution they made to the war effort.  


Playing Gay in the Golden Age of British Television (The History Press, 2019) 

Playing Gay looks at gay male representation on and off the small screen – from the programmes that hinted at homoeroticism to Mary Whitehouse’s Clean Up TV campaign, and The Naked Civil Servant to the birth of Channel 4 as an exciting ‘alternative’ television channel. ‘Brilliantly researched and focused’, says Lord Michael Cashman CBE.