There is an array of exciting, inspiring and educational events across Portsmouth this February, to celebrate the annual LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and other sexual identities) History Month.

LGBTQ+ History Month celebrates the lives and achievements and promotes awareness of the LGBTQ+ Community. It takes place across the UK and around the world every February.

Portsmouth City Council’s Bookfest is hosting a panel event, LGBTQ+ Identity in Fiction and Poetry, hosted by two authors who write about LGBTQ+ experiences, come together to talk about the representation of aspects of identity in writing. Tickets are on sale now and are £5.

Also, on display at Cosham Library is a collection of books that explore and celebrate those in the LGBTQ+ community, as well as 78 eBooks and eAudiobooks on BorrowBox.

Cllr Chris Attwell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Central Services at Portsmouth City Council, said: “I am so thrilled that there are so many fantastic events occurring this February to celebrate the members of our community who may identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or other. Portsmouth is a diverse and culturally rich city, and we want to celebrate all its people.

“We fly flags to symbolise pride and belonging. Once again, the rainbow pride, transgender, non-binary and pansexual flags, are flying high outside of our civic offices showing how proud we are of the diversity of our city and send a strong message that all are welcome and belong here.”

Cllr Suzy Horton, LGBTQ+ champion said: “This is fantastic show of support to our LGBTQ+ community and is reflective of the inclusive attitude we’re striving for in Portsmouth. We train staff and promote inclusion in schools, aim to recruit foster carers in the LGBTQ+ community and make books available through libraries. We want to build a culture where everyone is comfortable to be themselves without judgement or prejudice.”

At Southsea Cinema & Arts Centre, The Portsmouth Film Society is hosting its ninth Pride LGBT Film Festival at its new home, throughout the month of February. The Festival will be showing a range of films, will have guest speakers, and aims to celebrate and raise awareness of LGBTQ+ History Month.

The Chair of the Portsmouth Film Society, Aysegul Epengin said: “The University of Portsmouth is pleased to be sponsoring the 9th LGBTQ+ Film Festival, as part of LGBTQ+ History Month, which enables our communities to celebrate LGBTQ+ lives in their full diversity.  This year’s LGBTQ+ History Month theme celebrates LGBTQ+ peoples’ contribution to cinema and film from behind the lens- animators, cinematographers, make-up artists, producers, screenwriters and beyond. As you take part in the events we also encourage you to look ‘Behind the Lens’ and listen to LGBTQ+ peoples’ lived experiences.”

List of events:

Tuesday 14 February 6pm
Neptune Frost (2022)
1hr 45min Cert 15 English sub-titles £7
Wednesday 15 Feb 7pm and Sunday 19 Feb 6pm
Call me by Your Name (2017) 132min cert 12+ guest speaker
It’s the summer of 1983, and precocious 17-year-old Elio Perlman is spending the days with his family at their 17th-century villa in Lombardy, Italy. He soon meets Oliver, a handsome doctoral student who’s working as an intern for Elio’s father.  Amid the sun-drenched splendour of their surroundings, Elio and Oliver discover the heady beauty of awakening desire over the course of a summer that will alter their lives forever.

Sunday 19 Feb Sun 3pm
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui (2021) 120min Cert 15
Manu and Maanvi’s passionate love affair comes to a grinding halt after Manu learns of Maanvi’s deeply personal story. Things take a bitter turn when Manu’s family members get involved.

Guest speaker for A Transgender talk: Katie Yeoman

Wednesday 22 Feb – Portsmouth Central Library
LGBTQ+ Identity in Fiction and Poetry
In this panel event, two authors writing about LGBTQ+ experiences come together to talk about the representation of aspects of identity in writing. Miriam Burke’s short-story collection, Women and Love, explores the lives and loves of women of all walks of life, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ experiences and Elizabeth Train-Brown’s poetry collection Salmacis: Becoming Not Quite a Woman explores the concept of gender identity through the lens of myth. 

Wednesday 22 Feb – Portsmouth Central Library
Rurangi (2020)
87min cert 15
Burnt-out trans activist Caz Davis returns to Rūrangi, the rural dairy community he fled ten years ago, hoping to reconnect with his father, who hasn’t heard from him since before Caz transitioned.  As father and son slowly reconcile, Caz finds himself swept up in the environmental fight dividing the town.

Friday 24 Feb
Peter Von Kant (2022)
84min cert 15
Francois Ozon’s film Peter Von Kant, a successful, famous director, lives with his assistant Karl, whom he likes to mistreat and humiliate. Through the great actress Sidonie, he meets and falls in love with Amir, a handsome young man of modest means. He offers to share his apartment and help Amir Break into the world of cinema….

Saturday 25 Feb 6pm
Comedy Night with Glenn

This special show will be focusing on LGBTQ+ stories.

Tuesday 28 Feb
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
(1966) Cert 12 + guest speaker
History professor George (Richard Burton) and his boozy wife, Martha (Elizabeth Taylor), return late one Saturday night from a cocktail party at the home of the college president, Martha’s father. Martha announces that she invited another couple, newly appointed instructor Nick (George Segal) and his timid wife, Honey (Sandy Dennis), over for a nightcap.  When the younger couple arrives, the night erupts into a no-holds-barred torrent of marital angst and verbal tirades.

Led by a volcanic performance from Elizabeth Taylor, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a scathing adaptation of the Edward Albee play that serves as a brilliant calling card for debuting director Mike Nichols.

The festival welcomes organisations related with LGBTQ+ who are interested in having information stands at the cinema during the month as well as community and youth groups.