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Hebden Bridge Library’s LGBT Day

This Sunday (7 February), Hebden Bridge Library is hosting a series of events in celebration of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) month and Anne Lister’s life. Anne Lister was born in 1791 and died in 1840 after leading an adventurous and fascinating life and is often called the “first modern lesbian”.

The day starts at 2pm with local lesbian author and illustrator, Tamsin Walker, reading for children’ s story time. Tamsin is a mother, teacher and activist who will be reading from her first book ‘Not Ready Yet!’

Continuing on from this is ‘An afternoon with Anne Lister and friends’ celebrating the life of Anne Lister, who owned Shibden Hall in Halifax and was well known for her openly lesbian lifestyle. The discovery and publication of Anne Lister's diaries by Helena Whitbread in 1988 challenged previous conceptions about lesbianism in early 19th Century Britain.

Starting at 2.30pm, members of GALYIC (Gay and Lesbian Youth in Calderdale) will provide an intriguing introduction to this fascinating lesbian in ‘Anne Lister's Diaries: The Rosetta Stone of 19th Century Lesbianism.’

From 2.45pm, Helena Whitbread will discuss Anne Lister’s childhood including her residence at a girl’s boarding school in York at the age of fifteen, which led to her first love affair with fellow pupil, Eliza Raine. Helena Whitbread will discuss Anne’s childhood and her complicated early love life during her search for the ideal female lover with whom she could share her life.

From 3.30pm, Jill Liddington talks about Anne Lister’s return home to Shibden in 1832, feeling bitterly betrayed by another woman's marriage plans. This talk will explore the same sex partnership between Anne Lister and Ann Walker, a neighbouring heiress, which resulted in a celebration of their union with an exchange of rings in 1834.

From 4.45pm, Phil Graves will give a presentation about the Gay Liberation Front in Leeds in the early seventies. He has recently been acquiring documents from that time and re-meeting old members.

Refreshments and discussion will take place at 4.15pm and the event will finish by 5.15pm.

Children’s story time is free entry and tickets for ‘An afternoon with Anne Lister and friends’ are £2 (£1.50 concs). For more information please contact Anna Turner on 01422 392606.

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