Knowledge is power!

Haringey Vanguard LGBTQ+

Our BME LGBTQ mapping

History Volunteer Group meeting.

Thanks for signing up to volunteer for Haringey Vanguard!

We are happy to have a number of new people express interest in the project. We meet once a month, and the meetings are a mixture of informal sessions where you can find out more about the project- the hows and whys of collecting BAME LGBTQ+ Oral Histories and workshops where we focus on a specific subject i.e Sound Recording.

In our mapping exercise (above) our volunteers came up with lots of ideas for interesting workshops. Also if you fancy being a guest blogger feel free to email me at

Some of our volunteers are in the middle of transcribing, which can be lonely work. This Sunday we’ll have a section for those of you transcribing interviews to catch up with each other, and share tips.

We will have refreshments.  The next meeting is

August 25th 2019 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Bruce Castle Museum

Lordship Lane, Tottenham, London N17 8NU



27th October – For Black History Month Bruce Castle Museum will mount an exhibition which will include the contributions of local LGBTQ+ people.

We know this year there has been lots of celebration of the Stonewall Uprising in the US which kickstarted the Gay Rights movement 50 years ago. BAME people were at the forefront of that struggle, and this BHM is a great opportunity to look at and reflect on the history of BAME LGBTQ+ community in the UK over the last 50 years.

We plan to book some wonderful speakers who will reflect on their experiences of gay life in 60s, 70s and 80s UK so look out for more information and book your place early.



The 17th annual LGBTQ+ History and Archives Conference

7 December 2019.

PROVOKE ‘stimulate or give rise to’

How can we redress the invisibility, erasure and oftentimes appropriation of BAME LGBTQ+ History and culture?

The London Metropolitan Archives seek new perspectives, and dynamic responses in exploring BAME LGBTQ+ history.

7th December 2019 is the next LGBTQ+ History and Archives Conference at the London Metropolitan Archive. BAME LGBTQ+ History will be at the heart of the day.

We’re excited by the range of presentations submitted and speakers who want to get involved. We aim to reflect the wide diversity of histories with the BAME LGBTQ+ communities, so please still think about submitting an idea for the conference. We also have space for stalls – so take the opportunity to promote your organisation’s work.

You can see last year’s brochure here LMA_Edgy_prog_2018.

Have a great week!




Volunteering with Love at Pride

This month we thank Haringey Vanguard volunteer Susan Miller for her blog. She thoroughly enjoyed helping out at the London Metropolitan Archives stall at this year’s Pride London.

Susan giving out sweets

We were proud of Pride this year – thrilled by our rainbow family who marched through London. According to the Indy 1.5million revellers and activists poured into the city.

And we were proud of our city which opened its streets, and shops and parks, and overflowed with Rainbow happiness.

As HV volunteers, most of our actual Pride 2019 was spent in Soho Square at the London Metropolitan Archives’ stand, promoting HV and two other LMA projects, including the National HIV Story Trust project, which is collecting the stories of those affected by HIV  in the 80s.

We could hear the whistles and the roar of the crowds in the distance, but surrounded by other cheery stallholders and watching regular visitors to the Square it didn’t feel like we were too far away from the action.

As the morning passed into afternoon more people flocked into the Square and we saw an array of flags and rainbow-coloured people in all their glory. The visitors to our stall were all in a great mood – next door the Bishopsgate Institute’s stall was packed with badges and memorabilia to give away – and happy to chat.

I grabbed a ‘Glad to be Gay’ badge from their stall… having meant yet again to dress up I’d come plain. Memo to self, next year it’s Rainbow from head to toes!

Our stall guests and passers-by more than made up for it. We met people from all over the UK and the world, drawn to one of the world’s biggest Pride events. Our giveaway of packets of condoms – don’t ask – were extremely popular and so were our bags and LMA book markers promoting our upcoming LGBTQ+ History & Archive conference In December. Veronica’s assortment of lurid-coloured sweets also attracted interest and not just from me.

Our memorabilia posters proved popular, with younger people remarking on the ticket prices advertised from events in the ‘80s – sometimes just a pound or so as the entry fee – and the older visitors fondly remember the exciting names of bands, poets and activists performing.

We even got to meet the man (below) whose photo was used as part of the National HIV Story Trust project, he came over to have a look at his younger self and we grabbed the chance to photograph him. It was very moving.

So was chatting to the man who’d lost a lot of his friends to HIV in the epidemic, tears in his eyes and mine. We exchanged a big hug. Another hug from a countryman of mine, all the way from the humid, beautiful city of Durban. Both of us long-time Londoners but with memories to share.

And we signed up new BAME people with memories of Haringey in the 80’s to be interviewed for the HV project and also new people who wanted to volunteer their skills to assisting Hv and the National HIV Story Trust project. Many people were fascinated by the range and depth of materials held at the London Metropolitan Archives, so we know that place will be buzzing even more than usual, with dozens of people keen to visit it.

Pride is a huge party. One of the biggest in the world.

But loads of people want to give back – to the people who went before and paved the way, and to those still battling. And so, they flocked to the many good projects at stalls dotted all over the Square and elsewhere in town.

Projects like HV give people a chance to meet older activists, contribute – our volunteer posters based on original memorabilia  were superb – and even learn new skills. It’s a blast to chat so many people. Inspirational and fun.

And there’s a seriousness too. This was the second year the lesbian and bisexual women asylum seekers group (, the Rainbow Sisters, marched at Pride – being allocated 25 wristbands this year. At Black Pride the next day they appeared on the Wellbeing and Wellness stage to talk about their struggles.

Their message: “We need your support as allies. Asylum seeking and immigration are LGBT+ issues.”

Held in Haggerston Park in Hackney for the first time, moving north after a hugely successful 2018 in Vauxhall Pleasure Garden, this year’s Black Pride was the biggest yet. Over 10,000 revellers packed in for an amazing day.

Black Pride co-founder and creative director Phyll Opoku-Gyimah (Lady Phyll) said it left her ‘overcome with emotion’ as she remembered the very beginnings of the event 14 years ago in Southend-On-Sea. (

HV and volunteers Pride pic July 2019Back at the HV stall which was shared with the Opening Doors charity, Veronica hailed the day a success too. Lady Phyll popped by and more than twenty new people had signed up to be interviewed for HV and we’d chatted “to dozens more!”

Being proud – and aware – has never seemed so important. And neither has being involved… In the words of that 80’s hit by King ‘That’s what my heart yearns for now – love and pride’. Don’t we all!

Susan Miller loves chatting and writing – in that order. A very experienced content editor, she’s convinced of one thing. People will never cease to amaze you with their amazing life stories. As a HV volunteer, she’s enjoying learning more about the UK’s LGBT+ politics in the ‘80s and the workings of the LMA.  

Thanks to our Pride volunteers Susan, Becky, Savi, Elaine, Zarieu, Philip, Aldina, ShoSho, Sue, Veronique and Aimee.



Upcoming events- 

Haringey Vanguard Volunteer Interest Group meeting. Please come along to find out more about the project, our workshops and interviews. We will be running our popular Sound Recording and Oral History Interviews workshops again so do sign up.

August 25th 2019 1.30pm – 3.30pm

Bruce Castle Museum

Lordship Ln, Tottenham, London N17 8NU

Refreshments will be provided.

Our volunteer Rachel is also the Opening Doors Community Engagement worker for the BAME LGBTQ+ 50+ Group. Their next event with filmmaker Claire Lawrie is a screening of Beyond. It’s an amazing film, and Rachel has invited us all along. It’s free and link is here.

This will be Rachel’s last event before she moves on to pastures new, so please support, and from all of us at HV- THANK YOU!

Over the summer we will get the bulk of the interviews completed, so if you are interested please email with dates of availability to

Also please check us out on social media.

Enjoy the sun!








Radical Compassion for Pride Month

Akiha HV poster 1

I’m pleased to welcome Savi Hensmen as our guest contributor for this blog following the successful ‘Campaigning then and now’ workshops she recently ran with our volunteers.

‘In the 1980s in Haringey, where the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre project was based at first, sexuality was hotly debated. Then as now, LGBT equality in education was urgently needed but especially controversial.

At a recent Haringey Vanguard workshop, I described some of local activism for equality by communities, along with trade unionists and members of the Labour Party. Then as now, it was important to build alliances, listening to people and looking for ways to connect with and persuade them. We looked at some materials from Positive Images – focusing on schools – and Haringey Black Action, working on broader unity in black communities. Images and shirt amounts of text worked together, both to reach others and help to affirm LGBTQ+ people in our own identities.

Today, social media makes it far easier than before to bring words and pictures together to try to change people’s hearts and the wider world. But, in a discussion, it was pointed out that this could also cause problems, since messages could be posted quickly and people react harshly.

Workshop participants prepared artworks aiming to be relevant to building greater mutual support today, which might allow people to tackle injustice in society and encourage us to care for one another and act with love.

It was suggested that, instead of a ‘call-out culture’ within our communities which can lead to an online ‘pile-on’ of condemnation, there could be a ‘call-in culture’ of speaking out without tearing down, and being supportive. Up-to-date means of communication, creativity and imagination can be used to help to build a better world.’

Using images produced by our volunteers Zarieu and Akiha (her work is above), we agreed to use the terms ‘RADICAL COMPASSION‘ and ‘LOVING EACH OTHER IS A RADICAL ACT‘ as inspirations for our Pride well-being campaign.

Please follow us at @hgveyVanguard on Twitter, and share on Facebook, to help spread a positive message of support to all BAME LGTQ+ people for Pride and beyond. The campaign aims to encourage all of us to reach out to each other, check in on each other and to not assume everyone is having a ‘fabulous’ Pride. Many in the BAME LGBTQ+ will not be able to, nor have the freedom to celebrate Pride.
We will have stalls at London Pride in Soho Square July 6th and UK Black Pride jointly with Opening Doors on July 7th. Thank you to all those who will be volunteering, and to everyone else enjoy Pride and please stop by and say hello!
Take care

Express yourself!

Haringey Vanguard was invited by Opening Doors and Flourishing lives to run our Getting it Down, Getting it Done Digital workshop at the Tate Modern’s Age/ncy late event.

The three-day programme spanned stand-up comedy, physical theatre, workshops, and collaborative installation to explore the idea of ageing as transition across the life course.

Rachel's poster

Big thanks to the HV volunteers who contributed, and credit to Rachel’s design. 

Our next Special Interest Group (SIG)  meeting and workshop is on 26th May 2019  and 
Bruce Castle Museum 1.30pm – 3.30pm
Workshop – Campaigning then and now: What can be learnt from campaigns in Haringey in the 1980s in which BME LGBTQ+ people were involved, which might be relevant to today’s digital age? A hands-on workshop: come prepared to be creative!
We’ll look at posters and leaflets from that time, as well as other activities aimed at changing hearts and minds and empowering LGBTQ+ people, examining how these set out to make a connection and persuade or encourage. Workshop participants would then then identify two or three issues of today and devise a series of tweets and accompanying images. You can also make a banners or posters for Pride 2019.
The workshop will be led by Savi Hensmen a leading activist from the 1980s and original worker at the Black lesbian and Gay centre, which started in Tottenham in 1985.
Pride month is coming!
With both London Pride and UK Black Pride fast approaching, the project would like to do something. We are looking for volunteers for the stall for London Pride on 6th July and UK Black Pride stalls on 7th July.
Please email to volunteer and come along to our SIG meeting on June 30th to discuss fun ways to represent the project at Pride.
Our forthcoming SIG group meetings are 
30th June – Pre pride discussion and planning.
28th July – Pride celebration at Bruce Castle museum.

25th August -tbc
29th Sept 29th – tbc
27th October – Black History month social and exhibition.
24th November –
SAVE THE DATE! 7th December 2019 is the next LGBTQ+ History and Archives Conference at the London Metropolitan Archive. BAME LGBTQ+ History will be at the heart of the day. If you individually, or through your organisation would like to be part of the conference, we welcome ideas for workshops, and talks.  I can send out last year’s brochure to give you an idea of events.

Have a great week!

In celebration of us.

This time of year is full of celebrations! LGBTQ+ Month and International Women’s Day are dedicated to celebrating the political and cultural advances made, with events and the crucial Million Women’s March helping to shine a light on the continuing injustices facing our communities worldwide.

Thank you to all who attended our Vanguard of Then And Now Art and Social event at Bruce Castle Museum on the 27th February. Sherika HV Feb 27th

The vibe was friendly, and big up poet and activist Savi Hensmen, performance artist Lasana Shabazz and singer songwriter Sherika Shepard for their excellent contributions, which made the evening such a great success.

The feedback from the intergenerational ‘meet and match segment’, where interviewees spoke to potential interviewers was positive.



We’re scheduling the next batch of Oral History interviews, so if you’ve put your name down, we will be in touch soon.

HV Pt1


The exhibition of posters and flyers from BAME LGBTQ+ activists runs until March 31st 2019





Haringey Vanguard Artist call out

We’d like to invite artists from the BAME LGBTQ+ communities who have a connection to Haringey, through having either lived, worked or socialised in Haringey, to submit a creative response to the archives displayed at Bruce Castle museum.

Applicants can work in any artistic discipline, including zines, painting, print, video or poetry. Up to 3 ideas will be commissioned for £250 each, and selected work exhibited as part of an exhibition, celebrating LGBTQ Black History month in October 2019.

Please send your one page or max of two minutes video outlining your idea to with ART in the title by March 31st 2019.

Our next Special Interest Group meeting is on March 17th 2019 at 1.30pm.  

We’re happy to be hosting this jointly with the Opening Doors BAME LGBTQ+ Over 50’s group, run by Rachel. We will be screening ‘Under Your Nose’ about the UK’s first Black Lesbian and Gay Centre, and discussing future Haringey Vanguard events.

Please email by Saturday March 16th at 5pm to confirm your space as we need to know the numbers attending.

Shout out to our partners in last week’s event!

Batty Mama is created by Lasana Shabazz (Minstrels), Ama Josephine Budge (HYSTERIA) and Hakeem Kazeem (Collapse the Closet). Mx Hannah Iheoma Place
Founder at PLACE A  and filmmaker Hayley Reid.

Have a great week!


Ring in the old – Valuing LGBTQ+ Archives


The new year started with a bang- and we here at Haringey Vanguard have had a few busy weeks!  It’s all great news as the work to raise awareness of LGBTQ History, the importance of archives, and documenting LGBTQ lives continues. Members at our last Special Interest Group on Jan 19th, came up with some great ideas for forthcoming sessions, including a podcast, zine training and a visit to London Metropolitan Archives.

We will also be re-running the Sound Recording workshop in the studios of a top producer. People get the chance to test out sounds, and to use a full-size mixing desk.

Come to our SIG meetings,or follow us on facebook and twitter for dates.

Twitter @hgeyvanguard


goldsmiths queer fair no.1 2019 01 21

Haringey Vanguard attended the The Queer History Fair at Goldsmiths University on Jan 21st  Now in its 2nd year, the fair included representatives from The Bishopsgate Institute,  Duckie at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Victoria & Albert Museum and the royal Historic Royal Palaces. Attendees came from as far away as Israel who discussed their Haifa Queer History Project which has collected over 40 Oral Histories to date.



AS LGBTQ+ Month approaches, we have some great events planned.

  1. The Art of the Gestetner: Duplicating Publishing Workshop by Alt Går Bra

Date: Sunday 3 February, 1pm – 3.30pm

With Tottenham-made Gestetner machines at the forefront, duplicating machines revolutionised how offices functioned, while democratising the printing and publishing medium. These remarkably versatile machines were quickly adopted by groups to produce printed material cheaply and with relative ease, from political and community groups, to fanzine enthusiasts and artists.

This workshop will teach you basic skills towards duplicating your own publications. You will be taught how to use Gestetner-produced styli and wheel pens to hand-etch designs onto wax stencils. Participants will also type on to stencils, learn basic inking, maintenance and how to operate the machines.

The workshop is free and forms part of an exciting week exploring the political and artistic impact of the duplicator, including Bruce Castle Museum’s The Art of the Gestetner exhibition and a conference on the 7th & 8th February which includes a talk by Elizabeth Haven Hawley exploring the earliest U.S. lesbian duplicated publication ‘Daughters of Bilitis’.



email haringeyvanguard to attend.


  1. Haringey Local History Fair 2019.

16th February 2019  11am- 4.30pm.  

Haringey Vanguard will have a stall, and there will be other local groups with an interest in the history, social history, natural history and architecture of Haringey. Come to learn and undertake your own research at this gem of an archive.

Bruce Castle Museum

Lordship Lane N17


We met with LGBTQ Artists Hayley Reid,  Hakeem from Batty Mamma, and Hannah from local arts organisation Place A to plan Vanguard of Then & Now Pt 1, an event to encourage people to creatively engage with and be inspired by archives.

             3. The Vanguard of Then & Now Part 1 BME LGBTQ+ Art Social  aims to bring together intergenerational BAME LGBTQ+ communities to socialise and discuss BAME LGBTQ activism and history, over some light refreshments. You can also find out about the different activities Haringey Vanguard is offering.

  • There will be a speed matching session for people interested in being interviewed or carrying out interviews.
  • Performances and
  • A selection of social and political creative works from the LGBTQ+ and BME LGBTQ community (1970s- 90s). This exhibition will be on show until the end of March.

Haringey Vanguard would like to invite artists from the BAME LGBTQ+ communities to submit a creative response to the archives at Bruce Castle.

Applicants can work in any artistic discipline, including zines, painting, print, video or poetry. Up to 4 ideas will be commissioned, and selected work exhibited as part of an exhibition, celebrating LGBTQ Black History month in October 2019.

Date – February 27th 2019  6pm – 9pm.

Bruce Castle Museum  Lordship Lane N17

For further information on how to submit your ideas, come along to the event, or if you are unable to attend please contact: Veronica at

  1. Next Special Interest Group SIG meetings

Feb 24th – BME LGBTQ History timeline and catch up.

March 17th –  Subject tbc


SIG meetings are held at Bruce Castle Museum, Lordship lane N17

Hope to see you at one of our events!

Keep warm:)


Reclaiming Our History through action

Hello all

Firstly all I can say is wow wow wow! The Edgy LGBTQ+ History conference on Dec 1st was a sell out!

The conference aimed to explore ideas of Outsider History, supposing the margins as a powerful place rather than a place of exclusion.

It looked at what happens when people get excluded from mainstream memory or when such history strives to become part of the centre. The comprehensive line up of speakers and practical sessions delivered more than we expected.

Kudos to the hard working team headed by Jan who makes sure every year that LGBTQ History is represented in the development and evolution of History theory and practice.

The BME LGBTQ history breakout session was hugely popular with a number of people wanting to understand how to approach the subject and in particular how to sensitively collect Oral histories from people from BME LGBTQ backgrounds.

EDGY Conference 2018 HV workshop attendees

The round table format encouraged people to ask questions relating to their own area of research and subjects covered included  LGBTQ identification, looking at clothing and ‘uniforms’ past and present, the overt and covert exclusion of certain groups of the LGBTQ communities in social spaces, assumptions around family and faith relationships.

It was a learning experience for all who attended.  I was struck by the work of one attendee who goes into Romany communities to talk about LGBTQ issues – valuable work taking place in marginalized communities which is overlooked.

Rose Collins spoke about her 40 years of collecting LGBTQ materials and how she documented her everyday life, which happens to document important  pint sin LGBTQ history in the UK.

British Arab Jamaal Hussain’s ‘Becoming Scheherazade’ was a very moving, raw and compelling performance, weaving insight into his family life, LGBTQ identity and culture and giving much food for thought for the audience. It’s part of his project to collect 1001 Stories from Arabs living in the West, and a great example of how living on the margins can foster creativity even under difficult circumstances.

Kamaal Hussain Becoming S play

Find out more at his site

Creatively, there was an opportunity for people to look at documenting history and self expression through zine making. Edinburgh Zine library collects Zines from all over the world, and zines are an important vehicle for marginalised voices.  My first attempt wasn’t too shabby!


I can see how engaging in creativity is a way of taking some time out and so very good for one’s wellbeing.

The next Haringey Vanguard meeting dates will be in our holiday blog.

Have a great week!