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The Queerish Bookshop

LGBTQ+ History - Darlington's Queer Past, Present, & Future: In Conversation with Emma Roebuck

LGBTQ+ History - Darlington's Queer Past, Present, & Future: In Conversation with Emma Roebuck

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For LGBTQ+ History Month, Megan Hemsley, owner of The Queerish Bookshop, will be in conversation with local queer icon, Emma Roebuck. In this discussion, we'll discover how Emma's journey to self-acceptance not only shaped Darlington's LGBTQ+ community, but unknowingly Megan's own queer journey.

In recent years, Darlington's queer community has come to the forefront. With the annual Darlington Pride Weekender, the revival of Mongay, and the first queer bookshop opening, we've come out of our closets and into the streets.

But how did we get here? And where exactly are we heading? 

With the help of local queer icon, Emma Roebuck, we may just find out. Growing up closeted in 1960s industrial Yorkshire, Emma attempted to come out when she studied at the University of Manchester in the 1980's. But as a bisexual trans woman under the age of 21, the HIV/AIDS epidemic instilled fear that led to self-preservation. It was only after the inevitable collapse of her second marriage and a health scare that she realised the only route left available to her: self-acceptance. 

This led to her becoming involved in the underbelly of the North East’s “Gay scene”. From Press For Change to Beaumont Society, Gay Advice Darlington and Durham (GADD) to Mesmac, Emma created change while embracing her true self. 

Unknowingly, Emma’s journey connected with Megan Hemsley, owner of The Queerish Bookshop. In 2015, Megan was fresh out of the closet as a bisexual teen and attempting to navigate a whole new world. Luckily GADD, with Emma as the chief executive, hosted Darlington's first Pride in the Park event.  This marked the start of Megan’s journey to founding and cultivating queer spaces in her hometown.

Emma’s and Megan’s journey across different generations reflects how society has changed for the better, with queer communities moving from the shadows into the light, even in Darlington, a small market town in the North East of England.

Date, Time & Location: Saturday 24th February 2024 - Doors open 6:00pm – Event starts 6:30pm – Hosted at The Queerish Bookshop, 39A Bondgate, Darlington, DL3 7JJ

Order Your Free Ticket NOW Online - Provide Your Name on the Door & Pay What You Feel – Proceeds Will Contribute to Phoenix Trans Group & Pay-It-Forward tags.

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