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50 LGBTQI+ who changed the world 
Book and Touring Exhibition

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Buy the book here

'50 LGBTQI+ who changed the world' is a unique exhibition created by Florent Manelli which pays tribute in 50 portraits to the activists, personalities, writers and artists who have advanced the LGBTQI+ movement and celebrates those who have fought to create a more inclusive and tolerant world.


The exhibition launch was at Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham 18th-30th June and it will tour to the following venues:

Swiss Cottage Library, Camden from 21st July to 5th September

Bourne Hall, Epsom from 8th to 22nd September.

Surrey History Centre, Woking from Ist October to 31st October.

Books on the Rise, Richmond from 1st Jan to 31st January

London Metropolitan Archives, Clerkenwell from Ist to 28th February 2024

Roehampton University Library, Roehampton from 4th March to 31st March 2024

Further venues tba.

To book the exhibition for your venue contact us

See more about the book and the profiles of the 50 LGBTQI+ pioneers and legends featured here.

To support the project, please donate here

We are grateful to Arts Council England National Lottery Projects for financial support for this project and to Institut Francais for support of the author's visit to London.

About the authors:

Florent Manelli is a committed illustrator and author from Perpignan. It was at the age of 14, discovering the work of Andy Warhol, that he decided to take an interest in the visual arts. From a fine line with black felt to a colourful painting, his drawings are the reflection of an imagination shared between reality, pop art and sobriety. Portraiture has an important place in his work as well as his commitments, especially in favour of LGBT+ rights and the environment.

Florent Manelli has been a columnist for Radio Nova and hosts a live series on engagement on the brut media application. He published his first book, 40 LGBT+ who changed the world (Volume 1) with Editions Lapin in 2019, followed by a second volume in 2020. His third book, Fire or Nothing: Portrait of a Committed Generation, was published in March 2022.

Read interviews with Manelli here

and here

Clare Summerskill

Clare Summerskill is a freelance academic, an oral historian, a playwright and a lesbian comedienne and singer-songwriter. Her publications include Gateway to Heaven: Fifty Years of Lesbian and Gay Oral History (Tollington Press, 2012), Creating Verbatim Theatre from Oral Histories (Routledge, 2019), and she co-edited the recently published New Directions in Queer Oral History. Archives of Disruption (Routledge, 2022). Her plays include Rights of Passage, based on interviews with lesbian and gay asylum seekers in the UK, and Hearing Voices, based on the experiences of patients on a secure psychiatric ward. She regularly tours her one-woman comedy shows to theatres around the UK and the US, bringing lesbian humour to the forefront of alternative comedy. She co-founded the Oral History Society’s LGBTQ Special Interest Group and is a patron of several LGBTQ organisations including Kenric, London Gay Symphony Orchestra, East London Out Project (ELOP), Mind Out, Diversity Choir, and Educate & Celebrate.

For more see here

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Listen to the interview on itv news podcast with Florent Manelli here

Watch Clare interview Florent at Common Press here

See Florent in his studio talk about the book here

For a timeline of LGBT history go here on Stacker


Bayard Rustin (1912-1987)

Alan Turing (1912 – 1954)

Tom of Finland (1920 – 1991)

Edith Windsor (1929 – 2017)

Harvey Milk (1930 – 1978)

Barbara Gittings (1932 – 2007)

Audre Lorde (1934 – 1992)

Renée Richards (1934 – present)

Nancy Cárdenas (1934 – 1994)

Larry Kramer (1935 – 2020)

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (1940 – present)

Craig Rodwell (1940 – 1993)

Armistead Maupin (1944 – present)

Marsha P. Johnson (1945 – 1992)

Brenda Howard (1946 – 2005)

Jean Le Bitoux (1948 – 2010)

Pedro Almodóvar (1949 – present)

Michael Cashman (1950 – present)

Sylvia Rivera (1951 – 2002)

Peter Tatchell (1952 – present)

Judith Butler (1956 – present)

Rosanna Flamer-Caldera (1956 – present)

Martina Navratilova (1956 – present)

Simon Nkoli (1957 – 1998)

Keith Haring (1958 – 1990)




Chi Chia-wei (1958 – present)

Mark Ashton (1960 – 1987)

RuPaul (1960 – present)

Mary Bonauto (1961 – present)

Manvendra Singh Gohil (1965 – present)

Hida Viloria (1968 – present)

Bamby Salcedo (1969 – present)

Phyllis Akua Opoku-Gyimah (1974 – present)

Xulhaz Mannan (1976 – 2016)

Ludovic-Mohamed Zahed  (1977 – present)

Nikolai Alekseev (1977 – present)

Yelena Grigoryeva (1979 – 2019)

Xiaogang Wei (1976 – present)

Georges Azzi (1979 – present)

Marielle Franco (1979 – 2018)

Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera (1980 – present)

David Jay (1982 – present)

Linda Baumann (1982 – present)

Megan Rapinoe (1985 – present)

Elliot Page (1987 – present)

Hanne Gaby Odiele (1988 – present)

Olly Alexander (1990 – present)

Hande Kader (1993 – 2016)

Bouhdid Belhadi (1993 – present)

Aaron Rose Philip (2001 – present)

What people and press are saying about the project

The Literary Librarian

"An essential read to discover a whole array of queer culture in a short time and, in the words of the author himself, “to celebrate the courage, the beauty of being and the rage to live by being oneself.”

Tony Malone, writer on Diversity and Inclusion

“A wonderful way to learn more about living LGBT+ history through the people who peacefully challenge the world to be more inclusive and above all, happier.” 

Olivia Edmonds, Librarian

“Engaging, educational and completely captivating read, look at a diverse range of LGBTQI+ people who made their own huge impact on our world. I will definitely be buying this book for our Sixth Form library.”

see links to press coverage below

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