LGBTQ+ History Month

Essential Information

Type Events and festivals
National Maritime Museum
Date and Times Saturday 17 February 2024 | 11am-4pm
Prices Free

Visit the National Maritime Museum for a day-long festival celebrating queer maritime history through the ages, as part of LGBTQ+ History Month.

Enjoy live performances, storytelling, talks and creative workshops that are fun for the whole family.

Two people work on a craft activity using woolen thread

Activities and workshops at the Museum are free, and many are suitable for all ages. You can book free tickets in advance, or simply turn up on the day and join the celebrations.




Dolly Trolley

Great Map | 2pm

Get ready for a maritime-inspired aerobics class with a twist, turn and a shimmy with Dolly Trolley!

Suitable for all ages and abilities 

Dragged Around London

Great Map | 11.30am and 1pm

We've heard whispers that Maneeta, the renowned pirate drag queen of the ship Dragged Around London, will be making a pit stop at the Museum this year. She's passionate about diversity in her crew and we've heard that she absolutely loves to read stories to kids that encourage them to feel accepted and included on board her vessel.

We sent a missive to request her attendance, and we were overjoyed that she accepted the invitation. We're hoping that with enough doubloons she might even treat us to a little song...

Suitable for all ages and abilities



Crossing Waves: Zine-making workshop

Figureheads | 11am - 12.30pm and 1.30pm - 4pm

Join Rose Power for a zine-making workshop celebrating people assigned female at birth who lived as men at sea. Create your own fanzines which capture the rebellious attitude of gender-nonconforming sailors who crossed the waves and societal boundaries.

Suitable for all ages and abilities


Queer Love Tokens workshop

Group Space | 11am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm

Have you ever crushed hard on someone from the past? So much that you wanted to write them a love letter? In this relaxed workshop Ema Sala will show you how to fold a puzzle purse envelope, a type of eighteenth/nineteenth-century Valentine where a love letter is folded like a purse and unfolded to show little poems and images.

We will also be chatting about historical queers, and discuss how it feels to dig into the archive to bring their lives to light.

Suitable for ages 12+


Mapping the Museum and Me

Great Map | 11am - 1.30pm and 2.30 - 4pm

Get involved with our creative collaging project, allowing visitors to map, draw and collage their experience of the National Maritime Museum. What path did you take around the exhibits? Which artefacts were your favourite? Where did you linger the longest? Come add to our collaborative map!

Suitable for all ages and abilities


Ahoy Matey!

Learning Space | 11am - 4pm

Did you know why pirates call each other ‘matey'? In the 17th and 18th centuries, ‘matelotage’ meant ‘pirate marriage’! Under the union of matelotage, two pirates would promise to share their treasure/money and vow to fight side-by-side in battles. Create your own ‘matey’ jigsaw necklace to share with your favourite person to grant you and your matey good luck on land and sea.

Suitable for all ages and abilities


The Pier

Great Map | 11am - 4pm

Head to the Great Map to join in with a collaborative art build. Create a space special to you and add it to our pier.

Suitable for all ages and abilities


We make our own stories

Rethink Space | 11am - 4pm

Find out more about our 2024 LGBTQ+ Family in Residence Programme and make your own comics and zines with our artists!

Suitable for all ages and abilities


Trans Voices

Great Map | 12.30pm

Join us to create your very own improvised acapella song! This performance is led by Trans Voices Young Company facilitators and is interactive and participatory. Trans Voices is the UK's first professional trans+ choir, launched in 2022 with Reclaim - a Guardian Films documentary centring trans joy. Affiliated with world-leading alternative choir London Contemporary Voices, Trans Voices is a diverse group of over 20 trans+ vocalists.

Trans Voices collaborators include Years and Years (Absolut's Born to Mix campaign), Turner Prize nominee Jessie Darling, acclaimed violinist Anna Phoebe, BBC Radio 6 Music, Camden Roundhouse, Whitechapel Gallery, Royal Opera House, Pink News Awards and more. 

Suitable for all ages and abilities


Community stalls

Sammy Ofer Wing and around the ground floor of the Museum | 11am - 4pm

We will be joined at Out at Sea by a range of LGBTQ+ groups, organisations and support networks. Drop by and say hello!


Clothes swap

Special Exhibitions Gallery Foyer | 11am - 4pm 

QueerSwap (@queerswap) is a series of sustainability-focused social events for London's LGBTQ+ community, and will be bringing their popular pop-up queer clothing swap to Out at Sea.

You can bring up to 5 items of pre-loved clothing with you to swap, which will be exchanged for swap tokens when you arrive. You get one token per item. You can then use your tokens to "buy" items other people have brought to the swap. Please make sure all items are clean and in good condition or better. The golden rule of swapping is to bring the same quality of goods you would hope to find.



Jeanne Baret

Pacific Encounters gallery | 11am 

Come along to this talk to learn more about Jeanne Baret, a botanist who disguised herself as a man to travel and work with her male partner and employer on a naval ship. She is recognised as the first woman to have completed a voyage of circumnavigation of the globe.


In the Polar Seas with Ross and Crozier

Polar Worlds gallery | 12.30pm

Sir James Clark Ross and Francis Rawdon Moira Crozier are mostly known as highly accomplished 19th century polar explorers. Few people realise they were also best friends. This talk will guide you through their voyages to the Arctic and Antarctic regions, as well as their life-long relationship - one that helped shape polar science as we know it today.


Attitudes: A Nelson/Hamilton Affair

Nelson, Navy, Nation | 1pm

Hear more about Horatio Nelson’s relationship to the Hamiltons.


Nelson and the Men Who Loved Him

Nelson, Navy, Nation gallery | 2.30pm

Horatio Nelson earned the admiration and devotion of his peers throughout his career. In this talk, meet just a few of those closest to him.


Desperate Girls, Adventuresses and Female Pirates: The Remarkable Lives and Surprising Adventures of Seafaring Women

Tudors and Stuart Seafarers gallery | 3pm

Learn more about pirates, heartthrobs and female shipwrights! 


The Softer Side - Gender Politics of Polar Exploration

Polar Worlds gallery | 3.30pm

Historical polar exploration is often seen as a space centred around masculinity and forceful conquest of nature. This talk will explore the opposite - how polar explorers adapted to their surroundings, embodied femininity, and played with gender roles (including drag!) during their long voyages to the most remote places on Earth.

Plan your visit

Do I need to book in advance?

All events at the National Maritime Museum on the day are free. You are welcome to book free Museum tickets in advance (select 17 February using the tickets calendar), or just turn up on the day - find out more about planning your visit here.

Once booked, your ticket is valid for the whole day. You can arrive earlier or later if you wish, and your ticket will be valid until closure.

What time are activities and performances happening?

Workshops will begin from 11am, please see the above page for the timings and locations of each activity. Please note that individual workshops and performances operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

How do I get there?

The National Maritime Museum is a quick, easy journey from central London, and right in the heart of historic Greenwich. Check this page for more information about arriving by public transport or by car.

You can find a free map here to help guide you round the National Maritime Museum when you arrive.

Access information

The National Maritime Museum has accessible toilets, and our cafés and gift shops are wheelchair accessible.

All floors are accessible by lift.

You can find out more about facilities and access at the National Maritime Museum here.

Tickets and Opening

Free entry

Saturday 17 February


  • Greenwich Station
  • Cutty Sark DLR
  • Maze Hill Station
  • Greenwich Pier

LGBTQ+ History Month

Join us this February for a spectacular series of events celebrating queer histories, identities and communities

Choose your tickets

All events on the day are free. You are welcome to book free National Maritime tickets in advance, or just turn up on the day. Make sure you select 17 February using the calendar when you book.

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Individual: £50 Individual: £60
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