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In this interview Stonewall Lesbian Role Model of the Year Laila El-Metoui interviews 3 Lesbian authors and reviews their latest published work covering seldom heard themes which include older people; people seeking asylum and refugees; trauma survivors and LGBTQ+ History.


Andreena Leeanne, is a Black Lesbian Inspirational Speaker, Workshop Facilitator & Poet.

She writes and performs poetry to come to terms with and speak out about her personal experiences with homelessness, mental health, childhood sexual abuse & the many other challenges she has faced in her life. Andreena founded Poetry LGBT Open Mic Night in 2015. She runs regular self-care and survivors' workshops 

Stonewall’s Black History Month role model (2018); Positive LGBT Role Model National Diversity Award (2020 shortlist)

Andreena is trustee for Action Breaks Silence whose mission is to end violence against women and girls.


Book featured: 

Debut poetry collection CHARRED, a survivor speaks her truth to inspire



Jane Traies is a writer, researcher and story-teller who uses oral history methods to bring to light the experiences of marginalised women in the LGBTQ+ community. She is the author of several books and articles about lesbian life, and of two collections of lesbian life stories.


Books featured: 
Free To Be Me, Refugee Stories from the Lesbian Immigration Support Group, (Tollington Press, 2021)
Now You See Me, a collection of older lesbians’ life-stories. (Tollington Press, 2018)

Norena Shopland specialises in researching, writing, and promoting LGBTQ+ heritage as well as women’s and Welsh histories. She is responsible for several ground-breaking projects including Welsh Pride the first exhibition solely on LGBT+ people, allies, and events in Wales.
Her book Forbidden Lives: LGBT stories from Wales is the first completely historical work on Welsh sexual orientation and gender identity.

Other publications include The Veronal Mystery which examines a real-life gay crime; Norena's groundbreaking book A Practical Guide to Searching LGBTQIA Historical Records (Routledge) provides a toolkit for researching and recognising LGBT+ content in historical records.

Book featured: 

Her forthcoming book exploring the nature of gender identification, A History of Women in Men's Clothes: from Cross-dressing to Empowerment will be published in June by Pen and Sword Books.


Interviewed by:


Laila El-Metoui is the Stonewall Lesbian Role Model of the Year (2020) and DIVA 2021 nominee Unsung Hero of the Year. 
Laila is an Equity and Belonging Consultant helping leaders with EDI agendas through training and consultancy.Founder of Educating OUT Racism and Pride in Education  Laila is passionate about Education and inclusion and is a member of DiversED. She set up and chairs Proud London Councils, the Pan London Forum for LGBT + staff network in local authorities. Her published work includes Teaching and Education resources for Twilight People and Rainbow Pilgrims and the Haringey Vanguard Project


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