It has been a Busy Summer for the Plymouth LGBT Archive

It has been a while since doing a proper news update as we have been very busy with various events through the summer, however we have been keeping followers up to date through our Twiiter feed and Facebook Page which now has over 200 likes.

One of the most interesting things to come to light, in the process of creating the archive, was the traditional lack of LGBT representation that has existed in the city of Plymouth. We found large sections of the community truly believed “that sort of thing doesn’t happen down here”.

The Pride in Our Past exhibition and subsequent Pride in the Park events have gone some way to redress the balance but it seems more important than ever that Plymouth’s LGBT inhabitants are represented and considered in all aspects of city life.

This thinking has been the driving force behind taking the mobile archive to some events which might initially seem somewhat unlikely. We’ve attended events such as the Stonehouse Action Group’s Union Street Party, St Luke’s Hospice, and Plymouth Community Homes fun day’s because LGBT people should be represented in all walks of life and our presence allows people from all communities to engage with us and discuss issues that they otherwise may not have been able to engage with. For this reason, we’ll be visible at a number of fresher’s fairs over the next few days and the archive has been invited to have an extensive presence at the upcoming Plymouth Respect festival.

Here are some details of the events we have attended through the summer.

On Saturday 29th June we took the archive to the second St Luke’s Party in the Park where we met an amazing lesbian couple that reminisced about the larger scene that existed in Plymouth until the 1980’s.

On the 8th July, Alan Butler attended a day conference to discuss Devon and Cornwall Police Diverse Community Teams readiness for change. This invitation came as a result of his work with the Plymouth LGBT Archive and Pride in Plymouth along with his role on the Police’s Local Reference Group for Plymouth which is intended to create an opportunity for local issues to be resolved quickly and at the appropriate level.

Read the feedback published on the Pride in Plymouth website.

We contributed to the ‘How do we Culture Culture‘ Conference that was organised by Council Leader Tudor Evans, held at the Guildhall on 19th July.

Plymouth LGBT Archive Flyer 2013

Flyer distributed at Plymouth Pride in the Park and other regional Prides.

Then of course our mobile archive was on show at Plymouth’s own Pride in the Park held on the 20th July at Devonport Park. The hot weather brought the crowds and there was substantial local interest in the ongoing  work of the archive.

We were invited to attend the Plymouth Community Homes fun day held on 9th August at City College Plymouth and made a very interesting contact who has many stories to share with us.

Even though it was not practical to take the Archive to Cornwall Pride or English Riviera Pride (Torbay) we attended both events where we were able to hand out some leaflets promoting the work of the archive.

Through Pride in Plymouth we arranged a reciprocal agreement with the Proud 2 Be Project where they attended the Plymouth event and we were invited to attend Totnes’s first Pride held on 14th September. The indoor event provided an intimate setting and people were able to spend longer reading the material on display and chatting with our volunteers.  The live panel debate highlighted many issues that some LGBT people continue to face in schools, housing and wider community.

This ties in with personal stories and experiences shared with us by several people at the events we have attended over the past two years, including bullying of children of same-sex parents, lack of support and advice for LGBT parents, and the  fears experienced by parents of LGBTQ people.

This has inspired Pride in Plymouth to organise a LGBT History Month event titled ‘We are Family‘ that will focus on alternative families, bullying in schools and education, along with general information about homophobia, transphobia and hate crime that exist in the wider community.

LGBT History Month Event - 'We are Family' The ‘We are Family‘ event will be held at Devonport Guildhall on Saturday 8th February 2014 entry will be FREE and all are welcome. The free daytime event will be complemented by a ticketed evening ball that will celebrate ‘music‘ the theme for LGBT History Month 2014. The evening will be hosted by Amber Dextrous and will feature a musical comedy performance by Topping and Butch. Tickets for the ball will go on sale at the Plymouth Respect Festival that opens on the 12th October.

For more information about the daytime event and evening ball please read the press release by Pride in Plymouth.

You can view photos of the Mobile Archive at various events on our Flickr Photostream

Contact Us if you would like us to bring the mobile archive to your school, workplace or event.

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