Pride in Our Past Exhibition 2012

The Lottery Heritage funded Pride in Our Past project developed an exhibition based on the work of the archive project. The Exhibition was on show at Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery between 28th April and June 30th 2012. Articles published in the 'Exhibition 2012' category are based on the panels displayed as part of the Pride in Our Past exhibition.

Inspired Youth 2012

Out Youth is a youth group for young people aged 11 – 25 in Plymouth who are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered/transsexual (LGBT). The group has existed in Plymouth for over ten years with the support of the LGBT community volunteers and youth workers. It provides one to one support and a weekly youth group […]

The Early Years – Introduction

At the time of the Enlightenment, science sought to explain and categorise things and so a medical discourse grew around a “normal” sexuality which was required for procreation. As a result. anything else came to be seen as abnormal or even deviant. These deviant acts were named and outlawed, as can be seen in the […]

Birth of Rights

lesbian civil partnership 2012

The first decade of the 21st century saw not only the welcome abolition of the oppressive Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988 after many LGBT campaigns but also the introduction of ground breaking legislation ensuring many equal rights for LGBT people. Civil Partnership and Adoption Laws are now enabling LGBT people to enjoy many of the same […]

21st Century Pride

Since 2000, Plymouth’s LGBT community has become more visible and established itself more publically in the city. A wide range of activities and events, including candlelight vigils, protests and celebrations have helped to do this – drawing more attention to the diversity that has always existed here in Plymouth. “The Pride is a place to go and source information on different, […]

In Other Words

The ‘In Other Words’ Bookshop was opened on Mutley Plain in 1982 by Prudence de Villiers and her partner Gay Jones. The shop broke new ground in Plymouth as it became a focal point for Plymouth’s few but determined radical activists. The shop sold a wide range of literature that was generally unavailable in most bookshops at the […]

Proud to Serve

sailor in uniform

In 1999 the European Court of Human Rights overturned the ban of lesbians and gays serving in the armed forces. The European judges declared unanimously that such a bar on entry into the army, navy and air force was illegal under the European Convention on Human Rights, which safeguards an individual’s right to privacy. Prior to this the Ministry […]

Murder in the Park

Photo - Police removing the body of Terry Sweet.

The LGBT community has always been subjected to hate crime. In1990 the direct action group OutRage’ was set up by Peter Tatchell after the actor, Michael Boothe was murdered in West London. In Plymouth just after midnight on Tuesday 7 November 1995 the bodies of two men were found lying 200 yards apart in Central Park. One of the men Terry […]

Don’t Die of Ignorance

“The 80’s were a particularly bad time to be gay because of HIV/AIDS and because a number of newspapers would have headlines about, you know, sending all gay people to camps and so on”….. You know there were outbursts like that and, you know, you could feel horribly insecure. And, no, it was very, very unpleasant. It was a very […]

Everyone’s Business – LGBT Rights

A selection of images - changing times -everyone's business

Nowadays, the fact that people are LGBT seems to have shifted from something that is often swept under the carpet to something that everyone has to take a position on. Organisations across all sectors have responded to evolving LGBT equality legislation by changing their policies and procedures. Those who have embraced these new laws have achieved positive outcomes in the […]

Getting Political

Section 28 of the Local Government Act was a piece of legislation that made it an offence for local councils and similar bodies to fund groups who ‘intentionally promoted’ homosexuality in schools and supported notions of homosexuality “as a pretended family relationship.” While no prosecution occurred under the legislation, scores of local authorities not surprisingly […]

The Lockyer Hotel – Tavern

Derrys Clock Plymouth - Harvey's Hotel - Lockyer Hotel

The Lockyer Tavern began its life as the home of Plymouth surgeon, Sir George Magrath. It was known as George House on the junction of Lockyer Street and George Place. Sir George was at one time Surgeon of the Victory, flagship of Lord Nelson. He was also a medical officer at Dartmoor Prison and later, Inspector of Hospitals. In his later […]

Sub Culture Plymouth

In Plymouth, the Lockyers Tavern continued to thrive and the local gay community continued to be “quietly” gay within their spaces. However, events both at home and abroad were taking place that would affect the city’s LGBT community. Members of this community were also a big part for the instigation of the Stonewall Riots in New York in […]

Going Underground

Click to see full size scan

Plymouth’s Old Palace Theatre – home in the late 1960s to the Pussycat Club which was managed by one the city’s longest standing gay couples Paul Pollard and Ted Spring. The Palace Theatre became the Dance Academy in 1980’s and hosted ‘BOLTS’ a weekly gay night held on a Monday. In 1956, Section 13 of […]

In His True Element

In May 1936, the Western Morning news reported the story of Mark Weston, a thirty year old Oreston resident who, having always been raised as a woman, was now “in his true element” after two operations to correct his gender to male. In the words of Mr. L. R. Broster, the Harley Street surgeon who […]

Before the Labels

Before the labels panel as displayed in the Pride in Our Past exhibition 2012

Homosexuality is not a new phenomenon. Same sex relationships are as old as humanity and have impacted on the way people have lived their lives throughout history. In civilisations such as Ancient Rome, homosexuality was not named or regarded as a lifestyle. The social standing of someone’s partner was more important than his or her gender. Sex between men was more concerned […]