Thursday, May 07, 2009

Our Story - Memories of gay Liverpool

I was in Kensington library for my surgery this morning and noticed a really great display they have recently put up. It is near the end of its third and final week, so if you want to see it, you need to hurry

Our Story - memories of gay Liverpool, comprises display boards featuring stories from gay men and women born throughout the 20th century. There is also a booklet and a CD which you can listen to on one of the library's computers - or presumably take away.

The exhibition has come here from Central Library and no doubt will move on to other libraries and it may be that it had loads of publicity before that I have missed, but in case you had not heard about it, then I thought I would flag it up here.

According to the introduction, the project is a community history project managed by the Unity Theatre and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Liverpool Culture Company.

Very sadly, one of the staff told me that the day after the exhibition went up in Kensington, one of the principle participants, Yankel, a gay Jewish man from Toxteth, died - he was born in 1920.

Other stories featured include Sheila born in Everton in 1930, Alan born in Burnley in 1930, Grace born in Old Swan in 1932, Diane born in Bristol in 1943, Rebecca born in Gillingham in 1946, Jan in Broadgreen in 1951, Meredith from Crosby, 1953, Gerry from Scotland Road 1962, Bob, Mold 1925, George, Old Swan 1944 and his partner Eric, Margate 1936 and Brian S, Ealing, 1930, all of whom lived in Liverpool.

The exhibition is as much about the changing social and political landscape of the 20th century - before 1967 practicing gay men were all breaking the law, now they could be married in the registrar office, just like one of my colleagues will be tomorrow.

If you get the chance, do call in and have a look, but if it has moved on and you are still interested in seeing it, or watching the CD, then let me know and I will find out where it is due to move next.

Edit: I met the two women responsible for the project at IDAHO today. And they had the exhibition in the Town Hall with them so I took a few photos of it. Sadly I still dont know how to turn the pictures the right way up when I take them on my phone, so you will have to turn your head.

They are looking for L,G,B and T people, aged 45 plus to interview and talk to about their experiences over their lives. If you are interested please let me know and I will put you in touch with Lou from the project.

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