To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHO) we have launched the first sections of our LGBT+ online collections page as part of our Pride and Prejudice project. The first goal of IDAHO is to raise awareness of discrimination against LGBT+ people worldwide and use that awareness as a way of promoting activism and dialogue. The second goal is to promote a highly visible, global LGBT+ event, which in 2014 was celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are still illegal. In keeping with the aspirations of IDAHO we have introduced our first two online collections themes, representing LGBT+ visibility and LGBT+ activism. The objects represented in the first theme, ‘Out of the Closet: Visibility’, include material from Liverpool Pride, drag performers, venues, cruising grounds, the queer arts festival Homotopia, a dress worn by Lily Savage and many other examples of ‘queer style’. Our second theme, ‘On to the Streets: Activism and rights’, contains material relating to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, marches, protests, campaigns, art activism, the first flag flown over Liverpool Town Hall to mark IDAHO in 2008 and works by prominent LGBT+ artists.
Matt Exley, Kay Jones and Lynn Wray of the Pride and Prejudice team This research and development of the online collections would not have been possible without the generous support of The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, We will be publishing more items, theme by theme, over the coming months - so watch this space. By the end of the project we will know what representation we have within our diverse collections, and crucially, what we don’t and should have. There will also be ample opportunities for you to tell us what you think and to get involved. See the LGBT+ collections online now.
“Pride and Prejudice aims to challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia by recognising the contribution LGBT+ people have made to our culture, heritage and society. Through our research, the project brings to the fore objects within our existing collections relevant to LGBT+ communities and the life stories of the people who used and made them. It also embraces objects that relate to sexual orientation or gender identity. By re-evaluating the collections, as a group of museums and galleries we are able to interpret and highlight the massive contribution made by LGBT+ people for centuries.” - Lynn Wray, Pride and Prejudice collections researcher.