Thursday, 3 March 2011
Outing the Past! Lancashire
Lancashire Record Office hosted its first Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender event – on Saturday, 26th February 2011. The lively, exhibition-packed day in Preston included talks about homosexual history on land by Harry Cocks, Jeff Evans, and Colin Penny as well as many local LGBT people talking – sometimes movingly - about their experiences.
Of course the homophobic policing and trials that so beset gay men - as well as the pride with which they contained to express who they were - were also part of GBT seafarers’ lives, too, when they were ashore. Homosexuality was illegal in the UK until 1967 and at sea until 1993.
I talked about Hello Sailor!, trying to pass on useful tips about using oral history to uncover the past of these exceptional workers.
It was pleasing to know that some attendees said my session was the highlight of the day. When I’m sitting at home creating a powerpoint I never know what the response will be when it’s aired, especially if audiences aren’t specifically interested in the sea.
Lancashire's Record Office have really created a great initative and I hope other record offices will follow suit. Lancashire Record Office may well do a follow-up LGBT event next year.Check out www.archives.lancashire.gov.uk