Trans programmes on local radio this week

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Nov 182013
 

Local radio has three programmes this week related to International Trans Day of Remembrance on 20 November.

BCfm Radio (93.2FM) have a special Trans Awareness programme on Wednesday 20 November (8pm I think).

Cheryl Morgan will be talking about Trans Day of Remembrance on ‘Women’s Outlook‘ 12pm Wednesday on Ujima Radio (98FM) and also on ‘Shout Out’ 7pm Thursday (BCfm, 93.2FM).

Tune in!

Trans Day of Remembrance logo

LGBTQ History in Gloucestershire project

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Oct 252013
 
Can you help bring the LGBTQ history of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire to life?

Gloucestershire Archives are running a project to meet with lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents to gather their stories and memories about life in Gloucestershire or South Gloucestershire and add previously hidden voices to their collections.

Thornbury town centre

Thornbury town centre

If you would like to take part in the project, or self-define as LGBTQ and wish to be involved in the work they are doing at the Archives, contact Sam Bairstow by email at sam.bairstow@gloucestershire.gov.uk, by telephone on 01452 425297, or by writing to Gloucestershire Archives, Clarence Row, Alvin Street, Gloucester, GL1 3DW.

For further details see this information sheet.

Gloucestershire Archives collect, preserve and make the history of Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire accessible to current and future generations.

‘Revealing Stories’ exhibition review

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Aug 102013
 

revealing-stories-2013-flyer-500

Revealing Stories, Bristol’s first ever exhibition of LGBT history was staged at M Shed from February 2nd to March 17th 2013. By almost every measure it was a success.

The project involved about 90 volunteers, most with no previous experience in this area. A key objective was always to involve our communities in exploring and owning our history.

RSexhibition 1

The project was funded mainly through an award of £20,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Donations were generously made by Bristol Central Reference Library, Bristol City Council Rainbow Group, Gay West and Wizard’s Tower Press. Importantly, these enabled us to fulfill our HLF commitment to provide £500 of matched funding, and to fund some of the costs of nine supporting events.

Revealing Stories was delivered for around £2,000 less than the amount budgeted. We will discuss with the HLF how that amount may be used in compliance with the aims of the project. Otherwise it will be returned to the HLF – it cannot be passed to OutStories Bristol general funds.

RSexhibition 2

Preparing the exhibition required work to research stories in the local press, archives and by contacting individuals who were involved. Locating objects and images proved difficult because of the nature of LGBT history; most people involved were extremely wary of having photographs or other record made. The other field of activity was to train and equip a team of 13 volunteers to interview and record oral histories. Short sound clips from the 42 interviews were included in the exhibition, and the full interviews will become part of the Museum’s permanent collection, the core of a growing record of Bristol LGBT lives.

Four local secondary schools were involved in the project, with workshops at M Shed and students then contributing their responses to some of the stories and objects. These were widely seen as a key element, the relative openness to LGBT issues among today’s students contrasting with the legal and social problems experienced in the past.

RSexhibition 3

The public response to Revealing Stories was extremely positive and the local press supportive, with features and interviews on BBC Radio Bristol and in The Post. The planned opening dates of February 2 – March 3 was extended for two weeks by M Shed in response to the visitor numbers and public feedback. Several contacts were made privately by professionals in education and social work resulting in their use of Revealing Stories as an education tool targeted at specific cases.

It's open!

Peter Main, Lord Mayor of Bristol.  Photo: Matthew Seow

Thanks to Stephen Williams, the openly gay MP for Bristol West, Revealing Stories was given a full minute’s coverage in his parliamentary speech during the Equal Marriage debate just after our launch. This resulted in Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and also Woman and Equalities minister, extending a visit to Bristol to include M Shed and the exhibition. Unexpectedly, Revealing Stories became the opportunity to influence a political debate directly.

We believe the exhibition received around 12,000 – 18,000 visitors. A precise count was impossible but a more accurate estimate will be available soon using overall M Shed visitor figures for that period. The comments left at the exhibition were overwhelmingly positive. A full analysis of feedback will be made available.

We worked closely with curators and archivists throughout; these ongoing relationships with M Shed and Bristol Record Office will help them to develop their collections of LGBT-related material. Some of the material on display has already been donated to Bristol Museums’ permanent collection or to Bristol Record Office and more is to follow.

Peter Main. Lord Mayor of  Bristol and the principal project team

Principal members of the project team. Photo: Matthew Seow

WHAT NEXT?

  1. The Revealing Stories is not over yet. We will be delivering a smaller exhibition at main libraries in Bath, Yate and Weston-super-Mare. This was always part of our HLF bid. The exhibitions will take place over the summer 2013, and will feature the same graphic panels that were at M Shed with some additional local information. Libraries are not secure or suitable for the display of objects such as the M Shed artworks, banners or archive material in glass cases, so these cannot be included in the touring exhibition. Each library will probably take the display for a few weeks. A team of people is meeting now to plan and implement this phase. Please contact us if you would like to be involved.
  2. We will then wrap up the work and produce a permanent printed record of the project. Copies of this will be lodged with relevant public bodies including Bristol Central Library. We will conduct a formal assessment of how we did and document
    learning points. A report will be submitted to the HLF along with our final accounts.
  3. All the interviews must be transcribed and copies handed over to M Shed with the recording files for permanent storage in their collection. This will form a resource for future researchers and historians.
  4. We want to establish an ongoing team of LGBT history researchers doing managed work in local and national resources (archives, libraries and/or web-based) to uncover more of our history. This will provide the raw material for future projects.
    We will seek to establish structures and partnerships to train volunteers in support of this objective.
  5. We will be holding an open forum to gather ideas for the future from all interested parties. We have been encouraged by the Heritage Lottery Fund to submit futurefunding bids that build on the Revealing Stories project. M Shed needs to balance its delivery of temporary exhibitions across the many and various communities that make up Bristol, so future work by OutStories is unlikely to include another exhibition at M Shed in the near future, as some have already requested. Further
    HLF funded work is likely to include more recordings of oral history using the team and equipment now in place. We need to identify more contributors aged 65+ and record their stories.

Andy Foyle, Co-Chair
9 April 2013

RSexhibition 4

Heritage Lottery Fund

Bristol museums logoMshed

Press release: Secret Lives on Show at Bath Central Library

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Aug 092013
 

PRESS RELEASE

Date: August 8, 2013
For immediate release

SECRET LIVES ON SHOW AT BATH CENTRAL LIBRARY

 A ground-breaking exhibition called ‘Revealing Stories’ will run at the city’s Central Library in the Podium from August 19 – 31. It focuses on the secret lives of lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people in the Bath and Bristol region from the 1930s to the present day.

Until legal restrictions were eased in the late 1960s, the great majority of LGBT people had to be very discreet and many led double lives. Even after this, many continued to keep their sexuality secret because of fears of how family or work colleagues might react.

The Revealing Stories project and exhibition have been made possible by a grant of £20,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The exhibition is the result of painstaking research and over forty interviews by OutStories Bristol, a not-for-profit community group, partnered by Bristol’s M Shed museum and Bristol Record Office. Volunteers were trained to professional standards in gathering testimonies which range from the poignant to the funny and outrageous.

The exhibition was first shown at Bristol’s M Shed in February-March 2013, attracting an estimated 18,000 visitors. The research included people in Bath, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset and has been adapted for this opening with new information. Thanks to the support of Bath and North East Somerset Council and its Library service, some stories specific to Bath will now be made available in the city.

School students have been involved in the project too. Some of their words are reproduced to highlight varying experiences of prejudice and acceptance at school. OutStories co-chair Andy Foyle said: “Today’s teenagers have begun to be open and accepted at school. Their words, and those of their supportive straight friends, have been emotional and humbling for many of our visitors. The contrast with the shame and secrecy when I was at school is immense.”

There are also stories of early campaigns to end discrimination and provide support for LGBT people.

“The stories I personally like the best are those from the 1970s, as that was the time I was growing up. I didn’t know then that a few miles from where I lived, there were some amazing people organising to fight for LGBT people’s right to exist and live a dignified life”, said Andy. Many of them are still around and have contributed to the exhibition, providing photos, archive material and memories of what their lives were like.

Organisers are hoping the exhibition will give people a better understanding of what life is like for  LGBT communities.

“This is the hidden history of anything up to a tenth of the population,” said OutStories co-chair Cheryl Morgan. “Revealing Stories is all about people who might be your friends, relatives and workmates, but who have had a long struggle for acceptance by mainstream society. How LGBT people have been treated in the past is often shameful and sad, but there is a lot in our stories that’s amusing and inspiring as well, and much that this region can be proud of.”

‘Revealing Stories’ is at Bath’s Central Library at the Podium, Northgate Street, Bath. It opens at midday on Monday 19 August and closes on Saturday 31 August. Admission is free.

For further information on Revealing Stories and other events, see www.outstoriesbristol.org.uk and the OutStories Bristol Facebook page


NOTES TO EDITORS

 About OutStories Bristol

OutStories Bristol is a voluntary community history group gathering the stories of LGBT people living in, or associated with, Bristol, Bath and the surrounding area. It was established in 2008. Around 90 volunteers were involved in the project.

 About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.6billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk

Contact 

For further information and interviews, please contact Andy Foyle via our online contact form.

 

OutStories Bristol logo
Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Oral histories given to M Shed

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May 302013
 
Catherine Littlejohns of M-Shed receives the audio recordings

Catherine Littlejohns of M-Shed (left) receives the audio recordings

OutStories Bristol have handed over our first collection of oral history recordings to M Shed, Bristol’s museum of social history.

The recordings comprise 42 interviews with LGBT people associated with the city and were made during research for the Revealing Stories exhibition held at M Shed last February and March.

Funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled a team of ten members of OutStories to be trained by a professional oral history trainer. Each then conducted interviews, typically lasting two hours, to gather the life stories of people of all ages and backgrounds.

The digital audio files were presented to Catherine Littlejohns, Senior Collections Officer at M Shed, on 7th May 2013 by members of OutStories’ oral history team. The recordings have been added to Bristol City Council’s archives and are now part of the permanent record of the city to be accessed and used by future generations.

Interviews continue. Would you like to tell your story? Whether you’re young or old, we’d be delighted to hear it! If you are concerned about privacy you can stipulate conditions about who has access and how the recordings are used. Alternatively you may wish to become an interviewer.

Read this leaflet about our activities and contact us for more information or to volunteer.

HLF logo Bristol museums logo

Voluntary Action History Society article

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Feb 232013
 

George Campbell Gosling has written an article titled Revealing Stories of LGBT Voluntary Action on our Revealing Stories exhibition for the Voluntary Action History Society. Thanks for the plug!

VAHS VAHS researches the history of charitable, philanthropic and voluntary organisations and runs a lively blog on topics of interest to historians of voluntary action.

George was a volunteer for OutStories Bristol and provided valuable help on the project until work took him to Liverpool. Bristol’s loss is their gain – lucky Liverpool!

Revealing Stories exhibition visited by government minister!

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Feb 222013
 
Maria Miller MP

Maria Miller MP

OutStories Bristol’s Revealing Stories exhibition at M Shed was visited 19 February by Maria Miller MP who is the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and also Minister for Women and Equalities.

She had asked to see the exhibition after it was mentioned in the House of Commons by Bristol West MP Stephen Williams during the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on 5 February.

Maria was welcomed by OutStories co-chair Cheryl Morgan and secretary Charlie Beaton. The Minister told them she was very supportive of OutStories’ achievements and spoke about how much she had been moved by the marriage equality debate.

With her were two senior officials from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Simon Timms (Chair, South West Region) and Richard Bellamy (Regional Manager, South West) who were very pleased with how we had used their money. Well done, team!

Revealing Stories exhibition launch

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Feb 162013
 

OutStories Bristol Revealing Stories exhibition at Bristol’s M Shed museum was launched by the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Cllr. Peter Main, on 2 February 2013.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All photos copyright Matthew Seow www.facebook.com/matthewseow

 

About 200 invited guests attended – OutStories Bristol volunteers, representatives from Bristol’s museums and archives, teachers and students from four Bristol schools that had participated in education projects, and others who had assisted with the exhibition or made loans.

The event opened with songs from Bristol’s LGBT choir Sing Out Bristol and then guests were welcomed to M Shed by Tim Corum, Deputy Head, Bristol Museums and Galleries at Bristol City Council. After opening speeches by OutStories Bristol co-chairs Andy Foyle and Cheryl Morgan, the Lord Mayor spoke of the importance of the event for him as a gay man and cut a ribbon to open the exhibition.

The exhibition runs at M Shed until Sunday 3 March.

Mshed Bristol museums logo Heritage Lottery Fund

‘Revealing Stories’ exhibition quoted in Parliament!

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Feb 132013
 


OutStories Bristol’s exhibition Revealing Stories at M Shed has been quoted in the House of Commons!

Bristol West MP Stephen Williams opened his speech to the debate on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on 5 February with:

Last Saturday I went to the opening of an exhibition at M Shed, a museum in Bristol, entitled OutStories. It tells the stories of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in Bristol over the last half century, and it begins with the story of Oliver, a 55-year-old partner in a firm of solicitors, who in 1963 was found guilty of gross indecency and sentenced to three months in prison or a fine of £40. It reveals all the trials and tribulations of that half-century, the ups and downs, and the way in which the experiences of gay people in Bristol have changed during that period.

Like all exhibitions, OutStories is not interested only in the abstract; it makes one think about one’s own place in history. For me that was rather easy, because I am mentioned in the exhibition as the first openly gay Member of Parliament to serve my city, and indeed the first on the Liberal Democrat Benches.

His speech is 2 hours 54 mins into this BBC video of the debate (click to start video then slide the time bar).

You can read a full transcript of his speech on his website stephenwilliams.org.uk.

‘Spark’ interview with Dru Marland

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Jan 152013
 

In 2001 Drusilla Marland transitioned from male to female, the account of which can be read in the book Becoming Drusilla written by Richard Beard.

Dru is founder of TransBristol, an organisation which provides a safe space for trans-identified people in the Bristol area to share ideas and support each other.

The Winter 2012 issue of The Spark magazine has a fascinating interview with Dru in which she talks about her life and gender transition. Read the article here.

Dru also has a blog: Dru without a map.

 

 

 

 

Moulin Rouge

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Oct 112012
 

We have lots of new information on the Moulin Rouge club – thanks to the Bristol Record Office and our partner representative Julian Warren who discovered the files of Worrall Road Residents Association. Thanks too for recollections from Pearl and Mike.  Click here to read.

Press release: Bristol’s hidden history to be revealed

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Aug 042012
 

OutStories Bristol logo
Heritage Lottery Fund logo

PRESS RELEASE

For immediate release.

Press contact: Andy Foyle  Email

BRISTOL’S HIDDEN HISTORY TO BE REVEALED

A Bristol community group is hot on the trail of the city’s secret gay and lesbian history thanks to a grant of £20,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. OutStories Bristol, a not-for-profit community group, is working to track down the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people in the city since the 1930s. Now it wants more LGBT people in the city to come forward to tell its volunteers about their lives.

Until legal restrictions were eased in the late 1960s, the great majority of LGBT Bristolians had to be very discreet and many led double-lives. OutStories Bristol is training its volunteers to gather the tales, from the mundane to the outrageous, of LGBT people across the city. The stories they collect will feature in a major exhibition at the city’s M Shed Museum in February 2013.

OutStories Bristol has already collected many fascinating stories via its volunteers and its website and Facebook group. These include:

* The story of the woman who founded Bristol Gay Switchboard in 1975 when she realised the need for an information and help service. For over three years she ran the service from her Totterdown home before an office and dedicated phone line were set up.
* The first person in Britain to complete female-to-male gender surgery.
* Tales of the Radnor Hotel, probably Bristol’s earliest gay pub.
.
Appealing for LGBT Bristolians of all ages to come forward with their stories, OutStories Bristol Co-Chair Andy Foyle said:

“This project is important because it’s the hidden history of around ten percent of Bristol’s population.

“It’s vital people see that we didn’t just pop out of the woodwork in the ‘permissive 1960s’. We’ve been around a long time and our history says much about the changing attitudes of society in general.
“It’s vital that we collect the stories of LGBT people, especially older ones whose adult lives spanned the years before 1967.

“But we also want the everyday stories and those that bring things up to date: your friend’s civil partnership last year, the chap you worked with whom everyone accepted was gay; the lesbian couple who raised a family, and so on.”

Commenting on the grant award, HLF’s acting Head of South West, Richard Bellamy said:
“Everyone has a story to tell about their life that is unique to them; that’s why we are so keen to support projects like the one that OutStories is running, which enable people who might have been hidden from history to have their voices heard. The story of the UK’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities has only begun to emerge in recent years, but it is providing a vital insight for present and future generations into the beliefs and attitudes of the past.”

Whatever your sexual orientation or gender identity, if you have a story about Bristol’s LGBT communities, OutStories want to hear from you. You can email or write to OutStories c/o LGBT Bristol, Create Centre, B Bond, Smeaton Road, Bristol BS1 6XN. Information will be treated in strict confidence.

For further information see www.outstoriesbristol.org.uk and the OutStories Bristol Facebook page

Ends

NOTES TO EDITORS

About OutStories Bristol
OutStories Bristol is a voluntary community history group gathering the stories of LGBT people living in, or associated with, Bristol and its surrounding area.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) sustains and transforms a wide range of heritage for present and future generations to take part in, learn from and enjoy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported over 30,000 projects, allocating £4.6billion across the UK. Website: www.hlf.org.uk

For further information and interviews, please contact Andy Foyle. Email

Staging Bristol’s first LGBT history exhibition … ‘Revealing Stories’

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Jul 102012
 

Staging Bristol's first LGBT exhibition

OutStories Bristol are staging ‘Revealing Stories’ Bristol’s first ever exhibition of LGBT history at M Shed, Bristol’s newest museum, throughout February 2013 and coinciding with LGBT History Month.

Focusing on living memory (c. 1950s to the present) the exhibition will tell the story of how people in Bristol started to build LGBT communities and define our role in wider society. It will be followed by a traveling exhibition that will tour public libraries in Bath, Yate and Weston-super-Mare.

Recording people's memoriesThe exhibition is being funded by a £20,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Bristol Museum Service and Bristol Record Office are committed to the project with further support in-kind to the value of nearly £70,000.
Finding the objects that tell your story

We want your stories. Our team of oral history interviewers are gathering the recollections of people old and young for the exhibition. And we want your mementos: old photographs, newspaper cuttings, group newsletters, badges, posters, banners – anything that tells your story.

After the exhibition donated items will be deposited in public archives for permanent safe keeping. Papers will usually go to the Bristol Record Office and objects and artefacts to M Shed. You will be making a permanent contribution to Bristol’s history!

If you cannot bear to part with that precious photograph, poster or ring given by a lover, we would love to borrow it for the exhibition and return it after.

Creating the exhibition

Get involved? Whatever your interests and skills, contact us if you would like to help with:

  • Life story interviewing.
  • Indexing and transcribing audio recordings.
  • Browsing newspapers or the internet for relevant articles.
  • Researching in libraries and the city archives.
  • Designing the exhibition, photography, creating artwork.
  • Organising supporting events.
  • Planning and organising.

Getting behind the scenesPoster design: Marcus FitzGibbon
Photos: Brand Davidson

HLF logo

Wanted: your stories!

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Jul 102012
 

We want your stories!  And your photos, leaflets and memorabilia. Watch this great video of Andy Foyle at OutStories Bristol roadshow at Arts West Side, West Street, Bristol.

Video: Mathew White
© 2012. All Rights Reserved
www.facebook.com/scequet

Lottery Funding for Exhibition at M Shed

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Jul 032012
 
Mshed Bristol - front elevation

Photo: Brand Davidson

June 15: The Heritage Lottery Fund agreed a grant of just over £20,000 to OutStories Bristol to fund Bristol’s first ever exhibition of LGBT history. The exhibition will show at M Shed, Bristol’s major new museum, for the whole of February 2013 coinciding with LGBT History Month. Bristol Museum Service and Bristol Record Office are committed to the project, with further support in-kind to the value of nearly £70,000.

Three Bristol senior schools will be involved in the exhibition, complementing work already underway as part of the Stonewall Education Champions project.

The M Shed exhibition will be followed by a smaller version of the exhibition which will be on display at Public Libraries in Bath, Yate and Weston-super-Mare.

OutStories Bristol is seeking volunteers to work on all aspects of the project. Please contact us if you want to be involved.

HLF logo

 

 Posted by at 12:35

Oral History

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Apr 172012
 
Rictor Norton visiting Bristol Harbourside

Rictor Norton visiting Bristol Harbourside 26 February 2012

The Oral History Team at OutStories Bristol are meeting people to record their stories.

Practical Measures:

  •  Acquiring equipment
  •  Arranging team communication
  •  Arranging training for volunteers
  •  Co-ordinating the allocation of someone to record a person’s story
  •  Co-ordinating the finding of people willing to have their story recorded
  •  Looking after the equipment
  •  Making arrangements for archiving records
  •  Supporting volunteers through the process
  •  Writing documents for confidentiality, good practice, release etc

 

Bristol LGBT history walks

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Dec 032011
 

Andy Foyle, a leading local historian and prominent member of OutStories Bristol, has led a number of history walks in central Bristol. Andy says:

In 2009 a friend who knew of my work with OutStories suggested that I develop a walking tour of Bristol city centre based on interesting places in our LGBT history. The first walk was on October 4, 2009, as a social activity for the LGBT choir I was then singing with. It was very successful, with about 35 people turning up. I repeated the walk for LGBT history month in February 2010 and 2011.

We cover lots of stories, from the Georgian pillory, sites of inns where men were caught having sex and later hanged for their crime, to a former tax office which had its doors stoned by a lesbian Suffragette, and the college where the world’s first fully transgendered man studied in the 1940s.

Andy will be leading another walk during LGBT History Month, February 2012 (date to be confirmed).

OutStories Bristol history walk, February 2011

OutStories Bristol exhibition display

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Nov 272011
 

OutStories Bristol have a traveling exhibition display that portrays some LGBT people and places in Bristol. The display has been shown in various locations already including the Bristol Council House, Celebrating Age Festival and Pride Bristol.

Contact us if you would like to see our display at your event or location.

OutStories Bristol display stand at Pride Bristol 2011

‘Move Over Darling’ – theatre performance by Tom Marshman

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Nov 272011
 
Tom Marshman 'Move Over Darling' poster

Move Over Darling poster (design: Alexander 6)

Local performance artist Tom Marshman premiered ‘Move over Darling‘ at the Arnolfini gallery 19 August 2010, during Pride Bristol week. Based on recorded recollections of local lesbians and gay men, the show took fragments of their stories and wove them into an evocative theatrical performance. He repeated the show at the Bristol Council House during LGBT history month, February 2011.

Tom Marshman writes about the show’s creation.

Read here how Tom developed the show and why these stories are important to tell.

Tom Marshman ‘Inspiring Dialogues’