Participants sought for research into lesbian dress and clothing

 Blog  Comments Off on Participants sought for research into lesbian dress and clothing
Feb 082021
 

Kim Renfrew is looking for research participants interested in talking about what they wear and why, or why not! She’s working on a PhD at the University of the West of England (UWE) on creating, negotiating and maintaining lesbian identity through dress practices and the dressed and adorned body.

Her aim is to look at:

  • Dress and beauty/grooming practices among participants of all backgrounds over the age of 18, who identify as women, and are primarily attracted to other women.
  • What we wear now and what we have worn across our lives
  • How we make sense of dress/adornment/beauty/grooming in a culture that views lesbians as not caring about appearance or style
  • The impact Covid-era lockdowns have had on the way we dress and express our identity.

Participation will involve some or all the following:

  • Taking part in oral history audio or video interviews – including looking at clothes and grooming items
  • Keeping a clothing diary
  • Reflecting on photographs and sharing wardrobe content

How these will be conducted will of course depend on coronavirus and some activities will take place online, while others may happen further down the line when restrictions are eased and contact with others feel safe.

If you’re interested in getting involved, contact Kim at Kim2.Renfrew@live.uwe.ac.uk  – she’ll be happy to share detailed information about what’s involved.

Feb 052021
 

Bright purple football shirt with rainbow stripes on sleeves and logo "Bristol Pride"The National Football Museum recently named a special-edition Bristol Rovers Women’s away shirt as their object of the week.

Known as the ‘Gas Girls’, the team partnered with Bristol Pride to produce a shirt that aims to address the issues of homophobia, biphobia & transphobia, and promote equality and diversity. The purple strip has rainbow stripes on sleeves and a matching rainbow number on the back.

The special-edition shirt is now in the permanent collection of the Manchester museum.

 

 

 

 

Do you remember Club Leo or the Oasis?

 Blog  Comments Off on Do you remember Club Leo or the Oasis?
Jan 292021
 

Magazine cover with head and shoulders image of KylieWere you a regular or part of the team at Club Leo in the 90’s or the Oasis Club in the 80’s?

Jack Lettis continues to work on the Crack Magazine project we previously posted about last year named Everything Is Music. He is tasked with researching Bristol’s gay venues of the past.

Jack is keen to talk to anyone that remembers the Oasis Club (on Park Row at the time) and Club Leo (which was on St Nicholas Street), hoping to collect any pictures and flyers people might have and talk to anyone who remembers the clubs and their memoirs of the aspects that made them great – the atmosphere, the crowds they attracted, the venues themselves and the music that defined their time.

If this is you, please do get in touch with him at jack@jacklettis.com for a short friendly chat and be part of this great project for Bristol.

Jan 152021
 

Text 'Lost Spaces' in a blue rectangle overlaying an inverted pink triangleWill Warren is the co-host of Track by Track, a podcast that reviews pop albums from the past – think Girls Aloud, Pet Shop Boys and Kylie Minogue. In this podcast from Lost Spaces, a queer podcast about lost gay venues, he recalls alcopops, pre-drinks, and all the alcohol you can drink for £20 at Flamingos, a bar in Bristol that billed itself as THE South West Gay superclub. Will recalls his time living near Old Market and also briefly mentions monthly club night Wonky in Frogmore Street.

Listen to Will Warren on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or Anchor.

Lost Spaces explores queer experiences as told through now-closed bars and clubs. Every episode singer/songwriter K Anderson interviews a different member of the community to find out about a venue from their past, the memories they created there and the people that they used to know.

Do you have memories of Flamingos?

Flamingos was in the building that is now the Old Market Assembly; previously it had been Winns nightclub. We want your stories about your nights out, photos (inside or out), dates they operated, the people who ran the clubs and regulars. Please leave comments on our pages about Winn’s or Flamingos.

Jan 012021
 
Street art on 18m wide black wall with slogans demanding better healthcare for trans people

Photo: CJ / Bristol 24/7

This mural was painted for the duration of October 2020 on a 18m long wall in Jamaica Street, Bristol. The wall is used by the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft community group as a continually changing canvas for street art.

The mural’s intention was to shine a light on the shocking state of healthcare for transgender and non-binary people.

CJ, the person behind the mural said “Everyone who helped to paint the mural has so much love for the National Health Service as an institution but feel that as a community we have been roundly disregarded for many years as the waiting lists have spiralled to the current appalling state”.

“The NHS aims for an 18 week wait for referrals, a sharp contrast the current five year wait for trans and non-binary people. After referral, patients will wait up to three years to begin hormonal treatment and up to five years for gender affirming surgeries. This is an overall wait of up to a decade for some trans people to receive the help they need.”

“These failures of the system are causing very real harm to a vulnerable population,” says CJ. “The letters along the bottom are months represent the five years that trans people have to wait for our first appointment”.

The rest of the piece is an attempt to explain a little about the realities of living as a transgender person in what can feel like a very hostile world.

With thanks to Bristol 24/7.

‘Everything Is Music’ project

 Blog  Comments Off on ‘Everything Is Music’ project
Nov 302020
 

Magazine cover with head and shoulders image of KylieWere you in the Bristol music scene in the 1970s to 1990s?

Jack Lettis is working on an exciting project called Everything Is Music that is being developed by the team behind Bristol based Crack Magazine. Everything Is Music will bring together the most important people and stories in Bristol’s musical cultural history through an interactive map that will launch in April next year. Audiences will go the relevant locations to find stories and music that link to that place, a musical and cultural historic digital treasure hunt! Of course it’s important to include Bristol’s incredible Queer scene history.

Jack wants to talk to people present in Bristol’s queer scene circa 1970-1995: artists/venue owners/promoters/punters/bar staff/entertainers/club workers to present their memories from historic queer moments in time such as the Moulin Rouge, the Scarlet Coat, the Oasis ClubClub Leo and Chantelle’s, to explain their story of the location and if at all possible provide any visual content (photos, flyers, video footage) and/or audio content (could be a favourite track from the club, or he would conduct an audio interview if willing). The user of the app would then experience and listen to that content at the location on their smartphone.

They are currently looking at placing over a 150 pins across the city in order to make the hunt as rich and varied as possible. These pins will form the jigsaw of Bristol’s musical history. This project is going to be a huge cultural event for the city and will be the first of its kind in the UK, we’re also hoping it will provide some much-needed musical adventure in the absence of live events.

If you can help, contact Jack at jack@jacklettis.com.

Daryn Carter awarded an MBE

 Blog  Comments Off on Daryn Carter awarded an MBE
Nov 012020
 
Young man with quiff of bright blue hair looks at a pencil portrait of himself

Daryn Carter, director of Pride Bristol, with his portrait by Malcolm Ashman

Director of Bristol Pride Daryn Carter was awarded a MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to the LGBTQ+ community in Bristol.

As well as being a principal organiser of Bristol Pride, Daryn has campaigned tirelessly for equality in the LGBTQ+ community. He does lots of schools engagement work talking about being LGBTQ+, works with local businesses across the region to support diversity and inclusion and sits on a number of diversity advisory panels.

You can read more about Daryn on this UWE Bristol blog page.

Your group’s story wanted

 Blog  Comments Off on Your group’s story wanted
Oct 172020
 

An assortment of flyers and posters on a tableBristol Archives holds almost two million documents which record the history of the City of Bristol and the surrounding area from the 12th century to the present day. These include minutes, accounts, letters, diaries, maps, photographs and films created by many types of organisations and people.

They have an online catalogue of their collections. Click on ‘Browse Collections’ and you will see an LGBT collection.  Many local organisations have already donated records including Gay West, Freedom Youth and the University of the West of England LGBT+ Society.

Are you involved with a local group?  Bristol Archives want your records to preserve the diverse story of the city and its people. You can donate directly – contact them at archives@bristol.gov.uk. Alternatively give them to us and we will pass them on. Most of the LGBT Collection were collated by us. Click here to send a message to OutStories Bristol.

Oct 072020
 

It’s Black History Month and we’re starting with a home-grown contribution.

Performance artist and poet Travis Alabanza was born and grew up in Bristol and returns to talk to Sharifa Whitney James and writer and historian Edson Burton, co-founders of Kiki – Bristol’s first visible community for QTIPOC (Queer, Transgender and Intersex People of Colour).

Examining blackness and gender non-conformity in the context of growing up in Bristol, Travis discusses the importance of oppressed people archiving their own communities so that they are recorded in history in all their complexity.

Director, DOP: Shivani Hassard
Producer, Researcher: Joanna Boateng
gal-dem magazine

Aisha Sanyang-Meek wrote this interview with Travis for Rife Magazine, an online platform for Bristol’s young people.

Sep 152020
 
Dale Wakefield, founder of Bristol Gay Switchboard

Dale Wakefield

OutStories have received the following message:

I am a Humanist Funeral Celebrant and will be leading the funeral of Dale (Billie) Wakefield next week. I know she started the Gay Switchboard from her Hill Street Totterdown home in !975, was a founder of Bristol Pride in 1977, and that her work is represented at M-Shed (which re-opens this week, and I hope to visit). She was clearly a legend! Is there anything you more you can tell me? I would of course check with her family, with whom I am working to create her ceremony.
Many thanks,
Chrissie Hackett

Please respond direct to Chrissie at chrissiehackett@gmail.com.

Sep 112020
 

Dale Wakefield, founder of Bristol Gay SwitchboardIt is with great sadness we learn that Dale Wakefield died in Bristol Royal Infirmary on Saturday 5th September 2020. Her family were at her side. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s she was a prominent figure in lesbian and women’s rights in Bristol.

Dale was born in Bristol in 1941, started her working life in insurance firms and subsequently worked as a teacher, a nurse and in later years in accounts. She married and had two children but the marriage broke up when the youngest was only months old. Dale went to London to work as a prison officer at Holloway women’s prison and it was there she first fell in love with a woman although no relationship ensued.

She returned to Bristol in the early 1970s and came out first on the gay scene. Soon she was active in the second-wave Women’s Movement and with Monica Sjöö and two others started the Gay Women’s Group and a collective that produced ‘Move’ magazine for about three years.

Attending a Gay Women’s Group meeting in Clifton, the constant phone calls received at the premises (from gay men and lesbians alike) alerted her to the enormous need for information and a friendly ear. Bristol Lesbian & Gay Switchboard was founded at Dale’s home in Hill Street, Totterdown on 1st February 1975, using her private phone line.

For over three years it ran from her house, with volunteers taking phone calls during the advertised hours and Dale answering at all other times, often during the night. In 1978 Switchboard moved to new premises at Bristol Gay Centre, however Dale remained involved until the early 1980s. She later helped organise Bristol Lesbian Line, and was active in Women’s Aid providing refuge provision for women fleeing domestic violence.

Dale remained a resolute advocate of women and men working together at a time when there was a lesbian-separatist trend within the movement in Bristol.  A believer in collective approaches to action, she was critical of the hierarchies that characterised orthodox and male-oriented ways of organising. Her quiet authority, clear focus and belief in the power of collective action made her one of the most significant figures in the story of LGBT rights in Bristol.

In the words of Tim Manning, a fellow founder of Bristol Gay Switchboard: “Because of her, lives were saved, closets opened, and she helped us change our world for the better”.

We send our thoughts to her son Shaun, daughter Teraza, and four grandchildren.

 

Dale in 2013 beside her portrait by Malcolm Ashman; now displayed in Bristol’s M Shed Museum. Copyright: Matt Seow.

Aug 282020
 

Text 'Lost Spaces' in a blue rectangle overlaying an inverted pink triangleJamie Jamal, the Bristol-based lead singer of electronic pick n mix duo This Human Condition remembers Bristol nightclub Just in this delightful and amusing podcast from Lost Spaces, a queer podcast about lost gay venues. He also talks about gay club music, growing up gay, coming out and ‘guncles’ (gay uncles).

Listen to Jamie on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts or Anchor.

Lost Spaces explores queer experiences as told through now-closed bars and clubs. Every episode singer/songwriter K Anderson interviews a different member of the community to find out about a venue from their past, the memories they created there and the people that they used to know.

Meet St Wilgefortis

 Blog  Comments Off on Meet St Wilgefortis
Aug 212020
 
Wooden statue of a bearded lady with a floral dress being crucified

St Wilgefortis statue in the Church of Saint Nicholas in Pas-de-Calais, near Wissant, France (Wikimedia Commons)

Saint who, you may well ask? She was the patron saint of Unhappily Married Women and the ruined St Mary le Port church in Bristol’s Castle Park had a chapel dedicated to her.

The legend is that her father arranged for her to marry someone she did not like, so she prayed that she might be made repulsive so that he would reject her. When she woke up the next morning she had a full beard. That put paid to the marriage, but her angry father had her crucified as a punishment.

Our Cheryl Morgan has written a delightful article on her Cheryl’s Mewsings blog and refers to speculation that Wilgefortis may have been intersex.

‘Bristol Magazine’ article on Michael Dillon

 Blog  Comments Off on ‘Bristol Magazine’ article on Michael Dillon
Jul 272020
 

The Bristol Magazine has published an excellent article on Michael Dillon, the world’s first person known to have successfully transitioned both hormonally and surgically from female to male.

Whilst living in Bristol in 1939, Michael was given hormone treatment by Dr George Lush Foss, a doctor who had encountered the masculinising side-effects of hormone treatments in several diseases. Dr Foss’s father had practised as a GP from Cloud’s Hill House in St George. Whilst attending the Bristol Royal Infirmary in 1942 Michael met a surgeon who subsequently performed a double mastectomy.

The article is on pages 42 to 44.

 

 

Film celebrating 25 years of Freedom Youth

 Blog  Comments Off on Film celebrating 25 years of Freedom Youth
May 242020
 

‘Freedom 25’ is a film made by members of Bristol’s Freedom Youth and local film-makers Black Bark Films
to mark 25 years of Freedom Youth, one of the longest running LGBTQ+ spaces for young people in the UK.

The film celebrates and recognises 25 reasons why @FreedomLGBTQ is as important in 2020 as it was in 1995, creating community and crafting friendships.

Watch and share Freedom 25.

#iWill   #powerofyouth   #youthvoice

OutStories receive grant from Voice & Influence Partnership

 Blog  Comments Off on OutStories receive grant from Voice & Influence Partnership
May 182020
 

Five figures waist up, in silhouette, arms raised and speaking forcefully.The LGBTQ+ Voice and Influence Panel (LGBTQ+ ViP) have awarded OutStories Bristol a grant of £250 towards the gathering of oral history. When restrictions due to the Covid-19 virus end, some of our volunteers will resume interviewing and recording the stories of local people to expand our community history archive. The money will allow us to reimburse the travel costs of those experiencing hardship and other direct expenses. Thanks Vip!

Led by Off the Record, the LGBTQ+ ViP panel represents LGBTQ+ voices on the city-wide Voice and Influence Partnership. Funded by Bristol City Council, the Partnership ensures individuals, groups and communities whose voices aren’t always heard are listened to, and help them be a part of shaping Bristol’s future.

The Partnership consists of various local equalities groups: The Care Forum, Bristol Older People’s Forum, Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People, Off the Record Freedom and WECIL. The forum aims to hear the voices of equalities groups and ensure their representation in citywide decision-making.

Everyone is invited to become a member of the Voice and Influence Partnership. Membership is free. As a member you will hear about events, upcoming consultations, participation opportunities and news about the Voice and Influence Partnership. You can sign up here.

"OTR" on magenta, purple, turquoise and yellow stripesLGBTQ+ Voice and Influence social media:
https://www.facebook.com/LgbtqVip/
https://twitter.com/lgbtqvip
https://www.instagram.com/lgbtqvip/

Radio 3 ‘Queer Histories’

 Blog  Comments Off on Radio 3 ‘Queer Histories’
Feb 232020
 

BBC Radio 3’s ‘Free Thinking’ podcast Queer Histories discusses how we apply modern LGBT+ language and identities to historical figures both real and fictional and what it means to have to “prove” your identity in today’s legal world.

Presented by Shahidha Bari, the participants are Jana Funke who teaches Medical Humanities at the University of Exeter, Senthorum Raj who teaches at Keele University School of Law, and Morgan M Page – writer, performance artist, and trans historian whose podcast is called One From The Vaults.

Other LGBT+ related podcasts from the BBC include:
Writing Love: Jonathan Dollimore, Sappho;
Queer Icons: Plato’s Symposium in which Shahidha Bari discusses the LGBTQ movement in the history of philosophy;
Censorship and Sex: Naomi Wolf on John Addington Symonds and Sarah Parker on Michael Field;
Comrades in Arms in which Tom Smith explores the East German Military’s fascination with its soldiers’ sexuality;
and a vast library of programmes in the Gay Britannia season that marked the 50th anniversary of 1967 Sexual Offences Act.

Avon Pride and the earliest known LGBT postmark in the UK

 Blog  Comments Off on Avon Pride and the earliest known LGBT postmark in the UK
Feb 182020
 
15 party balloons floating out of an inverted triangle.

The earliest known LGBT postmark in the UK

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first Avon Pride, the 1991 organising collective led by convenor and philatelist Rob Brettle sponsored a special postmark. It is the earliest known LGBT postmark in the UK and was only available by post from the Wales & West Special Handstamp Centre based in Cardiff.

The postmark comprised 15 balloons, representing the 15 years, floating out of a triangle. Gay men incarcerated in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany in the 1930s and 1940s were forced to wear an inverted pink triangle on their prison clothes as an identifying symbol intended to be a badge of shame. In the 1970s the pink triangle was reclaimed as a symbol of LGBT pride and against homophobia.

 

Postal envelope with artwork showing 12 exuberant smiling people crammed in a small boat.iling part

Special cover

A special cover (envelope) was available and used artwork from the 1991 Avon Pride programme. It was designed by Kate Charlesworth, a British cartoonist and artist who has produced comics and illustrations since the 1970s. Her work has appeared in LGBT publications including The Pink Paper and Gay News, as well as national newspapers The Guardian, and The Independent.

Today Pride is seen as a festival with big-name singers and bars selling alcohol. Pride ‘back then’ was about the community getting together and sharing in activities: picnics, boat trips, films at the Watershed, singers at the Arnolfini, guided walks, coffee mornings, and an annual garden party at the Oasis Club which raised money for Bristol Lesbian & Gay Switchboard.

Chris Leigh, with thanks to Rob Brettle for information.
Last edited 18/2/2020

Short Back and Sides – Bristol LGBT+ stories

 Blog  Comments Off on Short Back and Sides – Bristol LGBT+ stories
Nov 192019
 

Bristol-based sculptor Alec Stevens and illustrator & creative technologist Nicola Hogg are creating a city-wide ‘experience’ using mobile phone technology, storytelling and sculpture to reveal stories as the user makes their way through the city.

Called Short Back and Sides, the first instalment focusses on the city’s rich LGBT+ history and used OutStories Bristol’s ‘LGBT+ Life’ map as its source of information. Hear Alec and Nicola talk about the project.

The pair worked from Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio which supports the development of creative technology projects.

We are delighted to see our map and research being used to inspire others to engage with Bristol’s rich LGBT+ heritage in new and novel ways.