Queer is here
4 February to 5 March 2006 (CLOSED)
Organised to coincide with this year’s Lesbian Gay and Transgendered Month, Queer is here uncovers a glimpse of the Museum’s collection and the hidden histories of the LGBT communities in London. It focuses on some of the issues that affected these communities today and looks at the last 30 years through a gay history time line, which features headlines from the Pink Paper and other publications.
Exhibition themes include gay activism, coming out, homophobia and bullying in school, as well as the experience of gay people in the workplace and in the public eye. The power of the pink pound, celebrating queer culture and the new Civil Partnerships bring the exhibition into the current day. A decade of Gay Pride events have been captured in dynamic black and white photos taken by Peter Marshal.
On a personal level, the exhibition includes testimonies in the form of oral history recordings from the Museum of London’s oral history collection and the Hall Carpenter Archive courtesy of the British Sound Archive. Individuals speak about their lives and experiences, highlighting the difficulties of being gay when homosexuality was still a criminal offence, as well realisation, relationships, society and the gay scene.
The exhibition is part of an ongoing consultation process being undertaken by the Museum of London which aims to explore the meaning of cultural diversity in the context of the Museum's collections, past exhibitions and publications. The reassessing project aims to highlight ethnicity, religious faith, disability and sexual orientation to show the heritage of London's culturally diverse communities. The exhibition will tour to further venues in London.
Oral history quotes
“…With a blanket law like that which prohibited any form of physical contact, the mere fact of being gay and having emotional friendships with people was as dangerous as having physical relationships.”
Anthony Grey (born 1927) speaks about the criminal aspect of being gay and the fear of being arrested by the police.
“There was quite a lot of trouble at the end of the ’60’s with lesbian mothers loosing their kids…”
Angela Chilton (born 1945) talks about the fear of losing her partner’s children.
“Sometimes I just feel I’m not actually in the real world because my whole life is gay, and it’s like, I’ll go and see a friend who is straight and we’ll go to a bar and I’ll think, ‘God I haven’t been in a straight bar for 6 months!’”
Remy Kirk (born 1976) talks about her lifestyle and gay scene.