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13 February 2019

Go West: The LGBT+ Experience

Celebrate LGBT History Month by sharing your memories of being LGBT+ in Ayrshire in an afternoon of workshops and storytelling on the 17 February.

To celebrate LGBT History Month, Scotland’s Urban Past wants to share the history of LGBT+ communities in Ayrshire.

LGBT+ history is often hidden, with homosexuality illegal in Scotland until 1981, LGBT+ communities often lived out of the public eye and were often ignored in mainstream histories. Our afternoon of workshops and storytelling will bring to light some of the important places and memories connected to LGBT+ communities living in Ayrshire.

With a team of organisations working together to share LGBT+ stories, the aim of this event is to recognise the experiences and places important to Ayrshire communities and bring people from all walks of life together.

Participants will help to make a timeline of their own lives and significant events, engage in discussions on issues affecting LGBT+ people and be part of story sharing to bring their experiences out in to the open.

The session will run from 3pm to 6pm on Sunday 17 February at Unity Grill, 32 Newmarket St, Ayr KA7 1BE.

Scotland’s Urban Past Project Manager Chiara Ronchini said:

“We want LGBT+ people to have the chance to share their memories and celebrate what it means to be a member of an LGBT+ community and live in Ayrshire.

People will be able to share their experiences and learn about LGBT+ history at the same time, a history which we don’t always hear about.

“We want your stories, memories, important places and opinions. Don’t miss the chance to share yours.”

Scottish Civic Trust Director Dr Susan O’Connor said:

This is a fun, informal event where everyone can share the places, spaces, and stories that are important to them.

“We believe that when all members of our communities are engaged in cultural heritage, we all benefit. Participating in local culture gives us a sense of belonging and encourages a physical environment that promotes wellbeing, and we know that integrating diverse voices and experiences into our national culture helps us be more understanding and empathetic, at a time when our world seems increasingly divisive.”

East Ayrshire Council Health and Well-being Officer Kerry Jarvis said:

“’Go West: The LGBT+ experience in Ayrshire’ is a fantastic opportunity for LGBT+ people of all ages to share their stories and explore how life for LGBT+ people in Ayrshire has changed and is still changing as we move through the decades.

This is a great opportunity for all LGBT+ people in Ayrshire to make their mark and leave a legacy for the next generation.

"There will be conversation cafes, opportunities to contribute to an LGBT timeline and view pictures and films.

“We look forward to seeing you there and making some history!”

The workshops are designed to be as inclusive as possible, so gender-neutral toilets and changing facilities are available. There will be wheelchair access available to ensure everyone can share their stories: the event is for everyone.

Find more LGBT History month events in Ayrshire.

About Scotland’s Urban Past (SUP)

  • Scotland's Urban Past is a five-year nationwide community engagement project led by HES and Heritage Lottery funded, providing free training, support and resources to people of all ages to help them discover and share the fascinating stories of Scotland’s towns and cities.
  • It uses a wide range of resources to help groups realise their projects, be it recording the places that matter to them or celebrating their heritage through creative activity. 

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

About The Scottish Civic Trust

  • The Scottish Civic Trust celebrates Scotland’s built environment, takes action for its improvement and empowers its communities. Over 100 trusts and societies are affiliated with the Scottish Civic Trust.

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

  • Using money raised by the National Lottery, the National Lottery Heritage Fund inspires, leads and resources the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

For more information please contact:

Emma Brown
Scotland’s Urban Past Communications Officer
Direct Line: 0131 651 6736
Mobile: 0746 4981 353