From Section 28 to equal marriage - Stonewall exhibition
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From Section 28 to equal marriage - Stonewall exhibition

  • Exhibition explores changes in legislation, attitudes and experiences

  • Project showcases individual stories, significant events and campaign materials

  • Volunteer-led project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Stonewall, Britain’s leading charity for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality, has celebrated the end of two-year project to capture significant events in the charity’s 25-year history.

From Section 28 to Equal Marriage is a volunteer-led project that showcases individual stories of those who have been involved with Stonewall or have been active in the LGBT rights movement.

ThoughtWorks kindly hosted the event for Stonewall in London on Wednesday 2 September to thank all the volunteers who have been involved and to showcase a collection of films, images and materials included in the project.  

With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, 60 volunteers spent the past two years collecting materials that explore changes in legislation, attitudes and experiences since Stonewall was founded in 1989.

Copies of all of the materials collected during the project will now be submitted to a public archive in the Bishopsgate Institute. Not only did the Bishopsgate Institute agree to host the archive, they also taught Stonewall volunteers research techniques and methods of archiving over the course of the project.

Rachel Hasted, London committee member from the Heritage Lottery Fund, was there to open the event. She said: ‘We were really delighted to fund this project to capture the important changes in our lifetimes. This project is so important because histories which are often side-lined need to be recorded and the complexity of our history must be fully understood.’

The celebration was attended by a number of people who featured in Stonewall’s book LGBT Voices. This book shares stories from LGBT people who have lived through inequalities and experiences that are rarely reflected upon in television, books or films.

Another element of the project was the Walk With Pride map, a visual documentation of the history of Prides around the UK. Simon Gandy, a Stonewall volunteer, was involved and he and fellow volunteers handed out 500 maps at this year’s Pride in London.

Simon said: ‘I was really passionate about the Pride aspect as I’d never been to a Pride before last year. When we handed out the maps people loved them – they’re so vibrant. It’s been fantastic to be involved in the project, I was amazed by how much I was allowed to run with my ideas and to see them come to fruition is fantastic.’

As well as volunteers, stakeholders and supporters, the event was attended by 36 young people aged 18- to 25-year-old who have embarked on Stonewall’s Young Leaders programme to help empower them to become role models for LGBT equality in their workplaces and communities.

More information and stories can be viewed at the Stonewall 25 Years website.