“First of its kind” national archiving project underway
LGBTQ+ young people across Scotland have lent their voices to a first-of-its-kind social history project that will preserve their experiences, stories and hopes for the future.
This is part of LGBT Youth Scotland’s (Un)Seen, (Un)Heard initiative, which is capturing, collating and conserving the stories of LGBTQ+ young people to create a new permanent archive within the National Library of Scotland and increase visibility, provide connection across generations, strengthen communities and inform policymakers.
Over 150 messages full of hope for the future have already been collated in the form of recordings, letters, films, pieces of art, banners and signed flags from workshops across the country, including attendance at six Pride events across Scotland, including the first ever Barras Pride Market, and will form part of a unique national exhibition, at venues all over Scotland in early 2024.
The project travelled to six Pride events across Scotland to interview young people, including Highland Pride, Oban Pride and the first ever Barras Pride Market in Glasgow.
Ali Kerr, Head of Partnerships at LGBT Youth Scotland says the charity has been thrilled with the response from young people in Scotland.
She said: “It’s vital we capture the experiences of LGBTQ+ young people to give them a sense of pride in who they are, as well as giving them hope for the future.
The response we’ve had for this project is incredible and we hope that bridging the past and present will help us all make Scotland a place where all young people can thrive.
“We’re looking forward to building on the exhibition for its launch early next year and we’re urging those that haven’t taken part and would like to share their story to get in touch.”
The three-year project, which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, has engaged with youth groups across the country to develop young people’s heritage skills.
Young people in Perth were given an archivist led tour of Perth Archives and delivered training with Our Story Scotland and the Scottish Council for Archives to develop skills in archiving and social history.
In an exciting collaboration, the National Library of Scotland, where the project’s stories will eventually be held, has welcomed groups to learn about its current collections and make their own zines inspired by the archives.
They have provided a safe and welcoming space for groups to get involved with the (Un)seen, (Un)heard project. Most recently Lavender Menace, who are running their own archiving project, visited and recorded an intergenerational oral history.
LGBT Youth Scotland continues to invite LGBTQ+ young people to get involved by sharing their lived experiences through workshops, online submission forms and social media. Their voices will become a powerful part of Scotland’s story when the exhibition launches in early 2024.
LGBT Youth Scotland is Scotland’s national charity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer & Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQ+) young people aged 13-25.
LGBTQ+ young people face unique and additional barriers to realising their potential and LGBT Youth Scotland have been working for 20 years to remove those barriers and create a Scotland where all young people can thrive and flourish.
It works alongside young people to remove those barriers; both individually, and by amplifying their collective voices to influence change.
The charity was recently awarded the Participation and Youth Voice award at the National Youth Work Awards for its work with the Trans Rights Youth Commission, and a judge’s commendation at the Proud Scotland Awards for the Charity Initiative award.
If you are interested in submitting your story to the (Un)seen, (Un)heard archive or would like to know more about the project, email [email protected].
For more information on LGBT Youth Scotland, visit: https://www.lgbtyouth.org.uk/