Cultural spaces are safe spaces: Why inclusion is everything

A guest blog by placement student Kath Fox

I currently have the pleasure of working alongside the brilliant team at the People’s History Museum, which most recently involved a day of events celebrating the National Festival of LGBT History.

As part of the Festival, I ran a stall promoting the Museum’s new community-led LGBT+ project entitled Never Going Underground, taking place in 2017 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts; in partnership with Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus, LGBT Foundation, Proud 2b Parents and The Proud Trust. Throughout the day, thoughts and feelings about past, present and future LGBT campaigns were gathered and captured from the festival attendees and much conversation was had.

Then all of a sudden, around mid –morning, a woman arrived at the Museum with a sense of urgency, keen to know where one of the talks about gender was due to take place. She seemed anxious, looked at me and said: “My son has come out as transgender”, then paused and waited for me to respond to those words which were still unfamiliar to her. I greeted the news with a big smile and replied, “How wonderful!” She looked relieved: “I need to talk to somebody about it. Can you help?”. “Of course”, I said. Within the hour, in between talks and events, Kate Hardy (LGBT Foundation’s Health and Wellbeing Officer) and the woman were busy arranging to meet.

The woman had come across the Festival online and thought she may find help there. Which is exactly what she did. Her son’s life is already better. At that moment she too became part of an entirely new LGBT+ family, and it was just as important to welcome her within an inclusive space, as it was to ensure she had the right support for her son.

Inclusion is such a powerful thing. As an LGBT+ person, to be part of an environment that includes you, respects you and positively celebrates you is something perhaps others take for granted. Being part of a Festival that achieves these things is particularly special.

Cultural spaces are as much about belonging as they are about storytelling and the People’s History Museum do it brilliantly.

 

 

 

Call for participants – Talkin’ ’bout that representation

IMG_3516In 1969 the Representation of the People Act was passed which allowed people aged 18, 19 and 20 to vote in elections. During the 2014 Scottish Referendum 16 year olds were allowed to vote for the first time. We at the People’s History Museum and the Working Class Movement Library are currently working on an  project called Voting for Change. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Voting for Change will examine movements and campaigns from the build up to the Peterloo Massacre in 1819 to the lowering of the voting age in 1969. A key part of this is looking at the votes for 18 campaign of then and the votes for 16 campaign of now.

  • Are you passionate about votes for 16?
  • Were you involved with the votes for 18 movement?
  • Do you have strong views about youth culture?
  • Have you got anything to contribute?
  • Are you willing to make your voice heard?

We want to hear from you! We want to bring together the youth of the 1960s and today’s young people to discuss all matters relating to the right to vote and youth culture. We’re holding an event on Fri 3 June at the Working Class Movement Library so bring along your stories, memories and views you have about either campaign!

Please contact Jack Barnett at events@phm.org.uk for more information.

To book a ticket for the event visit https://representation.eventbrite.co.uk

Heritage Lottery Fund - resized for webWorking Class Movement Library