An exhibition highlighting the little-known history of East Sussex’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities will go on display at venues in the East Sussex.
Entitled LGBT+ equals me – a skip, a hop and a jump, the project is the product of months of work by young people who trawled the archives and visited cultural sites. The exhibition features artwork, posters, a short film and interviews between younger and older LGBT people about their experiences and exploring how attitudes have changed.
It will go on display at Charleston, in Firle, near Lewes, over the weekend of 8th & 9th February and at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery from 18th February to 3rd May, while the short film will be screened at the Towner Eastbourne on Tuesday, 25th February at 5.30pm, with a reception starting from 5pm.
Cllr Sylvia Tidy, the East Sussex County Councillor for Crowborough South & St Johns and the Lead Member for Children and Families, said:
Young people have done a fantastic job of exploring the county’s LGBT history, which is far less well known than in areas such as Brighton & Hove.
They’ve shown great imagination and creativity and the work they’ve produced really captures the giant strides that were taken by LGBT people of previous generations in fighting for the equality they enjoy today.
A group of 21 young people took part in the visits and activities that were part of the project, with a wider group of young people who attend targeted youth support groups taking part in the film and graffiti art elements.
Cai Blakeaway, 19, from Crowborough, said:
I got out of this project more knowledge and a better understanding of our community’s past. It has definitely solidified some of my beliefs and made me feel like I need to help people, even within our community, understand what it is like to be me.
I learned how far we as a world have come and how far we need to go to make everything the best it can be. I now have a stronger respect for the people of the past who fought to make it so I could be me now, and I have a bigger desire to fight for total equality for future generations. I hope that what I have learned can be used to help make the world safer for the next generation everywhere.
The project is funded by National Lottery players through a £48,500 grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund secured by East Sussex County Council, delivered in conjunction with young people supported by the council’s targeted youth support service.
De La Warr Pavilion and Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.