Mapping the Past: Our Space and Time
Mapping the past involves marking out the space that we made for ourselves when we were denied visibility and place. It also involves tracing a different history from the official versions that exclude or ignore us. Our history has its own heroes, key events, progress and timeline.
Genealogy and researching family trees is currently being celebrated throughout the nation. Since our histories often do not necessarily fit into the conventions of the traditional family tree construct, OurStory Scotland has come up with the idea of tracing our Supporting Stars. Supporting Stars break away from a bloodline tree structure, and provide the opportunity of creating local and virtual maps of individuals, who are known to have dealt with experiences of isolation and marginalisation through lifestyle or sexuality, or who have provided support or inspiration. This might include reference to individuals who have inspired and offered emotional support through local community groups, counselling and activism, as well as friends, peers, family members, pioneering examples, role models, particular haunts and representative fictions.
One of the most interesting exercises in creating a sense of our place in history is to map our space, by pinpointing key locations on a map of a city or country. Amongst those locations will be the Gay Centres, including the first in the UK - the Glasgow Gay Centre opened in 1977. Yet there will also be the more informal meeting places, such as discos and walks organised by the LGBT community. Examples include the Lilidots lesbian feminist walking group and the Glasgow Gay Ramblers. As for discos, they figure in the account of the Glasgow Gay Centre, SMG and SHRG and in this personal recollection of gay discos before 1982:
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