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OurStory Scotland

... recording the stories of the LGBT community in Scotland

Archiving Heritage Oral History Storytelling Drama Exhibitions Research

Press Release by Communities Scotland

Wednesday 2 February, 2005


A project to research and archive the social history of people often excluded and discriminated in society has received funding support from Communities Scotland.

The grant was made to OurStory Scotland, a recognised Scottish charity, who collect, archive and present the life stories of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland.

Funding will allow the charity to gather history from people of all ages within the LGBT community throughout Scotland. Stories from the older generation, in particular, will reveal the far-reaching changes that have occurred in their lifetime. Interviews and historical materials will help form an archive of their lives to be stored and displayed by the National Museums of Scotland.

The research project coincides with February being LGBT history month.
Head of knowledge and intelligence at Communities Scotland, Sue Warner, said:

"Communities Scotland's support for this project will allow many within this community to tell their stories and help make us all more aware of just how genuinely diverse Scotland is. Understanding other people and their lives can help reduce barriers between different communities.

We are sure that this will help to combat the negative views of LGBT people that some people hold by giving us access to the truth behind what have often been invisible stories and hidden lives."

Chair of OurStory Scotland, Jaime Valentine, added:

"We are delighted with the support we have received. It will enable us to progress with this important project to rescue evidence of people's lives, ensuring a legacy for generations to come. Until now the authentic stories of LGBT people in Scotland have been overlooked, especially in rural communities and small towns.

By giving people the opportunity to represent themselves, to tell of their lives in their own words, we are challenging the stereotypical images that currently exist. We also hope that by recording these stories, it will act as a role model for other marginalised communities who will see the benefit of a positive sense of identity, culture, history and mutual support."

The project will involve a series of interviews and workshops throughout the country, culminating in an audio-visual exhibition, a research workshop with professionals and practitioners, and a theatre performance reflecting the diversity of stories collected.
Communities Scotland invested £9,995 in the project through its Scottish Community Action Research Fund (SCARF). This fund provides funding, training and mentoring for communities who wish to carry out their own research into issues of concern to them.

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