LGBT stories sought for new project
The University of Sheffield is asking the LGBT community to get in touch and share their experiences of coming out and living life as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person.
A unique collaboration between the University of Sheffield’s Department of History and Out Aloud Sheffield LGBT choir has created Allowed Out, a project seeking to document and showcase LGBT experiences.
Allowed Out is inviting the LGBT community to participate in a series of writing workshops beginning on 26 May 2012 with local writer and former Derbyshire Poet Laureate River Wolton. These are open to any member of the LGBT community and will focus on the critical incidents that have shaped lives, identity and community, as well as individual and collective activism.
It is hoped that these workshops will generate original material for a multi-media performance at the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind in September this year. The writings will also contribute to the Stories of Activism archive project at the Department of History’s Centre for the Study of Democratic Culture and the Centre for Peace History, run by Drs Gary Rivett, Mike Foley and Adrian Bingham.
Dr Gary Rivett said: “All members of the LGBT community are warmly invited to take part in these free, friendly writing workshops. We’re hoping to document pivotal moments and events, sources of inspiration and courage, as well as people’s experiences of coming out and LGBT identity, community and activism. If people are unable to attend the workshops we can arrange to scribe or record stories. We’re also welcoming photos, archive material and memorabilia so please email email@example.com with your ideas and contributions.”
River Wolton said: “I came out more than twenty years ago after considerable inner turmoil and I’m indebted to the friends, activists and cultural figures whose courage, visibility and pride have made it possible for me to love and live with integrity.
“Recent years have seen improvements in LGBT human rights in the UK, but every day young people are still bullied or driven to self-harm and suicide by homophobia, and across the globe, sometimes as a backlash to greater visibility, LGBT people are abused, imprisoned, tortured, or even executed because of who they love or how they live.
“I hope this project will provide insight and inspiration, as well as encouragement for people of all ages and backgrounds to treat each other with respect, dignity and humanity.”
The writing workshops will take place on Saturday 26 May 2012 2.30pm - 5pm and Thursday 14 June 2012 7.30pm - 9.30pm at St Mary’s Conference Centre, Bramall Lane, and Saturday 30 June 2012 10.30am - 1pm. Quaker Meeting House, St James Street.
• Sat 26th May 2012 2.30pm – 5pm. St Mary’s Conference Centre, Bramall Lane, S2 4QZ
• Thurs 14th June 2012 7.30pm – 9.30pm. St Mary’s Conference Centre, Bramall Lane, S2 4QZ
• Sat 30th June 2012 10.30am – 1pm. Quaker Meeting House, St James Street, S1 2EW
Refreshments, pens and paper will be provided.
The workshops will cover different themes and participants are welcome at one, two or all. If you can’t come we can arrange to scribe or record your stories - please get in touch. We also invite any contributions of photos, archive material, memorabilia, both for the performance and for the Stories of Activism archive.
The University of Sheffield
With nearly 25,000 students from 125 countries, the University of Sheffield is one of the UK's leading and largest universities. A member of the Russell Group, it has a reputation for world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
The University of Sheffield has been named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards for its exceptional performance in research, teaching, access and business performance. In addition, the University has won four Queen's Anniversary Prizes (1998, 2000, 2002, 2007). These prestigious awards recognise outstanding contributions by universities and colleges to the United Kingdom's intellectual, economic, cultural and social life. Sheffield also boasts five Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and many of its alumni have gone on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence around the world.
The University's research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls Royce, Unilever, Boots, AstraZeneca, GSK, ICI, Slazenger, and many more household names, as well as UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
The University has well-established partnerships with a number of universities and major corporations, both in the UK and abroad. Its partnership with Leeds and York Universities in the White Rose Consortium has a combined research power greater than that of either Oxford or Cambridge.
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