For too long, LGBT history has been marginalised, misrepresented or left out of the history books and archives altogether. This project has created an LGBT online community archives to ensure the experiences and memories of lesbian, gay and bisexual people of West Yorkshire are recorded and preserved for the benefit, heritage and empowerment of West Yorkshire's LGB communities, and as a tool of education and engagement for the wider community.
In early 2007 West Yorkshire Archive Service successfully bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a digital community archive capturing memories of LGBT Pride celebrations. This year-long project hoped to explore how these celebrations have shaped the history of West Yorkshire.
The response to the LGBT project was fantastic, and the theme was expanded beyond Gay Pride to create fuller histories. The LGBT project has in fact produced several collections of material, with Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees being particularly active in contributing their stories. The archive contains clips from the interviews, video stories created as part of winter pride and hosted on NowThen as part of the archive with many images, memory cards and photos.
The Equity Centre hosted drop-in sessions where people could come and share there stories. This help set up several longer more in depth interviews. MESMAC put us in contact with the Leeds Gay Community, who shared some of there life experiences. Calderdale LGBT network, Kirklees Community LGBT network, Kirklees Council LGBT employment Network, Leeds City Council Employee LGBT Network, Northern Older Lesbian Network and the West Yorkshire Bisexuals amongst others also helped promote the project. Meetings were attended where the project could be promoted and shared, from this many stories, images and items were contributed to the project
We are keen that this archive continues to grow and develop and we invite people to share there stories, memories and picture to keep expanding the content. If you would like to do this please go to the contribute section of the website.