To build on the foundations of LGBTQ archives in West London, the West London Queer Project (WLQP) has partnered with the London Boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hounslow, and Kensington & Chelsea to promote awareness of LGBTQ+ history and the importance of capturing memories and telling stories.
When reflecting on LGBTQ+ history, we turn to local archives which can hold old newspaper articles, leaflets, advertising, photographs, letters and more to help us celebrate, remember, and understand progress made over the years. But LGBTQ+ history is currently not well represented in archives which tend to focus mainly on the AIDS epidemic or the legalities of being gay, or there is no material at all.
Founder of WLQP, Aubrey Crawley said:
“This year, I wanted to celebrate LGBTQ+ History Month with a big exhibition showcasing West London’s diverse and colourful queer history. However, after visiting various local archives, I found major gaps in the collections."
“There’s very little documentation or history on lesbian women, non-binary, black, ethnic, or trans members of our community. Local archives serve as valuable sources of information and including LGBTQ+ existence in the archives is a fundamental part of mapping life in West London. We want to celebrate the joy, love and community that has existed so that our full history is not forgotten."
“I’m calling for a West London shout-out to anyone willing to share their memories of life in West London, documents, pictures, or anything that could be donated to the local LGBTQ+ archive collections.”
Four key events are taking place throughout February to mark LGBTQ+ History Month and members of the media and public are welcome to join.
Submissions for the archives can emailed to email@example.com, taken to one of the 4 key events in February for photocopying or scanning, or you can take them to Hammersmith Library (W6 7AT) on Mon & Tues, 3-5pm.
See our events page for further details of the LGBTQ+ History Month events.
Happy LGBTQ+ History Month!