New LGBTQ+ Youth Experience Resource Now Online

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Into the Outside: a new online resource for LGTBTQ+ young people, teachers and community educators.

Photoworks led Into the Outside: a Heritage Lottery Fund learning project with young people, examining Brighton & Hove’s LGBTQ+ past and creating a new archive of queer youth experience for the city and beyond.

 Aspects of the project have now been published online. The website (www.intotheoutside.org.uk) is a national educational resource for teachers, youth workers and young people interested in knowing more about or relating to LGBTQ+ youth experience. It is the first resource of it’s kind.

13-25 year olds in Brighton & Hove have been examining how issues faced today by young people identifying as LGBTQ+ compare with those faced by young LGBTQ+ people over the past 50 years in the same city. Their research and project work has culminated in a new online queer archive for their peers and others to utilise.

This new online educational resource includes elements of the queer archive, including photography, written responses and oral histories. The website also has a series of materials for those working in education; teachers, youth workers and others working with young LGBTQ+ groups or individuals.

The website includes:
• The voices of LGBTQ+ young people in Brighton & Hove and beyond.
• A gallery of new photography created by young people as part of the project.
Information and advice for young people who might be coming out, or questioning their identity.
Resources for teachers and youth workers supporting young people.
• LGBTQ+ heritage through archive partners’ collections.

Into the Outside also investigates the period between 1967 (which saw the Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalize homosexual activity) and the present-day, encompassing some key historical moments for the LGBTQ+ community, such as the first Gay Pride marches, Section 28, the reduction of the age of consent, the Civil Partnership Act and the Equality Act.

Spearheaded by Juliette Buss, Learning and Engagement Curator for Photoworks, the project began in 2016, with photography and creative writing workshops, archive research and oral history training taking place in Brighton & Hove including at The Keep, a world-class archive resource centre that holds the archives of East Sussex Record Office (ESRO) and the Royal Pavilion & Museums Local History Collections. The young participants also explored a range of materials, including the National Lesbian and Gay Survey – a collection of autobiographical writing and ephemera submitted by over 250 people in the UK between 1986 and 2004 – in creating their project findings.

In creating the resource and on the project, the Into the Outside group worked with many different communities and at events across the city to pull together their research and responses, including Pride and TransPride, to research and collect oral histories, many of which were included in an exhibition that was part of Brighton Photo Biennial earlier this year.

The programme was facilitated by artist Helen Cammock, who has many years of experience running high caliber arts projects with young people. Helen Cammock also contributed to the resources available online, alongside celebrated poet, Dean Atta.

Juliette Buss, Photoworks Learning and Engagement Curator, Photoworks, said: “This project has been a valuable opportunity to help young people feel more connected with their city and themselves and enable them to explore, make sense of, and value the legacy of their cultural heritage.

“They learned about the importance of archives, developing heritage skills, and building awareness of LGBTQ+ issues such as, representation, identity, emotional wellbeing and social barriers to inclusion. Although the resource comes from a project in Brighton & Hove, we hope that the materials will be widely utilized nationally by young people but also those working in education.”

ITO Participant, Charlie Snow, said: “It’s been eye-opening learning about issues faced by LGBTQ+ people in the past and how some of them are still a problem today for many. Sometimes it can be difficult when you’re trying to figure out how you identify, but being part of this project has helped me to be proud of who I am.”

Participants for Into the Outside were recruited by an open call through social media, schools and community groups. The thirteen-month heritage-learning project is being delivered in collaboration with Brighton & Hove Libraries Services, and the Mass Observation Archive. Many other organisations from across the city are also involved including: The East Sussex Record Office, Queer in Brighton and the Brighton & Hove Aldridge Community Academies.

Into The Outside: http://www.intotheoutside.org.uk/