Gay experiences of war and conflict on show at Imperial War Museum

Tony Grew June 25, 2008
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An exhibition focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people’s experiences in the military from 1945 to the present day will open next month at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester.

Organisers appealed for LGBT people to share their experiences and 12 have done so.

As well as reflecting adversity the display aims to celebrate the achievements and reflect the positive contributions of the LGBT communities to the Armed Forces and examine how experiences may have changed since 1945.

Catherine Roberts, Visitor Programmes Manager, Imperial War Museum North said:

“The experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, within the context of conflict, war and military service, is arguably still a largely hidden history.

“Through this small but important display hopefully we can make a step towards helping to reveal and celebrate it.”

An intimate, temporary display, Military Pride will have a permanent legacy as the histories collected will form part of Imperial War Museum’s collections for future generations and it is hoped that the display will also tour.

Imperial War Museum North has a three-year history of delivering tours and events relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experience in war and conflict from the First World War to the present day, reflecting the Museum’s focus on how war has shaped and continues to shape peoples lives.

“It may also be seen as timely as it has just been announced that representatives of the British Army are permitted to march in uniform at London Pride, the first time that individuals from all three services are now able to celebrate their profession and sexuality at the same time in public at Pride events without fear of facing disciplinary action,” the museum said in a press release.

The Imperial War Museum is the national museum of the experiences of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since 1914.

For more information click here.


A Closer Look Tour: Pride
Fri 15, Mon 18, Wed 20 & Fri 22 August 1.30pm
A free tour focusing on the hidden histories of LGBT communities in periods of war and peacekeeping.

Military Pride Night
Main Exhibition Space, Saturday 16 August 6.30 – 8.30pm

Join us for a tour of the WaterWay exhibition, good company and a drink, celebrating the contributions of LGBT communities in the armed services.

There will be an opportunity for a Q&A with the curators during the evening. Free, but booking required on 0161 836 4007.

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