LGBT History Month: OurSpace for OurStory

Guest blogger Jaime Valentine describes the LGBT heritage activities and resources of the OurStory Scotland project.

Submitted by Nicky on 24-02-2016 15:13:16

From our beginnings in 2002, OurStory Scotland has been recording and presenting the places and spaces that have been significant for LGBT lives in Scotland. Some of our earliest written contributions celebrated places where people could meet and be themselves. On our website we have a section entitled ‘Mapping the Past: Our Space and Time’ which itself has several linked contributions.

Contributors to our oral history recordings have often detailed particular settings where meetings took place that became significant episodes in their lives. For example, on our YouTube channel you can hear:

Edwin Morgan talking of the love of his life and explaining that he ‘Met Him in Green’s Playhouse’; Margaret talking of ‘Taking Time Out in George Square’ for her first meeting with women from Lesbian Line; and  John talking about the ‘Batchelor Clan and Scottish Minorities Group’ and the meetings that took place in the Iona Community (Church of Scotland) premises at Community House, Argyle Street, Glasgow.

A multicoloured graphic beside the text "lgbt history month Scotland"


In 2008 we held the first ever LGBT exhibition in a major Scottish museum: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. The Kelvingrove estimated that the exhibition was seen by more than 10,000 people. The theme of the exhibition was OurSpace, and included a map of Glasgow noting key places of significance to LGBT people.


OurSpace exhibition at Kelvingrove Museum and Gallery 2008OurSpace exhibition at Kelvingrove Museum and Gallery, Glasgow, 2008

In 2010 we took part in the MOCO (Mass Observation Communities Online) project, inviting people to submit questionnaires, diaries and observations. The observations were focused on places where you, as an LGBT person, felt comfortable and might typically go. This contributor talks of spending a couple of hours in a University café. You can try this out yourself, making your own observation in a place frequented by you, and submit it online.

OurSpace exhibition mapMap of LGBT places in Glasgow featured in the 2008 exhibition

On 29 July 2014 we conducted the first ever LGBT History Walk in Glasgow, retracing LGBT history by taking a walk through Glasgow’s past places and spaces. The walk was a journey of memories, sharing stories of places we used to meet and venues that have helped to shape our history and our community.

LGBT History walk in Glasgow in 2014Passages in our History - LGBT History Walk, Glasgow, 2014


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