Rainbow cities: celebrating LGBTIQ+ community heritage

Share your LGBTIQ+ experiences, stories and histories with Scotland's Urban Past as part of LGBT History Month 2016

Submitted by on 01-02-2016 12:01:04

LGBT History Month

Today, Monday 1 February 2016, marks the start of the 12th LGBT History Month in the UK. 

Since 2005, this initiative has encouraged people nationwide to learn more about lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) people and history, has promoted equality and diversity and has fought discrimination.

It is also an opportunity for LGBTIQ+ people themselves to discover, explore and celebrate the places, people and cultures of this diverse community.

For many years, individuals and organisations around Scotland have been collecting, documenting, mapping and celebrating LGBTIQ+ experiences, stories and histories. The results include the physical collections in The Lesbian Archive at Glasgow Women’s Library and online at Our Story Scotland, Queer Scotland and Remember When by the Living Memory Association. 

A photograph of a rainbow flag flying from a flagpole in the wind, with a blue sky behind it.The first LGBT History Month in the UK took place in February 2005.

Get involved!

This LGBT History Month, Scotland’s Urban Past (SUP), a five-year initiative from Historic Environment Scotland which helps communities record and celebrate places which matter to them, (and who are not short on rainbow representatives and supporters) will be sharing this great research and hope to see contributions of LGBTIQ+ memories and histories recorded in the national database of buildings, archaeology, designed landscapes, industrial and maritime sites, Canmore.

Throughout February, SUP will bring you guest blog posts telling LGBTIQ+ stories and histories, and exploring places and spaces, people and research resources.

We’re still seeking blog posts, so please get in touch if you have an idea by emailing sup@rcahms.gov.uk.

Inspired by online projects in Scotland and Historic England’s Pride of Place, SUP invites you to contribute information and images about places significant to you and your community.

At the end of LGBT History Month, we’ll publish a digital map of all the places suggested.


A photograph of a group of people ready to run through a park with rainbow flags above them. Behind them are trees and the top of a building."OUTrun" is a running event in Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park to raise awareness of LGBT+ participation in sport. Image by Eamonn Butler is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

How to contribute

We’d love to hear both your personal memories and any historical information you would like to share.

To contribute:

  1. Register on our website
  2. Find a place or space and view the site record
  3. Contribute information, memories or images.
    This can include the type of place or space it is or was, when the place or space was significant (and if it continues to be today) and why the place or space is significant to you, your community or Scottish LGBTIQ+ history.
  4. Save your contribution.


Please feel free to include links to supporting information, such as websites or references to books, magazines, or journals.

If you are contributing any images, please confirm that you have permission to do so. All images will be credited under Creative Commons 4.0.

A black and white photograph of a group of people outside a building holding signs reading "Gay news is good news".Members of the International Gay Rights Congress group held a demonstration outside The Scotsman offices in Edinburgh in December 1974. Image © The Scotsman Publications Ltd. Licensor www.scran.ac.uk

Find out more

You can discover more about LGBT History Month on the official websites for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

If your community group has a project idea about exploring and celebrating LGBTIQ+ places and spaces in your town or city, let us know by contacting Carol Stobie, Audience Development Officer, at sup@rcahms.gov.uk.


Terminology and language
By using the acronym LGBTIQ+, SUP aims to acknowledge everyone within this wide and diverse community. We recognise and respect the expansive range of experiences within this community, encompassing same-sex love, desire and sexual practices; cross-gender identification and gender diversity; and the historical locations where these experiences took place. 

We forward to hearing from you and for your help in queering up Canmore this February!



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