Pride in Suffolk’s Past: Sharing LGBTQ+ stories past and present

The Hold volunteers at their stand at Suffolk Pride
The Hold volunteers at Suffolk Pride

Heritage Grants

Ipswich
Suffolk County Council
£538100
Suffolk Archives' latest project sets to uncover and share the hidden LGBTQ+ stories from Suffolk's history.

As part of the Sharing Suffolk Stories initiative, these LGBTQ+ stories will be collected to create an exhibition at The Hold on Ipswich waterfront, set to open as soon as coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions allow.

"We have uncovered so many fascinating and moving stories in the archives that show that LGBTQ+ people have always been part of Suffolk's community."

Holly Wright, Heritage Trainee

So far, the project has:

  • collected contemporary stories from individuals living in Suffolk today
  • revealed the fascinating stories of more well-known individuals including Benjamin Britten, Nina Layard, and Dr Louisa Garrett Andersen
  • developed volunteers’ research skills
  • held an online exhibition

Pride in Suffolk's Past is also getting involved in the OUTing the Past Festival; an international celebration of LGBT+ history. The festival will host a series of events and activities, both physical and digital.

Holly Wright, Heritage Trainee and contributor to the project, said: “We have uncovered so many fascinating and moving stories in the archives that show that LGBTQ+ people have always been part of Suffolk's community.

"Their stories have historically gone untold, because of legal and social repression, but through our new exhibition we aim to put this right.”