Out On An Island: 100 years of Isle of Wight LGBTQ+ oral histories

Out On An Island: 100 years of Isle of Wight LGBTQ+ oral histories

People look at an exhibition of LGBTQ+ people's stories
StoneCrabs Theatre held an exhibition of LGBTQ+ stories.

Our Heritage

Ryde North West
Isle of Wight
StoneCrabs Theatre collaborated with the community on the island’s first LGBTQ+ oral history project.

Out on an Island collected the untold stories of LGBTQ+ people through 20 oral history interviews, facilitated by volunteers trained during the project.

One of the oral histories records Robin Ford’s story, a queer writer, poet and retired teacher. Robin talks about hearing the word ‘homosexual’ for the first time in 1954, his experiences of working in an secondary school when Section 28 was introduced, and manning the phones for the Isle of Wight Gay Social Club in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The project team thoroughly researched the Isle of Wight’s LGBTQ+ history. They visited other archives and museums to make connections, did further research on LGBTQ+ history and learned how to put an exhibition together.

Between April 2019 and November 2021, 14 community workshops, 12 presentation and learning sessions and five specialist talks were held to share and discuss the oral histories and LGBTQ+ history.

podcast series was created using the oral histories, and the full interview collection is held at Carisbrooke Castle Museum and The Wessex Film & Sound Archives. Exhibitions of the project’s work took place on the island at Quay Arts in 2021 and later at Carisbrooke Castle in 2022.

Franko Figueiredo, Artistic Director of StoneCrabs Theatre, said: “The project came from our discussions on the meaning and importance of cultivating connection and change through our island’s unspoken LGBTQ+ history. ‘Out On An Island’ can show us that the Island can and should be a diverse, inclusive home for all of its residents and visitors.”

You might also be interested in...