Pride In Self, Pride In Place: the NHS and LGBTQ+ culture on the Isle of Wight

Pride In Self, Pride In Place: the NHS and LGBTQ+ culture on the Isle of Wight

A Pride parade on the Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight Pride. Photo: Héctor Manchego.

National Lottery Grants for Heritage – £10,000 to £250,000

Shanklin South
Isle of Wight
StoneCrabs Productions
StoneCrabs Theatre is gathering oral histories to uncover the role of the NHS in the Isle of Wight’s LGBTQ+ culture between 1980 and 2000.

Building on their first LGBTQ+ project, Out on an Island, StoneCrabs Theatre are continuing to record and share the community’s heritage to build inclusion and understanding.

The project is creating a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ individuals to share their life experiences. Volunteers are gathering for monthly focus groups to receive oral history training and research LGBTQ+ history.

Working with the island’s NHS staff, their aim is to collect at least 15 oral histories from LGBTQ+ people connected to the island’s history. Seeking stories of daily life, the project is documenting the history of the Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, Sexual Health campaigns such as Captain Condom, and resources like the Isle of Wight Gay Guide.

The project aims to release the oral histories as a podcast and deposit them with archive collections at Carisbrooke Castle Museum and The Wessex Film & Sound archive.

Our funding is also helping StoneCrabs Theatre to:

  • create resources for schools about LGBTQ+ history and inclusion
  • create a digital heritage trail of the Isle of Wight’s LGBTQ+ history
  • work with local museum partners on an exhibition of LGBTQ+ history and help re-interpret their collections through a diverse lens

Caroline Diamond, Project Manager, said: “We’re thrilled to have uncovered some amazing stories, and are looking forward to finding more. These stories can be rollercoasters of emotion, with joy in unexpected places. Their richness has inspired us to keep going, and are a powerful way to engage people with our work.”

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