Imperial War Museum appeals for LGBT experiences

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

An exhibition focusing on how war and conflict have shaped people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities’ lives from 1945 to the present day will open later this year at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester.

The Imperial War Museum is the national museum of the experiences of people who have lived, fought and died in conflicts involving Britain and the Commonwealth since 1914.

Organisers want to hear from LGBT people who can share their experiences, which will form part of the final display.

They want to hear from people who have served or who are serving in the Armed Forces to contact them.

Military Pride, which will run from 12th July to 12th October, will be a small but powerful display which reveals via portrait photography and personal testimony LGBT experience within the context of conflict, war and military service.

Military Pride will also detail historical context and a timeline of post 1945 legislature and policies within the Armed Forces and is timed to connect with the Manchester Pride Festival.

As well as reflecting adversity the display will aim to celebrate the achievements and reflect the positive contributions of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities to the Armed Forces and examine how experiences may have changed since 1945.

Catherine Roberts, Visitor Programmes Manager, Imperial War Museum North, told

“The experience of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, within the context of conflict, war and military service, is arguably still a largely hidden history.

“With your help hopefully we can make a step towards helping to reveal and celebrate it.

“We look forward to hearing from people as soon as possible. We are hoping to finalise content by the end of March.”

Imperial War Museum North has a 3-year history of delivering tours and events relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experience in war and conflict from the First World War to the present day, reflecting the Museum’s focus on how war has shaped and continues to shape peoples lives.

To find out how you can get involved or for more information please contact Catherine Roberts (0161 836 4062 [email protected]) or James McSharry (0161 836 4099 [email protected]) at Imperial War Museum North.

To view a timeline on equal rights in the armed forces from 1955 onwards click here.

Hundreds of individual events are taking place throughout the UK this month to celebrate LGBT History Month.

Founded and run by volunteers, it first took place in February 2005, in the wake of the abolition of Section 28 and has grown each year.

It is intended to raise awareness of, and combat prejudice against, the LGBT community – check the LGBT History Month website for further details.