Pride in Nottingham
It is 50 years since homosexuality was decriminalised in England. Over the time since, there has been a cascade in changing society’s norms and values to promote equality for the LGBTQ+ community. It is just over a year that same-sex marriage was legalised. There is still much to change. However, Pride is a time to celebrate the successes that the movement has had.
Museums and culture play an instrumental part in representing history and promoting role models. History must be told from as many different views as possible to give a rounded knowledge of the past. Many museums are campaigning with LGBTQ+ exhibitions throughout the pride celebrations. The Museum Association actively encourages museums to join the celebration and ‘highlight the fact that museums can tell diverse stories and are places that can help us all understand our identity’. You can follow the museum hashtag #QueerMuseum to follow events and exhibitions that museums and galleries are holding.
However, there has not always been such a supportive message for the movement. In Nottingham, just as with several other cities across the UK, the struggle to get to this point has been long fought. When the 1967 decriminalisation act was passed, it was not an easy discussion. It was met with a lot of vitriol; one person wrote to the Nottingham Post in 1967.
“I do not think homosexuality should be made legal, even for consenting adults in private. Some commit the offence only once or twice and I should like to think that homosexuality is temporary and that sooner or later they will find themselves and become normal.”
L.D. February 25th 1966 http://www.nottsrh.webeden.co.uk/epost1967/4541116352
Despite the act, the LGBTQ+ community still had a long way to go. Even though the law had changed, the views of the public was slower to adapt. Grassroots movements, such as the first Nottinghamshire Campaign for Homosexuality Equality (CHE) was established in 1972, and published newsletters such as the Chimaera to share amongst the community.
Since, Nottingham has stood up to the intolerant and demonstrated against their prejudices by kissing publicly in Hyson Green’s Asda, or marching against negative equality decisions made by Nottinghamshire council.
Films such as Pride (2014) go a long way to further equality by retelling received history. It tells the story of Welsh LGBT activists who helped miners in their strikes. It puts LGBT activists at the heart of the 1984 miner’s strikes, highlighting the fundraising that they carried out during the strikes for the miners. This is a little told story of the strikes and yet an important one to both the history of the strikes and LGBT movements. The film received critical acclaim.
The movement is therefore having an impact in the law, in society and in culture. These three things together are changing views and promoting equality.
What can I do to get involved?
The Pride Festival is a celebration of the successes and raises awareness of the LGBTQ+ community. Pride started in Nottingham in its earlier formation, Pink Lace in the 1990s and was held on Broad Street. In 2012 the celebration attracted a crowd of 25,000 people.
Nottingham Pride will return to Broad Street, after a march around the city. It is taking place on the 29th July, for more information visit http://nottinghamshirepride.co.uk/. It is just one of the ways you can support this long fought movement, and after all it is great fun!
For more information about the history of Nottingham’s LGBTQ+ history please visit http://www.nottsrh.webeden.co.uk/our-heritage/4540908111