Islington’s Pride archive will tell the story of borough’s LGBT+ history

Historic Pride badges Credit: Islington Local History Centre
Thanks to National Lottery players, Islington Council will create a major new archive of the borough’s extensive LGBT+ heritage, to tell the stories of a vast range of people from across Islington’s LGBT+ community.

The new archive, called Islington’s Pride, will focus on collecting, archiving and sharing material from community, from the mid 20th century to today.

A borough of firsts

Many key events in UK LGBT+ history took place in Islington including the first public gay rights protest in Britain, which took place in Highbury Fields in 1970; the election in 1984 of Chris Smith, the UK’s first openly gay member of Parliament, as MP for Islington South & Finsbury; and one of the UK’s first same-sex wedding at Islington Town Hall on 28 March 2014.

Over the past 50 years Islington has also been home to well-known and important LGBT+ charities and organisations including London Friend, the UK’s oldest LGBT+ charity; the London Gay Switchboard, and the Pink Paper.

The archive will highlight contributions made by Islington’s LGBT+ groups and charities in their struggle for recognition and equal rights. But just as importantly the project aims to give a voice to the lives of ordinary LGBT+ people of Islington, to allow them tell their stories or record their struggles over the years for equality, freedom and liberty.

50th anniversary of Sexual Offences Act

“I am delighted that thanks to National Lottery Players, we too are flying the flag for Islington’s Pride with LGBT+ heritage at the heart of the Borough’s history”Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London

The announcement of funding for Islington’s Pride comes in the year which marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act which decriminalised homosexual acts in private between two men over the age of 21.

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “As we celebrate Pride across London, it’s important to remember and champion the historic contributions from Islington’s LGBT+ community; the stories of everyday lives who, through extraordinary passion and determination have helped to shape a more equal society. I am delighted that thanks to National Lottery Players, we too are flying the flag for Islington’s Pride with LGBT+ heritage at the heart of the Borough’s history.”

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