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Now in our third year, the volunteer-led and permanent V&A LGBTQ Tours have gone from strength to strength. We've seen 2750+ visitors, received three awards, and I was very moved when so many came to show their support for marriage equality in my home country - and we won - with same-sex marriage now legal in Oz!
I was kindly offered a few roles this year as Museums Association Transformer (Diversify), AMA Future Proof Museums fellow and Stonewall BAME / POC Role Model. For next year, I have been commissioned to prepare a good practice guide for presenting LGBTQ narratives in a museum context, so if you have a museum project that would be an ideal case study, please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
The V&A LGBTQ Tours return next year on the last Saturday of each month, with the first one for 2018 at 4pm on Saturday January 27. In the meantime, please find below some highlights from this year.
At The Museum The V&A LGBTQ guides presented on online tour in collaboration with the i newspaper for LGBT History Month. We also hosted an evening of queer dance with London Contemporary Dance School and Central School of Ballet for Friday Late: Out For Revolution.
New V&A LGBTQ Guides We are in the process of training our third generation of LGBTQ guides. Thank you to long-standing guides Morag Cuthbert and Tony Mollet for their service and for helping start the programme. The new year will see new guides, new objects, new stories and even more #QueerVAM posts!
We took our show on the road with talks at Solent Southampton University's 'Invisible Identity and the Creative Act' conference and LGBTQ Tours for Fun Palaces at National Maritime Museum. I also tried my hand at stand-up comedy for Museums Showoff!
We ramped up our community outreach this year, with our guides hosting groups such as Diversity Role Models, Ancient House Thetford Teenage History Club, BAME in Publishing, many corporate and university LGBTQ societies as well as Gender Studies groups.
Museum Pride LDN A cohort of museum people marched at Pride in London under the Museums Association banner. Many of our institutions also celebrated 50 years of partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales with a range of exhibitions and events.
Glittering Prizes The V&A LGBTQ volunteers received our third award, the Marsh Trust London regional award for Museum Learning. Also, the We Are Here project (for which I volunteered as Private Frederick Cartwright) received the Museums + Heritage Award for best Marketing Campaign.