Helping History Out of the Closet

South Norfolk Council is celebrating diversity with a new pop-up touring exhibition in partnership with Norfolk Museums Service.

‘Pride of the People: Helping History Out of the Closet’, will be displayed across sites in South Norfolk and Broadland.

The exhibition explores gender and sexual identities through a selection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer related stories from the past and present.

Originally the exhibition was put together by the Teenage History Club at Ancient House in Thetford who were spurred on by their shock discovery that being gay was once considered a crime.

The exhibition has since been adapted by the Council and Museums Service working with Teenage History Club and will be available to see at various locations including libraries, workplaces, GP surgeries and schools.

Cabinet Member for South Norfolk Council, Councillor Yvonne Bendle, said:

“It’s important that we raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community, especially in the more rural areas, where people are more likely to feel isolated. The exhibition throws a light on some of the extreme prejudice the LGBT+ community have faced in the past, but also celebrates people’s differences and how far society has come.”

Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Cabinet Member for Communities, Norfolk County Council, said:

“We’re delighted that, through this pop-up tour, the important message of this exhibition will be able to engage audiences in South Norfolk and Broadland. This excellent project continues to prove what can be achieved when Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Museums Service work alongside young people in our county. It’s inspiring to see the hard-work and dedication that this group have shown in researching and curating such an insightful show - bringing to light both historical and contemporary issues around the nature of gender and sexuality through local stories, objects and people.”

Elio, a Teenage History Club member said: “I have experienced homophobia in both my home town and the schools I went to, I think, because there is no exposure or education about these subjects. Positive things like this make others feel accepted, as it's made me feel, so I am so happy and proud to be a part of this.”

Ethan, a Teenage History Club member added: “It is a space in which we can celebrate the progression in society while also acknowledging the people we have lost and the sacrifices that were made in order for the LGBTQ+ community to be as accepted as it is today”

If you would like to visit the exhibition, it will be at the following locations:

9 - 21 September, Poringland Library

23 - 28 September, Long Stratton Library

30 September - 10 October, Attleborough Library

11 - 26 October, Wymondham Medical Partnership

30 October - 8 November, Broadland District Council Offices

11 - 16 November, Harleston Library

19 - 2 December, Sprowston Library

3 - 20 December, Old Mill and Millgates Medical Practice

23 December - 10 January, Alysham Library

13 - 24 January, Long Stratton Medical Partnership

27 January - 2 February, Sprowston Medical Centre

4 February - 28 June, Lynne Museum Kings Lynne

25 July - 6 September, Norwich Castle

If you are interested in displaying the exhibition, please contact Laura Woollacott on lwoollacott@s-norfolk.gov.uk