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Outing Medway’s Past

Click to Visit Outing Medway’s Past Website

Outing Medway’s Past is a project to uncover the histories of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning, intersexual, asexual and agendered people of the Medway Towns.

If you would like to be involved in the project and have a story to tell, please get in touch by emailing ro*@ou***************.uk or use the contact form below.

We’re especially looking for stories about the Dockyard, its workers, the merchant seamen and the sailors that passed through, stories about the pubs and social life in the Towns – both pre- and post-the 1967 partial decriminalisation, and what it was like to grow up as a non-hetero person in this area.

The project is in three parts;

  • Examining the past to look at the lives of LGBTQIA+ people and the influence they had on the development of the Medway Towns, including the nationally known figures that visited or are celebrated here – the likes of Edward II, James I, Queen Anne, Pepys and Lord Kitchener, people whose sexuality would be framed with the LGBTQIA+ acronym today.
  • Uncovering the history within living memory, speaking to the older members of the community for their first-hand testimony of World War II, the post war years, 1967 and the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, the AIDS pandemic and increasing discrimination in the 1980s and the injustice of Clause 28 in 1988 until its repeal in 2003 (but still casting its shadow over education even today).
  • Looking to today, the creation of Medway Pride, the wider acceptance of ‘difference’ in sexuality into mainstream culture, but also the substantial issues that still exist with trans rights and the misinformation that creates transphobia.

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