October is LGBTI History Month, which started in Australia in 2016 to celebrate queer history, and this Thursday, October 8, is International Lesbian Day, so now is the perfect time for Tweed Regional Museum to launch its first digital exhibition and collections project, Small Town Queer.
Small Town Queer explores the rich tapestry of Tweed’s LGBTQIA+ history from the early 1900s to the present.
This digital project coincides with LGBTI History Month and includes research into the area’s history, the Museum’s first podcast series, a story map, and an interactive portal for community contributions.
Museum collaborated with the LGBTQIA+ community
The Museum has collaborated with LGBTQIA+ community members to collect, share and preserve the histories of Tweed’s many and varied queer voices.
The project features stories from local authors, sporting stars, 78ers (a group of activists who marched in the original Sydney Mardi Gras in 1978), performers, and activists.
The website features a ‘Your Story’ portal – an interactive and inclusive space for the LGBTQIA+ community to tell their own stories about being a small-town queer.
The Museum is encouraging people to upload their own story, lived experience, views and life events so that future generations have a greater understanding of LGBTQIA+ history in the Tweed.
The queer experience
The queer experience may also include the stories of partners, family members and friends of LGBTQIA+ people who are also invited to contribute.
Museum Director Judy Kean said the exhibition continues the Museum’s ongoing work toward ensuring that the collections and programs represent all those people who call the Tweed home, and who contribute to the richness and vitality of this community. ‘It acknowledges those community members whose experiences and many contributions have been largely missing from public history, and it shares stories of diversity within the queer community.’
Mayor of the Tweed Chris Cherry said she cared deeply about the Tweed’s diverse community. ‘I am so pleased to support this very important project. I encourage people to tell their own story, it deserves to be told. Please be a part of the Tweed’s rich living history,’ said Cr Cherry.