Queer Heritage South launch a Queer Digital Museum

Alex Klineberg March 25, 2021

Queer Heritage South Launches A Digital Museum

Queer Heritage South launch a digital museum tomorrow, which is an archive of LGBTQ+ history for the community of Brighton and beyond.

Maybe you have old photos, videos or letters that bring LGBTQ+ history to life. It could be a photo from a legendary night out in 1992 or something more intimate. We caught up with the founders of the project to find out more.

Exhibition curator EJ Scott (Museum of Transology): “This is a living, digital archive about Brighton’s LGBTIQ+ history that has today’s community at the heart of it. It will serve to strengthen our understanding of the important role queer culture has played in shaping the city we live in today. By giving members of the community the freedom to add their own memories and memorabilia to the site, they’ll retain a sense of grassroots ownership over it and so it will continue to grow.

“As well as the iconic moments and glamorous people the local LGBTIQ+ scene is adored for, it will also have everyday stories by ordinary people, recording and sharing personal moments with lovers, friends and family that are close to our hearts, but are often overlooked, precisely because they’re part of our everyday lives and culture. It’s vital we record these stories so that our sense of belonging and our community’s contribution to society is not only preserved for future generations, but is nuanced, inclusive and is recorded in a way that reflects our queer community’s cultural values.”

Brighton Pride 1995. Pic: Sally Munt

The Digital Museum has been developed by Marlborough Productions with support from University of Sussex, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. David Sheppeard, Queer Heritage South project director, says: “Brighton & Hove has an extraordinary wealth of LGBTQ+ heritage, but to date there has been limited opportunities to share it and especially for younger people to learn about it. We are excited that this website can be a place to share some of our community’s amazing stories!”

Be sure to check out My Queer Museum, the accompanying podcast. Interview highlights include Juno Dawson discussing her successful This Book Is Gay, which was a big step in Juno’s transition journey, leading to her more recent work This Book Is Trans.

Other podcast guests include Brighton Gin founder Kathy Caton discussing Brighton’s celebrated LGBTQ+ pubs and venues; Marlborough Productions‘ creative director Tarik Elmoutawakil giving us some highlights from his teenage diaries; Rainbow Chorus singer and choir leader Aneesa Chaudhry discussing mixtapes; Janet Jones, Finally Queer The Pier (Brighton Museum & Art Gallery) community curator discussing a shirt that opened her eyes to queer culture.

Queer Heritage South Launches A Digital Museum
Brighton Section 28 demonstration, 1987-88. Pic: Sally Munt

Queer Heritage South will be making an important contribution to Brighton’s extensive LGBTQ+ history. So many aspects of queer history have dissapeared. Until recent years, queer people were obliged to live in the shadows to avoid arrest or social rejection, keeping the queer part of themselves hidden from view leaving their stories untold. It makes you realise how important a mainstream show like Drag Race really is. Queer culture might be out and proud in the mainstream today, but that’s a very recent development. Projects like this Digital Archive help to redress the balance and preserve queer history for future generations.

David Sheppeard, added: “We are delighted to be opening our Queer Digital Museum after a year that has really demonstrated how precarious, but vitally important community heritage is. It brings us together around stories and experiences, it builds empathy, it allows us to learn from the past and shape the future. We’re so grateful for the generosity of the contributors to the Museum so far and are excited to see what else we can unearth – please get in touch if you have something to share, we would love to hear from you!”

Do you have anything you’d like to contribute to the archive? If so, head over to to find out more about the project.