At 16 I went to my first ever Pride in London.
I lied to my parents about where I was going and went to a friend’s house where we spent the morning making a rainbow flag out of a bedsheet.
We got the tube to Leicester Square and the whole way there I was 50% terrified and 50% exhilarated. I remember watching more and more people get on the train with placards, rainbows, banners and megaphones. I even remember one man was carrying a disco ball that barely fit on the escalator!
For the past three years, I have been privileged to be a part of the Pride in London parade and outside of London, I’ve been involved with organising the first fully-fledged Pride Picnic event in the town of Stroud in Gloucestershire last weekend.
Pride events, at their best, can bring our community together and remind us of where we came from and where we want to be. As a strange blend of street party and protest there is a unique feeling to Pride, one that as a teenager I found exciting and one that I still find compelling today.
This year we are gearing up to celebrate a Pride Jubilee. Recognising 50 years of collective activism amongst the LGBTI community that has been loosely tied to the Pride movement.
Over these years we have seen huge progress, setbacks, successes and failures.
Museums across the UK have collections which tell this story, from placards from the earliest Pride marches in London back in 1972, through to personal accounts during the HIV crisis of the 80s.
But until recently the objects, artefacts, voices and recordings associated with our community were not necessarily deemed important enough to preserve so we still only have a checkerboard account of real life for LGBTI people.
Today we are beginning to put the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary people and our allies back at the centre of how we talk about human history as a whole. Part of this is making sure we are recording our lives here and now.
History doesn’t have to mean ancient. A photograph from yesterday is every bit as much a part of history as an old pot from 300BC!
Moreover, museums aren’t static, they must keep collecting things from today so we can record our lives and experiences for future generations.
My journey to Pride
This Pride season I am working with London Transport Museum to do just that. We want to capture a snapshot of what it is to attend Pride in London and UK Black Pride through the journeys that take us there.
We want to invite you to record your journeys to and from both events. If you share images and videos of your journey with the #MyJourneyToPride we can begin to collect what this looked like for Londoners in 2019.
Now it is really important to mention here that there has been a spate of hate crimes and violent assaults of LGBTI people happening aboard transport around the country.
What should you record?
Please only record, film or capture what you feel comfortable collecting. Do not film anyone that does not want to be filmed. Where possible, make sure you are around other people you feel safe with. Also please don’t share anything that may identify where you live or work.
This is an opportunity for us to take a stand and show LGBTI presence on transport across the UK. At the same time, I want everyone to be safe.
If you do want to be involved, here are some ideas:
- Do you feel safe on public transport in London in 2019?
- What are you wearing, what are your friends wearing?
- Do you have any signs or banners you are bringing with you?
- Can you record yourself on the train, through a selfie, or even just a photo or film of your feet!
- Are there any signs or banners you see on the way?
- If you are feeling creative you could do a timelapse of some of your journey!
- Are you able to do a piece to camera about how the day went?
- What the last station or bus stop you get off at?
Simply post your videos or photos up to Twitter or Instagram to #MyJourneyToPride
We will be in touch with people using #MyJourneyToPride after the weekend. This will be to get permission to use your material and include a copy of it in the London Transport Museum’s digital collection.
To find out more about #MyJourneyToPride you can get in touch with London Transport Museum’s Documentary Curator by emailing [email protected]
For more information about London Transport Museum visit www.ltmuseum.co.uk