Author: Anna Maluk
On Saturday 18th February 2023, Congleton Museum and Congleton Pride hosted a temporary flag exhibition to mark LGBT History Month. It was part of a wider project titled Our Story. Visitors during the evening were able to experience the exhibition after-hours and then hear a talk about Our Story. The event was a success, with three times the number of people visiting the museum on this day than on previous Saturdays.
The exhibition comprised over 20 individual gender identity and orientation flags alongside a detailed guide on the history of each flag. it would not have been possible without Congleton Pride, who independently sourced the materials for the exhibition. Cheshire based charity Body Positive loaned banners, leaflets and other items which allowed visitors to explore the reasons why Pride and LGBT History Month are needed.
The star of the show was a gold leotard featuring a cape owned by local drag icon, Stella Black. The costume is on a long-term loan to the museum and marks the first acquisition of an object representing LGBT+ history. Since then, the museum has been offered a second costume, as well as personal stories from the LGBT+ community. These assets not only make the museum’s collection more inclusive; they demonstrate how diverse the community of Congleton is. It is vital that visitors can see themselves reflected back in museums, whether that be through shared identities, values, or emotions. Congleton Museum is encouraging those reflections through these acquisitions.
Our Story is an ongoing project which aims to raise awareness of LGBT+ stories and experiences by creating an archive which can be accessed by everyone. It is the first of its kind in the Congleton area. Collecting has already begun, with many individuals offering their stories during the evening event in February. The museum and Congleton Pride are discussing how further stories are collected, as it is important that donors have the option to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the subject.
To keep up to date about Our Story, please ensure you follow both Congleton Museum and Congleton Pride on social media, as relevant updates will be posted there.
Follow updates on the project via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok @congletonmuseum
Follow other LGBT+ History Month information from around the world #LGBTHistoryMonth
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org