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Essex’s LGBTQ+ community invited to share stories in museum exhibition

Behind The Rainbow

Members of Essex’s LGBTQ+ community are invited to share their stories for Behind the Rainbow, an exhibition coming to Chelmsford Museum in June 2023.

Behind the Rainbow will share the experiences of LGBTQ+ people in Chelmsford and Essex through their eyes and voices.

Essex Pride and Chelmsford Museum are co-producing the exhibition, with input from LGBTQ+ members across the county.

Sharing content that explores LGBTQ+ experiences

As part of the project, with joint funding from Chelmsford City Council and Chelmsford For You, local artists, photographers, writers and those who simply want to tell their story are invited to share content that reflects their journey. Submissions can include poems, photographs, objects or videos. Allies are also welcome to share LGBTQ+ histories. The exhibition team is interested to hear participants’ experiences of changing attitudes; what it means to them to be a member of the community in Essex today; and how they think people across the county can become better allies.

Sofia Rojas of Essex Pride says Behind the Rainbow will provide a powerful platform for LGBTQ+ voices.

“We deserve our stories to be heard and to see ourselves represented. And this is an opportunity to make that happen.”

Sofia Rojas, Essex Pride Committee Lead
Window Mural
In 2022, Pride window murals were created in Chelmsford High Street. Credit: http://www.chelmsfordforyou.co.uk

Reflecting on the ongoing push for change

The exhibition will look back on the story of Pride in Essex. It reflects on progress made in the fight for representation, while considering the challenges still faced by the community today. Themes will explore identity, changing attitudes, the importance of allies, and the role of arts and culture in building belonging and self-worth within marginalised groups.

Multi-sensory displays will illustrate these themes in a vibrant and colourful exhibition. At its heart will be the impactful stories of local LGBTQ+ people.

Museums Manager, Sarah Davies, highlights the importance of inclusivity when telling the story of Chelmsford.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Essex Pride on Behind the Rainbow. The role of museums in sharing histories is a privilege that Chelmsford Museum does not underestimate. It’s so important that the stories we tell are inclusive and progressive. Giving LGBTQ+ people the opportunity to share their stories helps increase awareness and appreciation of the challenges they face, while pushing audiences to consider their role in creating positive change.”

Sarah Davies, Museums Manager, Chelmsford Museum

Get involved by 15 March

The call for submissions closes on Wednesday 15 March. The project team will contact successful applicants by 31 March.

To make your submission, visit www.essexpride.org.

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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.