The Isle of Man’s long and diverse queer history is set to be celebrated in a new display at the Manx Museum showcasing the voices of the Isle of Man’s LGBTIQ+ community.
Co-curated by Manx National Heritage and Kensington Arts (Department of Education, Sport and Culture), the ‘Cabinet of Queeriosity’ will present the rich, diverse and unique history of the Isle of Man’s queer community and demonstrate how it is reflected in the places, objects, landscapes and culture that surround us.
Anthea Young, Education Services Officer for Manx National Heritage said:
“Today the Isle of Man’s LGBTIQ+ community enjoy the positive transformations hard won in the 1990’s, but it can be challenging to find surviving material culture such as objects and records that reflect the experiences, history and heritage of the Island’s LGBTIQ+ people. We are appealing to the Isle of Man’s queer community to help bring this important part of the Isle of Man’s history out of the closet to present this key aspect of our Island’s history through personal collections, records and voices, which were once not commonly shared or heard”.
Manx National Heritage and Kensington Arts are inviting members of the community to share their stories, loan objects and be represented in the Cabinet of Queeriosity.
Items selected for display will feature alongside stand out objects from the Manx National Heritage Collections, including Alan Shea’s Tynwald protest outfit from 1991 and Vida la Fierce’s drag celebration ‘winged dress’ worn at the first Isle of Pride festival in 2021.
The Cabinet of Queeriosity will share the integral role of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, asexual and gender diverse (LGBTIQ+) people in the Isle of Man’s social, political and cultural life.
Peter Shimmin, Creative Development Co-ordinator at Kensington Arts Centre, adds;
“The journey for LGBTIQ+ equal rights and visibility has been long fought and is not over yet. We are proud to work with Manx National Heritage on this display which aims to shine a light on the stories of our queer community and carves a path for future generations to see that their experiences are valued and appreciated”.
If you have an object – be it a photograph, poem, keepsake etc. you wish to be considered for loan for the duration of the exhibition, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The exhibition will open at the Manx Museum in Douglas on 25 June 2022. Admission will be free of charge, with donations welcome to the Manx National Heritage, Isle of Man registered charity number 603.
The word “queer” has a complex history. With a literal meaning of “unusual, strange, or odd,” people used queer as a pejorative towards members of the LGBT community in the late 19th century. It was specifically used for men who acted effeminate. However, starting in the 1980s, members of the LGBT community began reclaiming the word. Today, the word queer no longer has a hateful connotation. For that, you can thank the LGBT community. Queer is a powerful word, and here are 6 reasons you should use it more…. Source: pride.com
About Kensington Arts:
Kensington Arts (formerly the Youth Arts Centre) is a part of the Department of Education, Sport and Culture’s Culture Division.
Image caption: Vida la Fierce’s drag celebration ‘winged dress’ worn at the first Isle of Pride festival in 2021. Image credit: Lucia Dickson Photography.
Media enquiries to:
Lynsey Clague, Communications Manager – Manx National Heritage
Isle of Man Registered Charity No 603
T: 01624 648032