REVIEW: ‘Into the Outside’: LGBTQ+’s Past and Present

The Verse’s Liberty Gatcombe tells us about Brighton’s new online resource for LGBTQ+ history and support for its youth

Into the Outside is a new online resource led by Brighton based company ‘Photoworks’. Supported by The Heritage Lottery Fund, the learning project takes a deeper look at Brighton and Hove’s LGBTQ+ past and present. Creating a new archive of the experiences of queer youth, it intends to reach the communities of Brighton and beyond.

The website is the first of its kind: a national educational resource available for use by teachers, parents and youth workers. The website acts also as a safe haven of information, support, and tools for young people who relate to the LGBTQ+ youth experience or are interested in knowing more.

Into the Outside’s Helen Cammock believes it is vital that LGBTQ+ young people understand the history of the community they are part of. Looking back through the archives of this rich history is shocking. The struggle that brought us to where we are today has as many victories as it does brutal setbacks.

Although still far from a comfortable existence for many today, the archive aims to reassure by showing how far LGBTQ+ lives have come in a short space of time. It is creating a powerful legacy; recognising how important the diverse Brighton community is – one that has been so incredibly defiant in its development.

The project tells real stories. Old and new, drawing comparisons but highlighting the very clear contrasts. They present stories 50 years old that show just how much queer youth experiences have changed. Battles that are being fought to this day are revealed and show that the undercurrent of emotional torment is still very real.

Founder Helen Cammock brilliantly stated:

‘If you understand the struggle then you can place yourself in it, and you can know what you’re fighting against.’

This project is giving young people of the LGBTQ+ community a history. Real people, they can relate to and a place which allows a firm comprehension of just what they are standing for.

Explore the Into the Outside website and you find a goldmine of resources, information and ‘voices’ exploring the past, present and future of the LGBTQ+ community here in Brighton and Hove. What is so great about this online project is that everything is so accessible. It’s not only a great resource for the LGBTQ+ community; it reaches out to parents, teachers, and support workers in a creative and artistic way.

This beautiful project is giving young people a sense of belonging amidst what is a very isolating exploration. It softens the edges by bringing the colour and fun to a very brave and emotional journey. One that many people still don’t fully comprehend. It connects those who feel desperately lonely to a supportive and vast community. To a history that they can place themselves within. A history where they belong.

For that, I think we all need to thank Into the Outside. It’s a resource that has something for everyone and I personally think it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Take a look around here: www.intotheoutside.org.uk

 

Featured image: Carlos Lagrange 



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