To mark National Heritage Week, the Donegal LGBTQ+ Heritage Project is delighted to announce the launch of its brand-new website.
As the project outlines, “Until recent years, the LGBTQ+ community has been largely invisible in Donegal. As a result, a sense of belonging, pride and social connectivity has been lacking for generations.”
With the support of the Heritage Council of Ireland, the project aims to seek out previously untold and/or hidden histories and personal stories within the community. It is hoped that this will promote an increased sense of social connectivity and will impact the community of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies positively.
As well as uncovering archival documents about the county’s history, including contributions from the GCN Archive, the Donegal LGBTQ+ Heritage Project website includes personal stories from members of the community connected to the North West.
Speaking to GCN, Project Co-ordinator, Jen McCarron said, “We are really excited about this opportunity to learn more about our local LGBTQ+ history and also to recognise the support of allies down the years when it would have been more difficult to stand up for LGBTQ+ friends and family. There are a lot of positive changes to celebrate in Donegal and across the country. By looking back, we hope to emphasise the importance of keeping the momentum of positive change going.”
She continued, “We are so grateful to The Heritage Council of Ireland for funding this project and in doing so recognises the value of uncovering LGBTQ+ stories from both rural and Gaeltacht areas. We are also grateful for the invaluable support from the Donegal County Museum team who will archive our collection.”
The team has spent the last few months working behind the scenes to uncover some of the histories and personal stories from across the county, but they need your help to create as comprehensive, rich and vibrant a resource and archive as possible.
If you’re an individual or part of a group who believes you can contribute valuable insights or materials, they would love to hear from you.
Whether you can donate letters, documents, flyers, or articles to the collection; share your personal story of coming out or being an ally; or just want to offer leads on research, they need your input.
If you’re daunted by or hesitant about sharing your story, the team are keen to point out that they are happy to guide and support you every step of the way. They are also happy to receive anonymous contributions and hold each person’s privacy as paramount.
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