Online resource ‘Out in the World’ explores LGBTQ+ history and human rights

To accompany their hugely successful Out In The World: Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Diaspora exhibition, EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum, have launched two fantastic online resources – The Out In The World website and The Out In The World Resource Pack.

Split screen with three images from the Out In The World Resource Pack - On the left, a photo of Loretta Cogrove and Panti Bliss hugging. In the middle, the Out In The World Logo. On the Right and sepia photograph of Oscar Wilde sitting with a cane in his hand.
Image: Loretta Cosgrove/Joanne Byrne/Napoleon Sarony

While plans are in place for an international tour, the ‘Out in the World: Ireland’s LGBTQ+ Diaspora’ exhibition has now closed at EPIC: The Irish Emigration Museum. But fear not, there is still lots more to explore online including a fantastic schools resource pack and a dedicated website.

Focusing on the six key themes of the exhibition – exclusion, community, love, defiance, solidarity and return – the website continues to tell the stories of Irish LGBTQ+ people who found love and support overseas. It also highlights some of the movements and groups that Irish people have contributed to, creating vital visibility and solidarity for marginalised communities worldwide.

Alongside the website, EPIC has designed a fantastic resource pack that teachers can use as a tool to encourage students to explore human rights issues, discover the lives of featured characters and explore minority experiences.

The resource pack, which was developed in consultation with ShoutOut is aimed at secondary schools and is divided into seven sections. Each section has a range of suggested activities which range from 30 minutes to several hours to 5-week long exhibition plans, allowing teachers flexibility in how they engage with the material.

The ‘My Story, Your Story, Our Story’ section, prompts students to reflect on their own rights as students and the oppression that they may feel is imposed upon them. They are then encouraged to understand how these impositions reflect issues of human rights violations within a broader global context.

‘Discuss, Debate and Define’ engages conversation around migration, emigration and immigration. It explores human rights needs versus wants. It encourages students to reflect upon community and the classification of minorities within a community and what it means to be part of the LGBTQ+ community. And finally, it explores the impact of discrimination, prejudice and homophobia through this lens.

The ‘Motivations for Migration’ interrogates factors that influence migration. From colonialism, financial hardship, human rights violations or a desire for better education. As part of this activity, students are encouraged to develop a poster project.

Through the ‘Map of Rights’ section, students are asked to investigate human rights in a global context with a specific focus on LGBTQ+ rights. In the ‘Culture Deconstructure’ section, they are prompted to analyse and question what is presented to them as normal or acceptable behaviour encouraging them to reflect on their own assumptions and prejudices.

The ‘Bios and Events’ section of the pack, looks more closely at the stories from ‘Out In The World’ and some of the characters featured in EPIC’s permanent display. The pack provides printable handouts on Eileen Grey, Oscar Wilde and Albert Cashier as well as couples, Peter Doyle and Walt Whitman, and Eva Gore-Booth and Esther Roper. Each handout includes trivia questions and relevant discussion points.

The resource pack concludes with a glossary of LGBTQ+ vocabulary and a comprehensive resource list, providing vital support material. The programme takes a unique a truly unique approach to exploring queer history, human rights and emigration inspired by lived experiences. A very welcome addition to the current curriculum.

You can access the free resource pack here.

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