A new exhibition will tell the story of hard-fought human rights victories in Scotland for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people when it opens in Kirkcaldy this weekend.
Fife-based LGBT charity, Pink Saltire, will open a pop-up ‘Heritage Hub’ at the Mercat Shopping Centre in Kirkcaldy for one week, starting this Saturday, February 16.
The exhibition will feature the most detailed LGBT history timeline ever produced in Scotland, with key facts and major highlights in the fight for LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and the abolition of discriminatory laws against gay and bisexual men.
Stuart Duffy, charity founder, said: “Scotland is widely known across the world for its LGBT-inclusive policies and there has been significant changes in the views of society towards our community in recent years. But we must remember that this is only a very recent change – homosexuality was only legalised in Scotland in 1980 which was 13 years after England and Wales.
“Understanding our recent history, as well as the bravery and sacrifice of so many activists who stood up for equal rights in the past, is vital if we are to protect these rights in the future. We only need to look across the Atlantic to see LGBT rights being put at risk in the United States and should recognise that we cannot take equality for granted here in the UK.”
The exhibition is being supported with a grant of £275 from Fife Council and is one of over 100 different events across Scotland marking the annual LGBT History Month.
Events are held every February in the UK to recognise the people, places, organisations and events which have shaped LGBT life in this country over many decades.
In 2019 the importance of understanding the history of the LGBT rights movement is even more crucial with the 50th anniversary of the infamous Stonewall riots in New York City, widely seen as the catalyst of the modern fight against LGBT oppression across the world.
Stuart continued: “Many people think the fight for equality is over – we have equal adoption and pension rights, equal marriage, hate crime laws and more, so everything must be OK, right?
“But the reality is LGBT people continue to face discrimination on a daily basis, with the highest ever number of LGBT hate crimes recorded in the last year in Scotland. More recently, over the past few months, the anti-trans abuse some of our community has faced in the media and online is abhorrent.
“We hope this exhibition, and events such as Fife Pride, demonstrate that we all need to work hard for a better society and that the fight never ends.”
The exhibition launches this Saturday at 9.30am and runs daily until 5pm, ending Thursday, February 21. For more information, contact Pink Saltire via Facebook or by calling 01592 645340.