Pride and Visibility in the LGBTQ+ Lives Online Collection
By Ash Green, CLIP LGBTQ+ Network, and Goldsmith University
The LGBTQ+ Lives Online UK Web Archive collection currently holds over 600 sites, web pages, blogs etc focused on the LGBTQ+ experience of people in the UK. Community and the coming together of individuals is a key aspect of the LGBTQ+ experience, and this is particularly reflected in sites acting as networks; focused on Pride events; and visibility and remembrance days such as Bi Visibility Day, Lesbian Visibility Week, Trans Day of Remembrance, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. These events, networks and days are there to support the community; remind others outside the community we are part of, that we exist; that we celebrate who we are; that the need to highlight and address inequalities continues to remain important despite LGBTQ+ people having existed for millennia.
An example of sites in the UK Web Archive under some of these banners include: LGBT Mummies (aiming to support LGBT+ women & people globally on the path to motherhood or parenthood); London Gaymers (a safe place for the LGBT gaming community in London and across the UK to connect with like minded individuals); African Rainbow Family (a non-for-profit charitable organisation that support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender intersexual and queer (LGBTIQ) people of African heritage and the wider Black Asian Minority Ethnic groups); Pride Sports (a focus on increasing participation in sport by lesbians, gay men, bisexual and transgender people as well as the wider community). As you can see from the examples given, many of the informal networks are focused on where other aspects of an individual’s life overlaps with being an LGBTQ+ person.
We also have Pride sites archived within the collection, including both local (Pride In Surrey , Glasgow’s Mardi Gla , York Pride) and nationwide (LGBTQYMRU ) events. Before the pandemic they were mainly face-to-face events, but between 2020 and 2022, there was an increase in online events as many sought to keep LGBTQ+ people connected in a safe way.
We would like to build the collection of UK sites focused around Pride and awareness/visibility days. We don’t limit our collection of sites to big organisations only – as we have said before, all LGBTQ+ content is welcome, including personal content if it is published in the UK. And even though we would like to develop the areas of the collection highlighted above, we are also still happy to receive submissions around any aspects of LGBTQ+ Lives Online. So, if you know of any online content you think we should be archiving within this collection please nominate it here.
Under the Non-Print Legal Deposit Regulations 2013, the UKWA can archive UK published websites, but are only able to make the archived version available to people outside the Legal Deposit Libraries Reading Rooms, if the website owner has given permission. The UK Legal Deposit Libraries are the British Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales, Bodleian Libraries, Cambridge University Libraries and Trinity College Dublin Library. If you’re curious about what is in the LGBTQ+ collection you can browse through it here.