What is (Un)Seen, (Un)Heard?
(Un)Seen, (Un)Heard is an exciting three year social history project all about you!
We want to understand what life is like for young LGBTQ+ young people living in Scotland today and work with you to document your experience.
In February 2024 we will host a digital and in person exhibition for LGBT History month that celebrates your story. This will be shared across Scotland and archived for future generations, alongside archives from older LGBTQ+ people.
Your story matters
The stories of young LGBTQ+ people are often untold, and we want to change that.
(Un)Seen, (Un)Heard captures your experiences of life – including work, family, health, education and community.
This is an opportunity to share your story in your own voice, and become a visible part of Scotland’s heritage.
How can I share my story?
If you are between 13-25, live in Scotland, and identify as LGBTQ+ we want to hear from you!
There are several ways to share your story with us:
Fill out our online questionnaire. You are free to answer as much or as little as you feel comfortable with, and you can remain anonymous if you wish. This gives you some structure to help you share your story.
Why is the project important?
The hard-won progress of LGBTQ+ rights over the past 20 years has been stalled by the current debate on the rights of trans individuals. This, combined with the pandemic, means now more than ever – your stories matter.
Young people tell us that being LGBTQ+ means they face barriers to achieving their full potential in education, work, relationships, and that Scotland does not feel like a safe and inclusive place to live, love or learn.
We know that visibility gives a sense of security and belonging to LGBTQ+ individuals and that it helps to destigmatise different identities in their wider community.
The (Un)Seen, (Un)Heard project will send a message of solidarity, and create a sense of progress and pride for our community.
What will happen to the archive?
We want to create an accessible, engaging and lasting resource Scotland can be proud of.
The stories we gather will become part of a digital exhibition which will be shared across Scotland and then archived professionally in partnership with local and national partners.
National Lottery Heritage Fund
The National Lottery Heritage Fund is the largest funder of the UK’s heritage and since 1994 has awarded £8.8billion to more than 51,000 heritage projects across the UK.
Without their investment, there would be no (Un)Seen, (Un)Heard project, so we are extremely grateful that they have chosen to support our mission to give young LGBTQ+ people a voice.
“Our partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund has made the world of difference.
“Their support and investment in the creation of an archive specifically for LGBTQ+ young people’s experiences has filled a gap in Scotland’s social history and amplified young people’s voices allowing them to be heard for generations to come.
“It’s an amazing thing made possible by partnership.”
Ali Kerr, Head of Partnerships at LGBT Youth Scotland
National Library of Scotland
The National Library of Scotland is helping us to preserve your stories of growing up LGBTQ+ in Scotland by adding them to their archives so that they can continue to inspire for generations to come.
“(Un)seen, (Un)heard is making a timely contribution to the history of LGBTQ+ lives in Scotland by documenting the lived experiences of young people, who have unique stories to tell and yet rarely appear in archives in their own words.
“The submissions and artworks collected as part of the project will be carefully preserved at the National Library alongside nationally significant LGBTQ+ archives including the OurStory Scotland collection of oral histories and the business records of the Lavender Menace bookshop.
“We look forward to working with LGBT Youth Scotland and its members to make their important archive accessible for generations to come.”
Heidi, Archivist at National Library of Scotland
OurStory Scotland was founded in 2002 to collect, archive, and present the life stories and experiences of the LGBTQ+ community in Scotland.
Already, they have helped (Un)Seen, (Un)Heard run workshops, delivered oral history training for staff, helped us develop our resources, and their founder has been interviewed for our archives too!
“OurStory Scotland have been such a huge support from the beginning of the project. They have been so generous with their time and advice, and were part of the beautiful archiving films we made.
“I had some Oral History training from them which I carry with me each time I record and OurStory Scotland have also delivered workshops for us. I think I can safely say the project is much richer from having their support!”
Clare Forrest, Development Manager at (Un)Seen, (UnHeard)