A notable recent addition to the Local Studies Collection pertinent to research of LGBT heritage in Birmingham is the November 2018 edition of In The Pink (LBF 22.85), a newspaper for the West Midlands LGBTQ+ community which flourished between 1986 – 1990. The new edition, an artist project by Sean Burns, contains reproductions of listings from the 1980s such as the Birmingham Club Play List June 1989 alongside new essays on topics such as QPOC (Queer People Of Colour).Origins
The newspaper first appeared as the Birmingham Lesbian and Gay Community Centre newsletter for which Archives & Collections retains holdings for the period between May 1978 – November 1986 before changing its name to In The Pink in late 1986.
In The Pink was published monthly at the Trade Union Resource Centre in Digbeth and then circulated amongst LGBT entertainment venues and organisations in the West Midlands. The content followed a magazine format containing listings and interviews next to more politically and socially aware features. The newspaper was financed by advertising revenue whilst the November 2018 edition is very much a ‘stand – alone public artwork’ funded with support from a public body.
The 2018 edition
Why, might you ask, has a one – off November 2018 edition of In the Pink been published? Well, in its elemental form, it’s an opportunity to reflect on narratives forming LGBT heritage and consider how this influences and reflects the present. It’s a chance to explore how dialogues may proceed in the future and also highlight how the social context has altered somewhat since the newspaper ceased publication in 1990. This edition provides a platform in which individual community voices can examine attitudes contemporary to the original publication and discuss some of the issues prominent in the LGBTQ+ community now. As the Welcome states – ‘It will provoke reflection on how attitudes have changed since 1986 and on how much work there is left to do’.
The diverse range of topics covered in this edition include segregations, nightlife and memories both collective and individual. One of the dominate drives behind this project is to create a more productive and representative platform for LGBTQ+ people. The special edition does not claim to offer a complete history or overview but hopefully will provide a starting point from which to explore the wider LGBTQ+ heritage in the West Midlands.
The following is a source list of materials held in the Local Studies Collection relating to a study of LGBT heritage in Birmingham.