The Pitt Rivers museum is committed to standing as an ally with LGBTQ+ communities and creating space for self-representation. Through consultation with community partners, and building on work developed in 2016-2018 through the Out in Oxford LGBTQ+ museums trail initiative, funding has been secured for Beyond the Binary. Thanks to a new grant of £91,200 by the Heritage Lottery fund, the project will work with local, national and international partners to explore the global diversity of sexual and gender identities.
Working with a broad range of partners, from researchers to community activists, the project will challenge historical interpretations of the museum’s collections – offering alternative understandings from people with different identities as well as identifying human histories that are unrepresented as a result of intolerance. This is so that no individual or group feels excluded from the museum because of their sexuality or gender, and so that all visitors – however they might identify themselves – can understand humanity better.
In addition to exploring the existing collections, this project will include a community-focussed acquisition programme for LGBTQ+ cultural and historical artefacts. Objects will be collected from British communities and across the globe that highlight traditions of gender non-conformity, bringing British LGBTQ+ heritage into conversation with global LGBTQ+ material culture.
Michelle Roffe, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund for South East England, said: “We are proud to support this important collaboration between the Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford’s LGBTQ+ communities. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will record and share historically underrepresented stories through new and existing collections, ensuring that the Museum engages with and represents more of the diverse histories of Oxford, the UK and the wider world.”
Keep an eye on this webpage for information on the project as it develops and for information on opportunities to get involved. Although the specific emphasis of this project is to provide opportunities for, and develop partnerships with, LGBTQ+ stakeholders, the project and the project outcomes are open to all.
For more information, or to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the project on Twitter and search the hastag #pittbeyondbinary