Exhibition: Never Going Underground – The Fight for LGBT+ Rights

‘Never Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights’ is an important reminder that the fight for equality is far from over.

‘Never Going Underground: The Fight for LGBT+ Rights’ is an exhibition currently running at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. The exhibition is free and runs until the 2nd September.

The exhibition follows the long journey of campaigning and demonstrating for equality for LGBT+ people. ‘Never Going Underground’ comes at an extremely fitting time, as 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.

The decriminalisation of homosexual acts in 1967 was seen as one of the first major steps towards equality, yet the battle is still not yet won today.

‘Never Going Underground’ has been curated by members of the local LGBT+ community, with many donating items to the exhibition themselves. Here you’ll find zines and leaflets from groups asking for participation in protests, or even offering support and guidance.

It’s an important exhibition which highlights some very crucial issues. It looks into the struggles that members of the LGBT+ community have faced and those who have suffered due to inequality. The exhibition also makes it very clear that, whilst we are in a good position in the UK, members of the community still have a way to go.

The name of the exhibition comes from the name of the protests against Section 28, the legislation that forbade homosexuality.

Never Going Underground was the name of the campaign against Section 28, an infamous piece of legislation that forbade the ‘promotion of homosexuality’.  The protest against this saw the UK’s largest ever gathering for LGBT rights in Manchester in 1988.

Some of the pieces you’ll be able to find at the exhibition include leaflets, flags, and badges from important protests, such as the ones against Section 28, as well as a glittery police hat featured in 2016’s Manchester Pride event and even Hayley Cropper’s coat worn in Coronation Street.

Visitors are able to walk through the history books and discover a timeline of important events and figureheads that have defined the LGBT+ community and the on-going fight for equality.

‘Never Going Underground’ has been designed to be family-friendly, and there are quite a few interactive elements which are perfect for younger visitors.

Outside the exhibition, there is a gallery featuring artwork and design pieces from LGBT+ artists all telling their story in their own, unique way. There’s also more to be found on the top floor of the People’s History Museum, so make sure you give yourself enough time to have a walk around.

I was really impressed with the ‘Never Going Underground’ exhibition, and it was great to see it so popular during my visit. It’s important to remember those who fought for our equality and rights, and it’s crucial we don’t get relaxed. There is still work to be done.

Be sure to visit the exhibition before September – it’s well worth the visit.

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