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Untold stories from Redbridge LGBT+ residents to be shared in oral project

PUBLISHED: 10:00 02 April 2016

(l-r) Matthew Walters, a committee member for the Redbridge Rainbow Community charity, Margaret Pepper and Cllr Wes Streeting

(l-r) Matthew Walters, a committee member for the Redbridge Rainbow Community charity, Margaret Pepper and Cllr Wes Streeting

Archant

A new project seeking to record and preserve audio recollections of LGBT+ residents is appealing for people to share their stories.

The Changing Minds project will record and preserve the experiences of LGBT+ people living and working in Redbridge, and people living with mental health problems.

Redbridge Rainbow Community in partnership with Eastside Community Heritage has been awarded a £63,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project.

Matthew Walters, former chair of the Redbridge Rainbow Community, and now the project leader said he was excited to start recording residents stories.

He said: “Many individuals within the LGBT+ community have experienced poor mental health at one point or another in reaction to the discrimination they faced throughout their childhood or adult life.

“In recent history, the prejudiced treatment was echoed by the mental health professionals that these individuals turned to for help.

“We are delighted that Heritage Lottery has awarded us this grant so that as a community, we can reflect on lessons learnt and continue to make Redbridge a safer and happier place for us to live and work.”

In the UK, homosexuality was considered a mental illness until 1968, and transgender people have only been able to change their legal gender since 2005.

This has led to poor treatment from mental health professionals, says Matthew.

He said: “Sadly, discrimination can continue once they meet with medical professionals, often due to lack of understanding.”

To get involved as a volunteer or if you have a story to share, email info@redbridgerainbowcommunity.org.uk or phone 0208 553 3116.


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