HOME > NEWS & COMMENT
Welcome to G7uk.com
 

 
 
Friday 25 November 2016

The LGBT Foundation’s misleading “researchers’ guide” to LGBT history, funded by the Heritage Lottery

Cover of the LGBT Foundation publicationManchester’s LGBT Foundation published its document “Unlocking A Hidden History – A Researchers’ Guide To Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans Historical Sources In Manchester”, back in 2013. You can see it here (PDF).

It was funded by the Heritage Lottery. Over recent years the Heritage Lottery Fund has given out around a quarter of a million pounds for LGBT history projects in Manchester. Much of it to organisations which are interconnected and have the same clique of high profile people involved.

Some of us have asked what is there to show for such a huge sum of money? Manchester City Council was involved in this particular project too.

And there is another problem: accuracy. Some of the organisations which have received this money have a history of putting out incorrect information and misleading the public.

The same is true of the LGBT Foundation’s “guide.”

The front cover features a picture of Quentin Crisp. This is a piece of art which appears at the side of a doorway on Canal Street. On page three, the very first paragraph of text states “over the years, Manchester has also been home to many important LGB&T figures such as Quentin Crisp and Alan Turing…”

Page three of the guide contains this schoolboy howler

In reality there isn’t a shred of evidence that Quentin Crisp ever lived in Manchester and called it “home”.

He was born in Surrey and went to university in London. For more than four decades he lived in the first floor apartment at 129 Beaufort Street. It was here that documentary maker Denis Mitchell filmed him for Granada Television around 1968, after Crisp had written his famous book The Naked Civil Servant. Then in 1981 Quention Crisp moved to New York.

In November 1999, on the eve of a nationwide revival of his one-man show, Crisp died of a heart attack in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, a suburb of Manchester.

In a contemporary news report about his death, Patrick Newly, Quentin Crisp’s press agent told The Guardian that he had spoken to Crisp who was in New York at the time “roughly two or three weeks” previously. It’s clear that Quentin Crisp was in Chorlton-cum-Hardy for a matter of days.

And Crisp’s friend Bernard Cops went so far as to say it was “tragic that Crisp, who loved the US and had applied for citizenship, had died in a Manchester suburb.”

In March 2016 I contacted the LGBT Foundation to suggest they correct the mistake. I received an email reply from “A”, a volunteer, who said it would be done.

However, by November nothing had happened. The “guide” was unchanged, still misleading the public and “researchers”.

I contacted Tim Fountain, the author of Resident Alien, the play about Quentin Crisp. Had he ever come across any evidence that Crisp might call Manchester “home,” I asked. He told me that the suggestion sounded “utterly implausible”.

I wrote to the LGBT Foundation again. On 25 November I received a reply from “H”.

“H” begins her email by claiming “I have no record of an email you sent in March regarding this, but following your email last week I have looked into this.”

Unfortunately for “H” a copy of my original email from March, and “A”‘s reply thanking me for it, appears quoted below her reply, as “A” sent her a copy following my second contact. So she seems to be fibbing when she writes that she has “no record” of the March email.

“H” continues:

“Our Researcher’s Guide, which was published in 2013, states that, ‘Manchester has also been home to many important LGB&T figures such as Quentin Crisp and Alan Turing who have made vital contributions to British society and culture.’ This reflects the fact that Crisp spent his final days in Chorlton, died and was buried there. Having reviewed the full guide I’m satisfied that it does not contain inaccuracies related to Crisp, so will be taking no further action.”

Do you think that staying with a friend for a day or two in a place, dying and being buried there is enough for you to call that place “home”? I don’t. They even mention Crisp ahead of Turing.

And there’s a further problem. Contrary to what “H” writes, Quentin Crisp isn’t buried in Chorlton-cum-Hardy…

He was cremated and his ashes were flown to New York. This is stated on Wikipedia. I have also checked with Tim Fountain who confirms the information and it’s stated on the website of Phillip Ward who was a close friend of Crisp and is his executor.

So even as the LGBT Foundation declined to correct its error, a member of staff gave out more factually incorrect information about Quentin Crisp.

Everyone makes mistakes. But refusing to correct them when caught out and shown the true facts is downright unprofessional.

Our history is much too important to be in the hands of careless people like this and, even worse, for them to be funded with precious public money to produce dodgy publications which, pretentiously, claim to “guide” history researchers.

Thank goodness there have been no huge consequences due to this schoolboy howler by the LGBT Foundation! But wait…

In September 2014 artists painted a giant mural on the side of the Molly House bar on Richmond Street in Manchester’s gay village.

It features famous drag queen FooFoo LaMar, computer pioneer Alan Turing, suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and, somehow, a minor current drag queen. All of whom have a strong connection with Manchester.

The other person featured is Quentin Crisp and back in 2014 many of us were scratching our heads about why that was.

It seems none of the organisations which claim to care about LGBT history really do when it comes down to truth and accuracy. Not the LGBT Foundation, Manchester Pride, the Heritage Lottery Fund, LGBT History Month or Manchester City Council.

It’s a gravy train. About going through the motions, career opportunities, staying “in” with the right people at any cost and getting hands on cash. It must end.

UPDATE (20 December 2016)

This article is now in the top ten search results on Google for two key related searches. Surely it would be better for the LGBT Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund to address the issue in a professional way, as requested, rather than have this? I don’t understand them.

LGBT Foundation on Google

LGBT Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund on Google


Filed under: Buildings,Bygone Manc,Gay,History,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 10:56 pm
Thursday 18 February 2016

Thinking of buying a Manchester Pride 2016 wristband? Some very important information…

The streets of the gay village will be open to everyone during Manchester Pride this year, whether they pay or not, and we think Sackville Park will be too.

This is because Manchester Pride has acted unlawfully since 2003 in closing the streets to pedestrians who didn’t pay. In fact, blocking members of the public who were on foot was probably a criminal offence. Manchester City Council had unlawfully included pedestrians in its traffic order for the event and last year they had to rewrite it to remove this. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 12:30 pm
Thursday 7 July 2011

Rewriting history to promote the gay village and Manchester Pride

You may have heard about the notorious raid on a drag ball at a temperance hall in Manchester in 1880? An article in The Guardian (Village People, 7 August 2004) refers to the incident, but it begins with the scene just over one hundred years later.

In 1988 “Canal Street in Manchester city centre was still a red-light district,” writes the author. Going on to describe how police officers patrolled its “dank alleys”.

“This kind of surveillance was nothing new in the area,” she continues. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,General,History,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 2:10 am
Friday 11 March 2011

Manchester’s gay village topped the city centre league for violent crime again in January

The crime level street map for January shows that the gay village was again the worst spot in the whole city centre for violent crime (orange).

Violent crime in Manchester's gay village in January 2011

Anti-social behaviour in Manchester's gay village in January 2011

The village was the top spot for anti-social behaviour too (blue). I’ll let the map showing all crimes (grey) speak for itself…

All crimes in Manchester's gay village in January 2011

You can see December’s stats in my post here.

Check out these and other stats on the Police.UK website.

By searching with a postcode you can check crime details for any area. The website also gives information about your local policing team and beat meetings.


Filed under: Crime,Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 2:42 am
Tuesday 1 February 2011

Crime level street maps reveal Manchester’s gay village is the worst part of the city centre for violent crime

The government’s new crime level street maps show that Manchester’s gay village was the worse hot-spot for violent crime in the whole city centre in the month of December.

Figures for violent crime in December 2010 show that the gay village is the worse hotspot in Manchester city centre

(more…)


Filed under: Crime,Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 7:47 am
Monday 13 September 2010

Misleading statistics and misconceptions about the gay community

Much of the gay world is driven by misleading statistics and misconceptions and rather ‘woolly’ thinking. This suits some people down to the ground.

Facts and figures are exaggerated and misrepresented for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes due to ignorance and silliness or with the best of intentions. Other times deliberately for profit, to get funding or to grab or hold onto control of an event or organisation.

Some do it to present a picture that better suits their upbringing and view of life and because of a desperate urge to ‘fit in’ and be no different.

A few years ago I realised how the organisers of Manchester’s August Bank Holiday event (currently known as Manchester Pride) had consistently misled the public about attendance figures over the years. Particularly the crowd numbers at the Saturday parade. They published vastly-inflated figures that were physically impossible and so did the media.

I began to wonder what else are we being misled about?

(more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester,Politics — GS @ 4:26 am
Sunday 5 September 2010

Gay village residents mount legal challenge over street closure during Manchester Pride

I understand that residents in Manchester’s gay village area have mounted a legal challenge over the closure of streets during the annual Manchester Pride ‘Big Weekend’. Since 2003 the area has been fenced off over the August Bank Holiday — from Friday evening until the early hours of Monday morning. (more…)


Filed under: Gay,LGBT,Manchester — GS @ 3:16 pm
 
< PREVIOUS  |  NEXT >
 
 
News & Comment


 
< PREVIOUS  |  NEXT >
 
 
 

Audio Buildings Bygone Manc Computing consumer Crime Documentary Environment Food & cookery Fun g7uktalk Gay General Health History LGBT Manchester Net & technology Personal Photography Politics Production Rushes Science Shopping software Strange The media TV & film Video-making Wildlife With video

 
xx
HOME > NEWS & COMMENT
 
Home
 

© Copyright g7uk.com 1999-2016