LGBTQ+ History Month: Broadcasting LGBTQ+ Lives

The BBC has been a big part of life in Britain since its foundation in 1922.

The BBC’s History of the BBC 100 Voices news and archive site regularly publishes the latest research on how the corporation has envisaged and represented (or misrepresented) its audiences over time.

Their LGBTQ+ History mini-site and the BBC Archive collection site hosts clips of archive sound and film footage of some of the BBC’s earliest radio and TV documentaries on same-sex relationships.

Available clips include some of the earliest recorded broadcast interviews with British men and women in same-sex relationships from the 1950s and 1960s. Interviews from the past 60 years with leading figures in gay rights are also available.

Further programmes can be found using the Genome Project, a database of the BBC’s historic radio and TV listings. It is a fascinating insight into the playlists and must-see items of the past.

These sites commemorate landmark moments in LGBTQ+ representation in the British broadcast media. They also commemorate nearly a century of discrimination and stigma. BBC’s archive clips reflect the homophobic past attitudes of their time. They can be both shocking and heart-breaking. Because of this, they can help us uncover stories of lived experience of LGBTQ+ people over the past 100 years.

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