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Explore stories about LGBTQIA+ history and culture, with reflections from members of the community.

LGBTQIA+ stories have often been left out of mainstream history and we are keen to make them more visible through stories told by our objects, LGBTQIA+ voices in the museum and by bringing in external perspectives.

This is a work in progress so check back regularly for updates. 

Our Hidden Histories trail highlights unexplored stories from across our collections. Find out more about it below and enjoy it at home or in the National Museum of Scotland next time you visit. Or catch up with our latest LGBTQIA+ themed blog posts written by members of the community.

Share your story!

If you identify as LGBTQIA+ and have a perspective on our museums or objects, we would love to hear from you.

Find out more


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Orientations: Queer imaginings and the Caithness doublet

In our Orientations series, members of the LGBTQIA+ community explore an object that resonates with their identity.

In looking for representation in museums, Joe Setch explores how the apparent absence of these stories can allow our imaginations to touch on queer histories in a different way.

Read Joe's blog
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Orientations: May Morris and complex histories of queerness

In our Orientations series, members of the LGBTQIA+ community explore an object that resonates with their identity.

Laurie Bassam chose an embroidered hanging by May Morris. Laurie reflects on how hidden identities, once revealed, can offer a new context and transform our understanding of an otherwise familiar history.

Read about May Morris

My complex relationship with museums

"But for all my cynicism, there is one thing that beats in the darkness. Hope. The fact that the museum reached out to us in the first place to work with other underrepresented communities is fantastic."

Ivy Edwards reflects on her relationship with museums and explores how they must present a more inclusive view of history.

Read Ivy's blog
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Collecting Collections: Brooches

"I started collecting brooches before I came out and didn’t want to draw attention myself. Even if I was drawn to something more flamboyant, I’d avoid it for fear of being ‘outed’ by a brooch."

Personal collecting can offer a glimpse into who people are and what makes them tick. Russell Dornan reflects on his brooch collection, what it says about his identity and shares some of his favourites from our collection.

Read Russell's brooches blog

Eros: A queer reading

"I’m a gay man and the image of a heterosexual couple on a pot is beautiful, sure, but it doesn’t make me feel anything about myself."

Queer Classicist Joe Watson explores the queer themes surrounding the Greek god in the ancient world and reflects on what seeing Eros could represent to queer museum visitors today.

Read the blog about Eros
Stepped Pot Handbuilt Stoneware England London By Angus Suttie 1989 A.1995.566 538X660

Inspiring Mind, Body and Spirit

"As a young gay man, growing up in a provincial town in the 1970s and early 1980s, museums, galleries and historic houses were always sites of escape and reassurance for me."

National Museums Scotland Director Chris Breward reflects on LGBT+ History Month through. He writes about the profound emotional impact the ceramic artist Angus Suttie's work had on him.

Read Chris Breward's blog
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