Cynon Valley Museum has been celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month this February; proudly displaying the Pride flags throughout the museum, sharing information and resources from groups such as FFLAG, making Queer Emporium products available in the gift shop, and hosting the Pride Cymru ‘Icons and Allies’ exhibition.
“Icons & Allies offers 20 portraits with accompanying text in Welsh and English of people who have helped shape Wales. They range from writers to politicians, from preachers to sailors and mining activists. The central thread is that they were (or in a couple of cases still are) people who should be better known as either LGBTQ+ themselves, or great allies in creating positive changes in Welsh society for LGBTQ+ people.’
This month of celebrating LGBTQ+ history culminated with a day event held at the museum on the final Saturday of the month. This event was organised in partnership with the Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Community Cohesion Team.
The event included a series of talks by Rania Vamvaka and Alessandro Ceccarelli and drama and dance performances by Avant Cymru. Rania Vamvaka presented her Ph.D. research focusing on queer asylum policy, sharing thoughtful insights into the realities and experiences of LGBTQ+ asylum seekers in the UK. Alessandro Ceccarelli – took us through time, investigating certain museum objects with a queer historical lens. He also discussed the present work being done with the Fast Track Cardiff and Vale initiative. Avant Cymru provided amazing entertainment with a dance performance and a dramatic reading through of “The Witness” bringing the day’s events to a close.
The event was attended by students of Treorchy Comprehensive, as well as notable appearances from Rhondda Cynon Taf Mayor, Wendy Treeby, and MP Beth Winter.
Councillor Wendy Treeby, Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf gave a statement about the event:
“It has been a pleasure to attend this event today to support LGBTQ+ History Month. I found the speakers very interesting and very enthusiastic. It was infectious. I can honestly say that I have learned a lot today and I hope together we can make a difference. The museum itself is a fantastic resource for our community. Let’s keep it open.”
The talk was attended by Cynon Valley Museum trustees Richard Jones and Rhian Grundy.
Richard Jones said:
“Today’s event was an excellent example of how proud Cynon Valley Museum Trust is to represent all members of our community, we put a huge emphasis on making sure all our society is represented in the work that we do. I’d like to extend my thanks to all those who took part and attended the event and to our staff team for their hard work in organising the day.”
Rhian Grundy commented on the day’s events:
“I was so pleased to attend this importantly inclusive community event today and impressed at the depth and variety of information on offer across the museum.”
Cynon Valley Museum is proud to be an ally to the LGBTQIA community and is committed to supporting and celebrating the history LGBTQIA people in the Cynon Valley. You can see the ‘Icons and Allies’ exhibition at the museum until Saturday 5th March.
Cynon Valley Museum Trust would like to say thank you to Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC’s Community Partnership Team for funding the programme of events at the museum.
If you are interested in hosting an event or working with the museum to support our LGBTQIA community please get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org