Heritage

I am a freelance heritage practitioner and consultant with experience in leading participatory heritage workshops, running tours, and curating exhibitions. I’m also available for heritage consultancy, workshops or discussions on how to find new and more diverse stories in your collections, and how to curate trans histories and identities in an inclusive way.

Please see below for a taster of what I can do, and get in touch if you’d like to discuss arranging a workshop or working together!

If you’re interested in the impact of these projects from an academic perspective, please see Impact and public engagement.

Consultancy | Gendering the Museum toolkit | Hidden Stories at the Royal Armouries | #RainbowPlaques | Queer history walking tours | Queer history workshops | Curation

Consultancy

I am currently the Museum of London’s specialist LGBTQ+ advisor, reviewing interpretation and other materials for representation of LGBTQ+ history and rights. I’m available to review heritage materials on a one-off or longer-term basis – please contact me if you’d like to discuss options.

I also design and run bespoke workshops with heritage teams to discuss the representation of trans histories and identities and troubleshoot forthcoming exhibitions, including curation, interpretation and marketing: previous clients include the V&A, British Library exhibitions team, and Henry Moore Institute. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss this, and see my training page for more information on my approach.

Gendering the Museum: A Toolkit

In 2018-19, I worked with the V&A Museum (London) and Vasa Museet (Stockholm) as part of the international AHRC-funded project ‘Gendering Interpretations’, devising new ways of researching the hidden gendered stories behind museum objects and communicating them to the public – including through talks, tours, concerts and embroidery workshops. As part of this project, we co-developed the materials for Gendering the Museum: A Toolkit. This practical booklet, aimed at museum and heritage staff, provides a guide to diversifying representation of gender in museums through research, interpretation and public programming.

You can download a copy of the toolkit for free here.

My co-author James Daybell and I have worked with several organisations, including the Royal Armouries and National Trust, to put the toolkit into practice. If you’d like to chat about increasing and diversifying the representation of women, queer people and/or trans people in your museum, please get in touch.

Hidden Stories project at the Royal Armouries

I am currently Community Project Lead on Hidden Stories, a project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of Leeds 2023. Hidden Stories will uncover histories of gender and sexuality hidden within the collections of the Royal Armouries, and reveal them through an exhibition developed in collaboration with the local LGBTQ+ community.

You can read an account of our pilot project – a day of trans history celebrating spy and diplomat the Chevaliere d’Eon, in collaboration with artist Luna Morgana and local trans communities – and download the zine we produced here.

#RainbowPlaques workshops

Together with Helen Graham (University of Leeds), I originated the #RainbowPlaques project, and I coordinate it today. #RainbowPlaques workshops invite participants to make temporary cardboard plaques marking spaces significant to queer history – whether it’s somewhere with wider significance (like the site of the UK’s first ever national trans conference) or somewhere personally important (like the place where they came out to their mum). The project empowers ordinary people to determine which histories are worth recording, and to create their own forms of commemoration – and the temporary displays of plaques make the queer history of a city visible.

I’ve been commissioned to run #RainbowPlaques workshops by West Yorkshire Queer Stories, the Centre for Live Art Yorkshire, and the V&A Museum. If you’d like to discuss arranging a workshop for your organisation, event, class or youth group, please contact me!

If you’d like to run your own #RainbowPlaques workshop, the template is free for everyone: you can download a PDF here. Feel free to contact me for tips – and we’d love it if you’d archive them on social media using the hashtag too.

Queer history walking tours

I lead queer history tours of Leeds and York for The Bookish Type queer bookshop and for English Heritage members. Keep an eye on The Bookish Type website for upcoming tours, and get in touch if you’d like to arrange a tour for your group or discuss developing a tour in another city.

You can also follow a self-guided tour, which I designed, through the West Yorkshire Queer Stories app.

Queer history workshops

I design and lead bespoke workshops – on activities ranging from historical queer theatre, to blackout poetry, to the queer language of flowers – for organisations including English Heritage. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss arranging a workshop.

Curation

In 2016-17 I was the curatorial team lead for the exhibition York Out of the Closet: 50 Years of LGBT History (York Castle Museum). The exhibition combined oral histories, loaned objects and photographs to tell the story of LGBT life in York – focusing on social life, activism, crime, health and the history of York Pride – from 1967-2017.

In 2015-16, I curated the exhibition For All Time: Shakespeare In Yorkshire at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery. Showcasing the Brotherton’s English Literature collection, the exhibition explored Shakespeare’s engagement with English (particularly Yorkshire) history, and the ways in which directors and actors continue to use his work to ask questions about regional identity.

I’d love to talk about future opportunities to curate queer and/or early modern history – please get in touch if you’d like to chat about that!