How Did We Get Here?
The project was launched at Quay Arts in June 2019. It focuses on the untold and often hidden or erased heritage of LGBTQ+ people all with an Isle of Wight connection. Project Manager Caroline Diamond came out and started a Wight LGBTQ+ Women’s group (formerly Wight Lesbians) in 2015 and was amazed to hear people like Joanne Brady and Karl Love talk of a thriving community of LGBTQ+ people on the Isle of Wight in the 1980’s and 1990’s who met up, sometimes in large numbers and stayed connected in the days before mobile phones and social media. It wasn’t all good news, looking back to the 70’s, stories were also ugly and distressing. Violent homophobia led to Nikki Dorakis having his pet cat killed and left on his doorstep. He was from Ventnor, and a founder of the Campaign For Homosexual Equality. We felt that powerful stories like these needed to be highlighted and shared.