Rainbow Plaques Launched
In anticipation of Leeds Pride 2018 we launched our Rainbow Plaque Trail on the 1st August which celebrates the rich history of LGBT+ icons and events in Leeds. Together with Leeds LGBT+ Hub and Leeds City Council, the Trust has erected 15 plaques across the city centre to celebrate the LGBT+ community and its heritage in the city. Based on the ‘Love Lives Here’ plaques trail in London, the Rainbow Plaques will celebrate well known and some not-so-well-known people, places and events significant to the LGBT+ community. Each of the plaques recognises the history, events and people from the LGBT+ community which have shaped Leeds into the progressive, forward-looking city it is today. Each plaque is, in its own right, culturally significant and marks the great steps forward in LGBT+ rights going all the way back to 1843, and together the 15 plaques form a walking trail around the city centre that will delight and reveal some hidden stories for anyone who wishes to take part.
The Rainbow Plaque Trail was formally launched on 1st August at the BBC building by Radio Leeds presenter and LGBT+ rights champion Stephanie Hirst (whose daily broadcast can be found here). The launch began with the unveiling of a Rainbow Plaque to commemorate Angela Morley, who was the first openly transgender person to be nominated for an Academy Award, due to her multi-instrumental and recording work for major screen productions such as Watership Down and Dallas. On show outside the BBC building for the launch was a display depicting the 15 plaques which would together make up the trail and Leeds Civic Trust’s Director Martin Hamilton said that it is “important that we tell some of those lesser-known stories as well as celebrate the most famous people that have got us to where we are today, to have a much more tolerant city”.
The walk is comprised of 15 plaques in total, beginning at The Grove in Hunslet and taking a large loop of the city centre to include the University of Leeds and the First Direct Arena, coming to a close right in the centre of town at the City Varieties. A few of the plaques will be featured in short articles of their own which will be found on the Leeds Civic Trust website in the coming days.
The plaque launch event was a great success for the Trust and for all those who helped with the design and creation of the plaques as well as those involved with the launch itself – we would like to thank the BBC and Leeds College of Music for all their support. The Rainbow Plaque Trail will be extended next year and nominations will open again in February for next year’s plaques. If you would like to sponsor a Rainbow Plaque please feel free to get in touch.
From Angela Morley to Nicola Adams; Alan Bennett to Soft Cell, Leeds has much to commemorate, contemplate and celebrate. The Rainbow Plaques will be on display until 17th September and the Rainbow Plaque Trail guide is available to download below.
Download your trail map here: