DOZENS of young LGBT+ Scots have lent their voices to a first-of-its-kind social history project that will preserve their experiences, stories and hopes for the future. 

This is part of LGBT Youth Scotland’s (Un)Seen, (Un)Heard initiative, which is capturing, collating and conserving the stories of LGBT+ young people to create a new permanent archive within the National Library of Scotland which will increase visibility, strengthen communities and inform policymakers. 

More than 150 messages have already been collated in the form of recordings, letters, films, pieces of art, banners and signed flags from workshops across the country – including at six Pride events across Scotland – and these will form part of a unique national exhibition at venues all over Scotland in early 2024.  

Ali Kerr, head of partnerships at LGBT Youth Scotland, said the charity has been thrilled with the response.

READ MORE: Emma Roddick: Scotland remains committed to the LGBT+ community

She said: "It’s vital we capture the experiences of LGBTQ+ young people to give them a sense of pride in who they are, as well as giving them hope for the future. 

“The response we’ve had for this project is incredible and we hope that bridging the past and present will help us all make Scotland a place where all young people can thrive. 

“We’re looking forward to building on the exhibition for its launch early next year and we’re urging those that haven’t taken part and would like to share their story to get in touch.” 

The three-year project, which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, has engaged with youth groups across the country to develop people’s heritage skills. 

Young people in Perth were given an archivist-led tour of Perth Archives and delivered training with Our Story Scotland and the Scottish Council for Archives to develop skills in archiving and social history.

The National Library of Scotland has also welcomed groups to learn about its current collections and make their own zines inspired by the archives. 

Along with collating stories at the Pride events, the charity launched a campaign video on June 1 this year that showcased conversations between young and older members of the community, reflecting on what has changed and what could still be done better.

If you are interested in submitting your story to the (Un)seen, (Un)heard archive or would like to know more about the project, email