Monday, 29 April 2019

A New Project

One of several projects I’ve been working on this year is starting a YouTube channel devoted to lgbt history. There’s quite a few videos on lgbt history on YouTube already but most of them are about the same things – the same events in the history of gay rights, homophobia, discrimination, personal testimony. There’s very little variety. Although education in these subjects is vital to understand the contemporary lgbt community there is very little about how members of the lgbt community have shaped the world we live in and have made significant contributions to our ways of life. Even the official UK LGBT History Month organisation mentions very few members of the community who have achieved greatness in spite of homophobia. There’s too much about current campaigns and party politics in the interpretation of lgbt history. I’m a historian, leave contemporary politics to activists - activist who distort historical fact to fit their own political beliefs.

In February this year, for UK LGBT History Month, I was interviewed by a student journalist for one of Nottingham’s universities. Throughout the whole hour all she was interested in was what it is like to live as an openly gay man in Nottingham today. She was not remotely interested in any aspect of lgbt history, and the published article didn’t have a single historic fact in it. Even the historic facts I mentioned were ignored.

I hope my blog goes someway to redress this imbalance on the internet and in the media, and this is why I thought of producing my own videos.

The first challenge was finding the time and juggle it around my new re-organised life and new projects. Unlike all those young YouTubers and vloggers out there who seemingly have unlimited amount of free time to produce endless drivel, I have to earn a living.

Next challenge, I needed to find out how easy or difficult it was to produce a short video in a style that I liked. I chose an animated trivia/fact-based list to start off with. There are various animation software packages available and I’m slowly going through them to find the best that works for my requirements in the future.

Until then I’ve produced a short video using something I know more about – Powerpoint. On the few occasions that I was asked to give a talk to my local gay/bi men’s group in Nottingham I produced a Powerpoint presentation which included a lot of animation. That is how I produced my first YouTube video, which you can see below. I hope you like it. It’s just “work in progress” and not as polished as I would like future videos to be. I may include commentary or music on future videos.

As I say in the video description more videos may follow or they may not. It all depends on how quick and easy the various animation packages are to use, and how I can juggle production around my work, home life, research, writing this blog and creating other projects.

I’ll be taking another break throughout May but will be back in June for US Pride Month. Among the subjects will be my annual heraldic alphabet, Game of Gay Thrones II, and a commemoration of 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Thanks for your continuing support and interest, especially to my followers. See you in June.

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