Lou Brodie, Creative Facilitator for the Coming Back Out Ball Project, talks about the new exhibition, Our Lives, Our Stories, in the Tulloch Link. She also hosts the monthly LGBTI+ Elders Social Dance Club at Eden Court Theatre, alongside her partner Amy Watt, Eden Court’s Engagement Producer for Theatre Projects.
Upon first encounter with this series of 4 images of LGBTI elders taken by photographer Tiu Makkonen a range of words spring to mind. Powerful, honest, vulnerable are the three that resonate most with me. They are also beautiful. Beautiful in their simple composition and everyday humanity. Beautiful in the open body language of each portraits subject. Beautiful in the way they draw me in and leave me full of ideas. They are a captivating introduction to what will become a larger series as part of The Coming Back Out Ball project.
The taking of a photographic portrait is a powerful act. Capturing in space and time a specific moment of the individual or individuals involved. Our Lives, Our Stories takes one more step and commits to moving image the stories behind the photographed individuals. The opportunity to hear from the people in the photograph adds depth to the visibility that is offered in this exhibition. Visibility can be a tricky subject especially for LGBT people and minority communities. Even more tricky when you add in the intersection of ageing into the mix. Visibility can render you more vulnerable but is often the tool we have to forge ahead and fight to live our lives with pride no matter what age we happen to be.
As an LGBT person I feel privileged and validated in being able to see these beautiful and powerful images in a civic space in the city I live in. It is so important that our cultural organisations are placing the stories of those less seen and less listened to at the centre of their work. I hope the audiences and visitors to Eden Court will find the same powerful beauty in the exhibition as I did and I hope that they will stop and listen to the stories behind the images.
The exhibition is on until Saturday 29 February.
The Coming Back Out Ball is a celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Gender Diverse and Intersex elders, taking place in Scotland from 2019 to 2020.
The Coming Back out Ball is a National Theatre of Scotland and All The Queens Men co-production, in partnership with Eden Court and Luminate in association with Glasgow City Council