Rainbow City

The Remember When history project's exhibition at the City Art Centre Ð Rainbow City, reviewed in last month's issue Ð presents a fascinating look at Edinburgh's rich LGBT history. But after it closes on July 9, you'll still be able to access the results of their hard work.

Book Review by Nine | 15 Jul 2006
This book compiles excerpts of interviews with LGBT people ranging in age from 18 to 80, painting a vivid picture of queer life in Edinburgh over the decades. And, truly, it's breathtaking. While the team acknowledge that not every demographic has been equally represented, what they have achieved is remarkable. Notably, it's balanced enough to celebrate milestones without pretending that everybody always got along, that LGBT people are all the same, or that full equality has now been realised. Presented in bitesized chunks and bright colours (rainbow colours, of course), the interviewees tell of 'the love that dare not speak its name' in the days when they risked arrest just for being themselves; discuss the emergence of a gay rights movement and its internal conflicts of gender and class; and recount the protests at the cusp of the millennium against the likes of Pat Robertson and Section 28. I found traces of my own experience in the words of people who went through it long before I did, along with inspiring, moving, and sometimes surprising stories (who knew that a Catholic priest provided the venue for the first gay café and disco in the early seventies?). 'Rainbow City' is a valuable and lasting document - the Remember When team have accomplished something to really be proud of. [Nine]
Rainbow City' is available from June 23, from Word Power, 43 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh; cover price £11.99.
http://www.word-power.co.uk http://www.rememberwhen.org.uk