Facilitators will train intergenerational groups of LGBTQI Tennesseans to locate, document, analyze, and present historical and contemporary queer history events.
A barrier to building an inclusive, connected queer community in Tennessee is the lack of connection between generations of queer and transgender people in the state. Partly due to the lasting implications of the AIDS epidemic, along with the trends of generational division currently plaguing our country, both youth and elders of the LGBTQI community are feeling disconnected from others.
Shawn will develop and facilitate a digital and physical map creation project, which will simultaneously enlist the knowledge and skills of queer youth and adults. With the help of LGBTQI serving organizations in the area, they want to support an intergenerational reworking of queer history in Tennessee. Through collaborative learning tasks, participants will learn from their own expertise and from each other. Facilitators will train intergenerational groups of LGBTQI Tennesseans to locate, document, analyze, and present historical and contemporary queer history events in the state through archival research, oral histories, and spacial auditing.
Participants will be encouraged to utilize and share their knowledge and skills as a contribution to the project. Generally, this means that young people will utilize their tech savvy and understandings of political processes today, while elders will contribute their knowledge of LGBTQI histories (both micro and macro) and organizing skills.
Facilitators will help to support all those in the group to effectively curate their cumulative work into interactive maps that are accessible both online and in print. The project will utilize google maps to create accessible, updatable, space-based presentations and Storymaps “print” tools and Indesign to develop tangible print guides. Community stakeholders will have a chance to view, experience, and comment on the digital and print histories in a series of public meetings, helping to disseminate the project deliverables.
By supporting the development of intergenerational sociopolitical consciousness, this project aims to equip youth and elders alike with critical analysis tools and position them to act as advocates in their own lives and community. Connecting folks to mentorship – both lateral and intergenerational – can help address the gaps in community facing LGBTQI Southerners.
Through this project, Shawn will build intergenerational connections between groups of people that have been systematically and socially distanced. Through publicly accessible histories, they hope individuals, organizations, and communities can learn from them and build intentional futures, undergirded by deeper understandings of the past.
Updated December 2021.