Jane Traies reveals hidden stories of older lesbians
In a special warm up to Brighton Pride, New Writing South supported the launch of the new book by Brighton-based writer-researcher, Jane Traies. Over 70 people came along to hear Jane read excerpts of some of the first-hand accounts of older lesbians, Now You See Me: Lesbian Life Stories (Tollington Press, 2018).
Jane has been recording the life histories of older women who identify as lesbian for nearly a decade. The narratives in Now You See Me are drawn from this archive of hidden histories.
The personal is still political in Jane’s collection: these women remember a time when being lesbian meant hiding your true identity, or paying the price for breaking society’s rules.
The book is the latest addition to a body of work by Brighton & Hove writers by, with or about older LGBTQ+ people, including New Writing South’s anthology Queer in Brighton (2014), and Val Brown’s biography of music hall star and Radycliffe Hall contemporary, Toupie Lowther: Her Life (Matador, 2017).
Starting this year, New Writing South will embark on Celebrating Our Stories, a major two-year project which uses interviews with older LGBTQ+ people from southeast England as the source material for a region-wide festival of verbatim theatre.