At the heart of the West Yorkshire Queer Stories project is a collection of over 150 interview recordings, which we refer to as ‘stories’. As of the website launch, over 50 stories can already be listened to, with more to follow in the coming months, so don’t worry if you have recorded an interview with us but it hasn’t yet appeared online.

Alongside our stories, you’ll find various video interviews recorded at local Pride events, as well as short films made by artists we’ve commissioned especially to work with our participants. To find out more about any of the participants who have shared their stories, head over to our People page.


Searching for stories by subject

Stories range from short interviews recorded on location at local events, to in-depth life histories lasting well over an hour. To make these more accessible to you, we’ve extracted a short clip from each one, given it a title, and created a page called, simply, Stories. These shorter clips are intended to act as a taster for the longer interviews which, in most cases, can be listened to in full via a link at the bottom of each clip’s own page.


Filtering the story clips

At the top of the Stories page, you can use the drop-down menus to narrow down story content by its topic, location and time period. These filters reflect the content of the clips, rather than the individuals speaking. In the case of topic keywords, we’ve tried to reflect the language used by each individual participant, so you may like to try several associated terms like ‘People of Colour’ and ‘BAME’. This type of search will filter the content included in the short clips but not the full interviews. To search those, you can use the ‘Search all stories’ box at the top of the page.


Searching for stories using your own keywords

To search for content beyond what’s included in our shorter clips, use the ‘Search all stories’ box, visible at the top of every page. Here you can enter search words of your choice – just as you would with a search engine like Google. The suggested results will include a mixture of story clips and full interviews containing the relevant term(s) in their transcripts. Try a mixture of possible keywords and put speech marks around any phrases you want to keep together, such as “section 28”. Finally, remember that search results will reflect the content of the stories, not the identity of the participant.


Content notes

We hope you enjoy listening to the stories as much as we have enjoyed collecting them, but please do remember that they come from participants of all ages and different backgrounds across West Yorkshire. They cover a range of topics and views, to represent the diversity of LGBTIQ+ communities. The opinions expressed in the stories are those of our participants and do not necessarily represent the views of West Yorkshire Queer Stories or our partners, Yorkshire MESMAC, Leeds Museums and Galleries, and the West Yorkshire Archive Service.

It is important that our participants feel able to talk about difficult subjects or upsetting periods in their lives, and sometimes their recording for WYQS has been the first time they have felt able to talk about particular issues. This means that the range of topics covered in our stories includes material that people may find upsetting or challenging – for example, stories of homophobic attacks, sexual abuse or strong political opinions. Please also be aware that language change over the decades means that some words and phrases are used that may seem out-of-date or even offensive to a modern audience, and subject-matter can change quickly within a story.

If you are affected by any of the issues within the stories and need support, please go the MESMAC website for information about support groups and counselling.