About me

Most of my adult career has been about history. I started off as an archaeologist working in this country as well brief stints in Ireland and Cyprus. I’ve worked for a variety of venerable organisations such as the British Museum, the Museum of London, National Museums Scotland and others.

I was awarded a grant by English Heritage to do an MA in Artefacts at University College London and subsequently wrote two books Archaeological Finds: An Identification Guide and An Archaeological Finds Manual.

Before long it was only natural I should get interested in LGBT history and worked for LAGNA, the Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive. I was also contracted to work with the Museum of London on their Reassessing What We Collect project and an oral history on women with HIV/AIDS at Positively Women in association with the British Library.

Having moved back to my native Wales I have worked almost exclusively on raising awareness of Welsh LGBT history which is very under represented in British LGBT history.

In 2012 I applied for a Heritage Lottery Fund to host the first LGBT exhibition in Wales. John Davies, the celebrated Welsh historian, gave his first speech on gay history. I also asked the National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke, if she would write a poem. This is now the first poem that a National Poet, or Poet Laureate, of any country in the world has written celebrating the LGBT people of their country. Taking her inspiration from the Ladies of Llangollen Gillian wrote Sarah at Plas Newydd, July 5th 1788.

Since then I continue to specialise in the LGBT history of Wales. I sit on the Diversity Forum at Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales and work with other museum and archives raising awareness on the inclusion of equality and diversity in their collections. I also worked with Cardiff Story Museum on the Celebrating LGBT Cardiff exhibition.

I travel throughout the country giving talks and presentations. In July 2017 I gave a presentation at the House of Commons to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act (1967). I appear regularly on radio and TV.

If you would like to book a talk please get in touch using the contact page on this site – in the meantime here are just a few media items still up on the web:

February 2015 WalesOnline – Alan Turing’s name may have been cleared, but the fight to pardon men persecuted for their sexuality continues

February 2016 WalesOnline – As few as five Welsh men applied for homosexuality convictions to be deleted – 100s may be eligible

July 2017 Radio Cardiff – Cardiff Comes Out: The History of LGBT and the Capital

July 2017 Parliamentary Radio 

July 2017 “Women are the ‘overlooked minority’ in the history of the Sexual Offences Act  

July 2017 – ITV Wales 50 Years since homosexuality was decriminalised in Wales

August 2017 Radio Wales – The Story of LGBT Wales

August 2017 Amgueddfa Cymru/National Museum Wales – A Story on a Plate: The Ladies of Llangollen

November 2017 Guest Blog for Wen Women Why History Matters to You

December 2017 Radio Cardiff   Forbidden Lives

January 2018 Wales Online These are the LGBT heroes who are said to have helped shape Welsh history  

January 2018 BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement

February 2018 Welsh Assembly ‘As a member of a minority – does your history matter?’

May-June 2018 The Gay & Lesbian Review Belated Vindication for John Boswell 

Summer 2018 The Welsh Agenda ‘Forbidden Lives’

July 2018 Wales Arts Review The Problems with Rhondda Rips it Up! Controversy over the airbrushing out of Lady Rhondda’s sexuality in the publicity for the Welsh National Opera show. Follows on from my blog on the same subject.

August 2018 Queering Glamorgan A free downloadable guide for researching LGBT history. Described as ‘pioneering’, ‘revolutionising research’ and a ‘new form of methodology’ it has been downloaded over 600 times.

January 2019 Guest specialist on Invitation au Voyage, a daily show broadcast on ARTE, a german-french TV channel. Visited Kilkenny Castle, Ireland to talk about the Ladies of Llangollen. Due to be aired August 2019.

February 2019 Blog for Birckbeck University A New Kind of Research Guide

February 2019 Blog by St. Andrews Special Collection following my workshop Queering the Archives – LGBT History Month in the Library

My book, Forbidden Lives: LGBT Stories from Wales – the first book on Welsh LGBT history published by Seren Books.Front cover

Thanks for stopping by

 

Norena