Out Abroad: UK Museum Highlights LGBTQ Railway Workers; Estonia Legalizes Same-sex Marriage

Photo via www.railwaymuseum.org.uk.

A U.K. museum records the history of LGBTQ railway workers, Estonia legalizes same-sex marriage, and a band turns down a gig in Dubai over a sexuality law.

UK Museum Records History Of LGBTQ Railway Workers

A partnership between the rail industry in York and Network Rail’s LGBTQ+ organization Archway has raised almost 100,000 euros to record the voices of LGBTQ railway workers.

According to the BBC, up to 70 interviews will be collected as part of an oral history project. The goal is to “fill the gap in railway knowledge before it is lost.”

"The huge shift in attitudes in society and the rail industry over the last 50 years is significant. These changes have not been recorded and risk being lost unless these voices and stories are recorded now,” said Alison Kay, the archives' manager at the National Railway Museum.

All the interviews collected will be added to the museum’s permanent collection.

Estonia Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage


Photo via Adobe Stock.

Estonia became the first central European country to legalize same-sex marriage.

The bill, which was approved by Parliament, received 55 votes.

"It's like the state is finally accepting me … Now, I'm a human with rights,” Resident Annely Lepamaa, who identifies as lesbian, told Reuters.

Central Europe was once under communist rule, making them behind in terms of same-sex advancement compared to Western Europe.

In an interview with Reuters, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said, "My message [to central Europe] is that it's a difficult fight, but marriage and love is something that you have to promote.”

Band Turns Down Gig Over Sexuality Law


Ian "H" Watkins. Photo via Instagram.

Steps, a British dance-pop group, turned down a show in Dubai over a contract clause that stated they could not mention sexuality.

According to the BBC, Ian “H” Watkins, a member of the band, told Chippenham Pride that he did not want to perform in Dubai because of the human rights issues in the country. He continued to say that he was at a point in his life where morals were more important than a “pot of gold gig.”

"This week we were offered a gig, a show, and it was in a country where there's lots of oppression, where the LGBTQ+ community is treated so horrendously and in the contract it said 'no mention of sexuality' and that really jarred with me," said Watkins.

Dubai, one of the United Arab Emirates, has strict laws against homosexuality and it is illegal to be homosexual in the country.

Watkins told the band they were welcome to perform without him but the group followed his decision and turned down the gig.

"If everybody did that, all of those ripples will make huge waves, and we will have a much more inclusive and beautiful place to live,” said Watkins.


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