Manitoba Museum launches 2SLGBTQ+ exhibit ahead of Pride Week

On the eve of Pride week in Winnipeg, the Manitoba Museum, in partnership with the Rainbow Resource Centre, have launched a new exhibit titled – If These Walls Could Talk: 50 years of 2SLGBTQ+ activism in Winnipeg.

It explores the issues the 2SLGBTQ+ community faced after decriminalization of homosexuality in 1969.

“I think it’s just an incredibly important exhibit for our entire society,” explained Roland Sawatzky, curator of history at the Manitoba Museum.

“There is information here that you haven’t heard. I know I learned a lot and it’s something that is important to know about our larger society and our local community.”

The exhibit features historical posters, photographs, a video, interpretive panels, and an interactive rainbow light wall. It covers campaigns including combatting HIV and AIDS, marriage and adoption rights and protection of gender diversity.

Ashley Smith with the Rainbow Resource Centre says the display showcases the victories and tragedies that have shaped queer rights in Manitoba.

“As we overcome each thing, it’s important to remember that we are always vigilant, because hate and discrimination is always at the gates,” said Smith.

Smith says it’s important to have exhibits like this not just in Winnipeg, but across the country, in order to further education about the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

“The harms and mistakes of the past seem to just keep happening or this community and we need to remember it and learn from it.”

The exhibit opens to the public on Friday and will remain as a display at the museum until December.

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