SCOTLAND'S queer community will receive £195,000 from the National Lottery to share LGBTQ+ voices and stories.

Coming from Creative Scotland’s lottery-supported Open Fund, the money will be used to support a wide variety of creative projects highlighting queer life all across the country.

Performance piece "we have all been here for a long time" will see five interdisciplinary performances held at heritage sites across the country, telling queer stories from throughout Scotland’s history.

One of the piece’s organisers, Lewis Hetherington, celebrated the funding, saying: “Working with Historic Environment Scotland, 'we have all been here a long time' gives a chance to question how our heritage is often presented to us, and those voices and lives who we have never had the chance to hear about.”

Another project, HAUS OF GLOSS, will explore Dundee’s drag scene through looking at the experiences and lives of a fictional queer trans femme couple living in the city.

The National: HAUS OF GLOSS will follow the lives of a fictional trans femme Dundee coupleHAUS OF GLOSS will follow the lives of a fictional trans femme Dundee couple (Image: Creative Scotland)

Film-maker Mark Lyken will work with Allana James and Opal Gordon to create the piece, with the latter two creating characters based on their own lived experiences.

Lyken says: “We’re excited and relieved to receive support from Creative Scotland’s Open Fund to realise our long-planned collaborative film.

“Crucially, the funding will allow us to pay our small team appropriately, granting us the time, support and safeguards to experiment and bring what we consider an urgent story to screen.”

The film will be shot at locations across Dundee with importance to the city’s drag and graffiti scenes, with the creators looking to show the film at festivals in spring 2024.

Meanwhile, Fringe of Colour Films will receive funding to commission a Black, queer Scotland-based artist for their online arts festival, celebrating the works of Black, Asian, Indigenous and Latin American people in Scotland.

The National: The Fringe of Colour online film festival is set to receive funding from the Open FundThe Fringe of Colour online film festival is set to receive funding from the Open Fund (Image: Creative Scotland)

Author Russell Jones will receive funding from the fund for his novel The Do Good Club, to make it more accurate to queer life and experiences.

The story follows non-binary protagonist Sable Grey in running an altruism club in Edinburgh, who faces up to the challenge of expressing altruism towards somebody who wants to ruin their life.

Jones explained how the funding will help his novel, saying: “The Open Fund has allowed me to work closely with an authenticity reader to improve LGBTQIA+ representation in my current novel draft and redraft, to further improve my future writing.

“These creative activities help me and my readers to better appreciate the perspectives of others and to realise that there are more commonalities between our lives than things which separate us.”

Sanctuary Queer Arts, a group which supports LGBTQIA+ artists in Scotland, is set to launch a mentorship project for six artistic projects in collaboration with Glasgow lunchtime theatre A Play, A Pie and A Pint.

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Fraser MacLeod, Drew Taylor-Wilson and Annabel Cooper, co-directors of the group, said: “We create and support spaces where queer people are in the majority, their voices are amplified and LGBTQIA+ people are celebrated and lifted up.

“We hope our work will provide much needed platforms, support and sanctuary for queer people, community members and artists.”

Stuart Cameron, equalities and diversity officer at Creative Scotland, celebrated the funding, saying: “It’s fantastic to see the Open Fund supporting so many inspiring projects which demonstrate how vibrant and creative Scotland’s LGBTQIA+ community is.

“By increasing the diversity of the workforce in arts and culture, Scottish audiences will get to experience a broader, richer, and more representative array of stories and experiences.”

Creative Scotland’s last round of Open Fund awards will support 88 projects in total, drawing from a total pot of £1,834,453.