The LGBT reading group Gloucestershire

Hello, my name is Rachel Burgin and I am the founder of 'The LGBT reading group Gloucestershire'.

My idea to start this group came about when I was considering a community project for my ELCE degree during the first year of my studies.

I realized that there was nothing out there like it and if I wanted it, that I would have to be the one that creates what is now my dream group.

Studying at Bristol gave me the confidence to push boundaries and contact local authorities to help advertise my group. I also wrote an article for a major online magazine, which is something I wouldn't have ever considered myself capable of. With no studies done on LGBT literature and the community I rapidly discovered that this was uncharted territory, which meant that every experience and discussion felt fresh, exciting and hugely important.

At present this group is the only LGBT Reading group in the county of Gloucestershire and I have members that travel far to be there. Fantastic links have been formed throughout my journey with ELCE and my group now forms part of 'The LGBT Partnership' and I have made some amazing friends.

My mission was to bring the community together through a love of reading about the 'Queer' experience. The group allows a what can sometimes be a fractured community, to learn from each other and discover our history, identity and to unravel hidden lives.

This year I started a fundraiser to attend Gloucester Pride and I had a surprisingly large amount LGBT literature donated to me from a variety of sources. The day was a success and we raised money for a local LGBT Charity from the literature sold. Now the sky is the limit with what could be achieved and I hope to keep sharing my love of LGBT Literature with the LGBT community and beyond!

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