- GB 1534 LIPS
- Corporate body
Lesbians in Peer Support (LIPS) was a youth group organised by the Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) supporting lesbian and bisexual women and girls between the ages of 14 and 25. The group was founded in 2000, following a1999 study into poverty and social exclusion among LGB young people in Glasgow and West Scotland which found that many young lesbian and bisexual women experienced high levels of isolation and social stigma. A youth group run by Lesbian Line had recently folded, leaving little support for young queer women in Glasgow. LIPS initially received three years of funding from Comic Relief, making it GWL’s first funded project. Sue John and Shona Bruce led the project, which was launched in October 2000 in the Tron theatre as part of the Glasgay! Arts Festival.
LIPS initially held meetings at GWL on Thursday evenings, shifting to Thursdays and Saturdays in 2001. The group also later launched an under 18s subgroup. This collection records many of the activities that took place during these meetings, including creative writing, drumming and drag workshops, as well as sessions on issues such as self-esteem, sexual health and domestic violence. Alongside regular meetings, the group organised residential trips in 2001, to Manchester – where they strengthened their links to a local lesbian and bisexual youth group – and to Camas on the Isle of Mull. The group also produced a series of short films, Dykes in the City which were launched at the 2001 Glasgay! Festival.
Staff and group members of LIPS were also involved in researching and campaigning around the needs of LGBTQ people in Scotland. In partnership with the Greater Glasgow Health Board, LIPS launched Something to Tell You: Hearing the Voices of Young LGB People in 2002, a report that gathered and analysed the experiences of young gay, lesbian and bisexual people in Glasgow and West Scotland.
In 2003, GWL secured additional funding from Comic Relief to run LIPS for a further three years. As part of the next phase of the project, members of the group trained as Peer Educators to facilitate LIPS groups and support new members. Following Comic Relief’s policy of funding projects for no more than six years, LIPS began to taper off its activities from 2005, and disbanded in the following year.