A ground-breaking artist residency project shed light on LGBT people’s experiences of sheltered housing and independent living schemes

Image credit: Back in the Closet setup, image by Anna Raczynski.


Running from February 2020 to Summer 202, the Back in the Closet project saw four artists paired with older persons’ housing schemes across Greater Manchester to work with both staff and residents to open a discussion on LGBT identities and to find both small and significant changes to make these environments more inclusive.


I kicked the doors off that closet years ago…and they are not going back on for anyone” Bill Moss, Back in the Closet participant.

Each artist was paired with a housing scheme and collaborations took place remotely or socially distanced due to restrictions in place as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Artists were open to working with staff and residents at each scheme, to co-create an artistic response to their experiences using photography, creative writing, film, installation or performance.

The artists and housing organisations who took part were Anna Raczynski with Great Places Housing Group, Lauren Sagar with Calico Homes, Tamzin Forster with Trafford Housing Trust and Jez Dolan with housing schemes represented as part of Rainbow Roofs. With special thanks to all of these housing associations and to One Manchester for their support.

Image credit: Colour swatch 10 by Tamzin Forster and Mary E Taylor.

Image credit: Still from Is That All There Is? Seasons of Life/Moments (Frozen) In Time by Jez Dolan and Paul Richards.

Back in the Closet was a partnership project between Greater Manchester Combined Authority, House Proud NW and Pride in Ageing at LGBT Foundation. A huge thank you to everyone who took part.

Please note: Permission for any further use of the Back in the Closet artworks must be sought from the Pride in Ageing programme via or for press

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