T Shirt – produced by GoodVibes group, YMCA Swansea
The T shirt was designed by young people in the GoodVibes group for the Swansea Pride march in 2021.
On the 2nd October 1857, the Cambrian Newspaper carried an announcement to say that “the first meeting of the Church of England Young Men’s Association will be held on the 6th October at 6pm in the National School, Oxford St”, (now the car park opposite the Grand Theatre) where “Pascoe St Ledger Grenville had kindly consented to give a speech”.
The following week, on the 9th October the Cambrian carried a report on the meeting.
The meeting was chaired by the Rev E B squire (Vicar of St Mary’s 1846 -76). In his address Pascoe St Ledger stated:
“Associations must be the means of bringing young men together and of finding them enjoyment and pleasures which they can’t find at home – giving them opportunities of employing their talents and enabling them to form associations and friendships which they may hold valuable and dear to them to the latest moment of life. In such cases an association, was most beneficial, some of the most eminent of the day have sprung from associations of this kind”.
Not much is known about the original group and its activities. However, a report in the Cambrian newspaper on the 4th January 1861 announced that the group were having a `Soiree’ at the Assembly Rooms on the 9th January where:
“Several gentlemen will make their first appearance in public”.
The only modern equivalent today is the debutant balls at which the aristocracy present their daughters to the monarch. However, during this period, these kind of events would regularly take place and mention both young men and women being introduced to society. It is the origin of the modern term, `Coming Out’.
YMCA Swansea was established in 1868 when the above group changed its name to the usual format of YMCA.
Just over a hundred and fifty years later in 2011, another association GoodVibes was established under the auspices of YMCA Swansea.
GoodVibes is an inclusive LGBTQ+ youth group that supports young people between the ages of 11-25. It provides a safe space that reduces feelings of loneliness and isolation. Young people can build peer friendships within a community so that they belong, contribute and thrive. It is a group where young people can be surrounded by likeminded individuals in an environment that promotes respecting other people’s choices, citizenship, and cultural identity. It provides young people with the confidence to explore their own identity around people that really understand and care.
GoodVibes operates on the foundation of strong values of inclusivity and diversity. Young people can come to GoodVibes without fear of judgment, harassment, bullying or discrimination and social pre-conceived norms. They can be 100% themselves and have a safe space to explore their identity. It is a group where young people can come and introduce themselves, their names, preferred names, pronouns, and favourite things. And what they receive from each other, and youth workers is acceptance, without question.
Swansea Museum took the T shirt into the collection as part of its policy of diversifying the displays.