New Exhibition “Private Parts” to address stigma surrounding private parts and Identity – January till 9 July 2023
We all have private parts so why are we embarrassed to talk about them? A thoughtful exploration of intimate health care, Thackray’s new exhibition Private Parts celebrates the diverse lived experiences of health, identity, and pleasure.
A grown-up, comfortable space to explore uncomfortable things. From the ticklish to the explicit, personal stories explored in this exhibition are recommended for those aged 16+
We all have private parts so why are we embarrassed to talk about them?
To have a healthy functioning body we have to look after ourselves, but going to the doctors to talk about your bits can be pretty difficult.
Private parts aren’t just male and female. There’s a whole world in between!
There are so many different ways for people to describe their identity, everyone deserves the freedom to explore it.
Everyone is entitled to a great sex life if they want it. All of us have different tastes, needs and things that turn us on.
It doesn’t matter what shape your body is. It doesn’t matter who you like to do it with. We say as long as you’re happy, safe and you have consent, you’re good to get it on.
Meet our Co-curators
Medical physicians are experts on the human body in general. We are the only experts on our own bodies. (Ki)
To make this exhibition, we talked to a group of people about their gender, sexuality and identity. They told us how some or all of these things have affected their attitudes and experiences of sexual intimacy and pleasure, and of accessing intimate healthcare.
We give thanks to each and every one of the people who made this exhibition possible, by sharing their thoughts, their experiences, their ideas, and their innermost selves with us.
- Shaun’s story highlights the need for accessible, easy-read information to make it easier for people with learning disabilities to understand who they are and to access the healthcare they are entitled to.
- Herfa shares her painful journey with fibroids and the challenges she has faced along the way. She also explains how she channels her feelings about her condition through her art.
- Andi is a member of Skyline, which provides support services for anyone living with or affected by HIV in Leeds. He discusses with us the stigma that comes with HIV/AIDS and observes that it is still very much alive in our society today.
- Mike is also a member of Skyline. He tells us about his treatment following his testicular cancer diagnosis. He and Andi also explore the similarity between the instruments used for medical examinations and those used for pleasure.
- Lynne is a urogynaecologist. She explains the conditions she encounters and the available treatments. Lynne also discusses with us the current focus on physiotherapy over surgery where possible.
- Sarah explains the myths and misunderstandings surrounding sex and disability, and shares her journey towards achieving body positivity and launching #fatdisabledworthy
- Ki is an actor, activist and DJ who identifies as intersex trans non-binary. He shares with us his experience of being intersex and the importance of community.
- Pauline reflects on the joy and sadness of her life as a transwoman.
How does the exhibition combat stigmatization and shame surrounding private parts and intimate health?
Private Parts gives voice to a wide range of people, some who you might not have heard from before. Each one, shares their experience with an openness and honesty that we hope will give visitors a greater understanding of the issues these people face. Through hearing their story, visitors may recognise something from their own lives and feel a connection.
What kind of interactive exhibits will be included in the exhibition?
Visitors can take a photo in our selfie booth and share it via our hashtag #proudofyourprivateparts. You can also sit back and relax on our chaise longue and draw a cheeky Private Parts inspired still life.
Will there be any workshops or events associated with the exhibition?
We will be hosting several late events featuring music, tours and life drawing classes. Keep an eye on our website and socials for more details coming soon!
What kind of impact does the exhibition hope to have on visitors?
We hope the exhibition will help people feel more confident talking about their own intimate health needs and feel more confident going to the doctors.
Is the exhibition suitable for children?
Everyone is welcome to visit but due to the adult nature of some of the stories, we recommend that the exhibition is better suited for those over 16.