Why LGBTQ+ History Month Matters
In my 50 years on the planet, I've seen plenty of older queer men frustrated by seeing young gay men enjoying the freedoms those older men fought for. It's not the fault of those young queer men because they're not taught queer history. They're not reflected in the curriculum.
Simply put, queer history has either been silenced or ignored.
And what if you're a queer history teacher? How does it feel to deliver a curriculum that doesn't represent you?
And where does that leave students? Left to create their own communities? (And let's not forget, they'll probably need a queer teacher or ally to sponsor that club.)
Queer people need to see themselves represented in history and it's important for straight and cisgendered people to see people who differ from them.
Did you know it's thought Florence Nightingale was a lesbian?
This leaves people—queer or otherwise—lacking the knowledge of rich queer history. And this comes back to my opening paragraph—queer kids aren't aware of the resistance that was essential for them to exist as they do today and risk losing the belief in their own power to push towards the changes we still need.
With that in mind, here's a recommended reading list for those interested in the UK's queer history:
Queer City Peter Ackroyd
United Queerdom Dan Glass
Good as You Paul Flynn
Queer London Matt Houlbrook
Gentleman Jack Angela Steidele
Protest: Britain on the March Mirrorpix
Educate yourself and educate others.
Above all, learn.
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