The safety of LGBTQ communities and their complicated, deep histories is an ongoing battle waged by activists, politicians, and historians all over the world. As authorities leaders and public figures try to diminish both the rights and visibility of those teams, observers to the political battleground haven’t got to take a seat idly by. From political advocacy to non-public schooling, communities can and may rally behind the trigger.
Accessible schooling has at all times been a big instrument for social change, and within the age of the web, that rings extra true than ever. The place lack of bodily entry was a nail within the coffin for accessing various, thorough info, rising know-how and social media have risen to bridge a lot of that hole. Digital divides nonetheless exist for a lot of, but it surely’s now simpler than ever to entry data that may have been almost not possible to search out just some many years in the past. And that is extremely vital to communities which have had their histories systematically ignored, particularly LGBTQ folks and LGBTQ folks of shade.
So, on prime of all of the political organizing, nonprofit assist, and social media engagement you place into bolstering LGBTQ communities, dive into the troves of LGBTQ historical past floating across the web. It is a important a part of our nation’s — and the worldwide neighborhood’s — existence. Listed here are only a handful of the numerous accounts sharing varied elements of those communities’ lengthy histories.
Creators and social media campaigns
One of many largest accounts on the record with greater than 430,000 followers, Rainbow Historical past Class is a TikTok-based crash course in all sides of LGBTQ historical past and tradition. Movies span nearly each subject, from tales about influential trans girls within the music business, like Grammy winner Wendy Carlos and the Academy Award-recognized composer Angela Morley, to a historic recounting of lesbian and gay solidarity during the HIV and AIDS crisis. Past its common host and contributor, Australian artistic and popular culture fanatic Rudy Jean Rigg, the account additionally invitations outdoors voices (known as “substitute lecturers”) to contribute commentary and featured historical past classes based mostly on their very own areas of experience (many movies deal with queer Australian historical past, specifically). Go to Rainbow Historical past Class’s website for extra info on its mission and the account’s lecturers.
What is heteroflexibility?
Ellie Medhurst is a lesbian trend historian and a frequent contributor to Rainbow Historical past Class, sharing her professional data on all issues garments, design, and queer historical past. On her TikTok web page, Medhurst posts about all kinds of topics, together with the history of Black lesbian fashion, how queer fashion aesthetics appear in fictionalized media, and quick biographies of lesser-known lesbian figures, just like the early twentieth century feminist writer Otake Kōkichi. Medhurst additionally runs a personal blog, the place you will discover lengthier discussions of lesbian and queer trend decisions, like dungarees (overalls) and their connection to lesbian feminists or the historical past of short hairstyles and community resistance.
Credit score: Ellie Medhurst / TikTok
Credit score: Ellie Medhurst / TikTok
The It Gets Better project is a marketing campaign and nonprofit group working to empower and educate LGBTQ youth all over the world by media programming and neighborhood constructing. The marketing campaign additionally posts on TikTok, and whereas it is not simply restricted to historic content material — additionally sharing movies about present politics, psychological well being, and media illustration — the web page steadily highlights unknown LGBTQ historical past by its “30 Second Queer Historical past” sequence. Movies underneath this tag spotlight issues just like the work of Stonewall activist Stormé DeLarverie, the legacy of the Los Angeles’ Trans Empowerment Center and AIDS activists, and unknown info about a variety of Black queer icons, from vogueing pioneer Willi Ninja to blues pianist and singer Gladys Bentley.
BiHistory is an Instagram account and digital archive project created by Mel Reeve, a author and former archivist based mostly in the UK. The Instagram venture was conceptualized as a approach to protect the historical past of bisexual communities and activists, in addition to spotlight bisexual icons and activists all through historical past, like First Nations Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau, Seventeenth-century opera singer and swordsman Julie d’Aubigny, and famed performers Bessie Smith and Josephine Baker. On Instagram you will discover historical images, interviews, and other media like zines, flags, and commercials created by and for bisexual organizers, in addition to present occasions in LGBTQ organizing and event programming. BiHistory has additionally published three zines in regards to the BiHistory archive, that are available for digital purchase.
Museums and archives
The GLBT Historic Society was based in 1985 as a major useful resource for preserving public LGBTQ historical past. Based mostly in San Francisco, the society collects and reveals historic supplies associated to queer communities across the nation, internet hosting occasions and academic alternatives for the general public to have interaction within the wealthy and sophisticated tales of LGBTQ folks. On each its Twitter and Instagram pages, the society posts glimpses into the huge archive, which incorporates one of many first Pride flags hoisted on the San Francisco Homosexual Freedom Day Parade in 1978. You could find extra of the archive, major supply databases, analysis guides, and online exhibitions on the society’s website.
The Digital Transgender Archive is a web based initiative to protect and democratize entry to transgender historical past, impressed by the difficulties confronted by researchers and historians of transgender and gender nonconforming communities. The archive aggregates varied databases, on-line media, and unbiased historical past tasks, together with independent trans publishing houses, newsletters, and different historic media like photograph collections and random ephemera, which cowl all kinds of transgender historical past. Parts of this database are shared on the archive’s Instagram and Twitter pages. If you happen to’re within the tales shared, dive deeper into the database and different instructional assets over on the official website.
Making Homosexual Historical past is an oral historical past archive turned podcast (and Twitter account) created by journalist Eric Marcus, sorting and sharing 30 years value of archival audio clips that includes the voices and tales of LGBTQ folks, pals, and household. The Making Homosexual Historical past podcast turns these clips into absolutely fleshed-out items of queer historical past, representing a various neighborhood of on a regular basis folks. The tales cowl the various lives of activists, like playwright and homosexual rights activist Larry Kramer, former UCLA cheerleader and LGBTQ novelist Randy Boyd, and collegiate tennis star and AIDS activist Sara Boesser. After visiting the initiative’s Twitter web page, go to the official website for extra info, or listen to the podcast.
Sporting Homosexual Historical past chronicles using clothes, particularly T-shirts, in LGBTQ organizing and neighborhood constructing, with 1000’s of photographs and accompanying info made accessible in a free, accessible digital archive and shared on its Twitter web page. The account and database have been co-created by Eric Gonzaba, a historian of LGBTQ and African American tradition at California State College, Fullerton, who introduced collectively the digital archives of quite a few LGBTQ databases throughout the globe. With greater than 4,500 gadgets, Sporting Homosexual Historical past shares textile examples of each LGBTQ artwork and design, and the historical past of queer golf equipment, occasions, and different neighborhood areas. Discover the total assortment of textiles and histories on the Wearing Gay History website.
One other Twitter comply with, the digital archive Mapping Gay Guides, which chronicles the historical past of queer areas throughout the US, was additionally co-created by Gonzaga. Based mostly on journey guides written by Bob Damron, a homosexual man who traveled extensively all through the Fifties and Sixties, the archive bodily maps the legacy of LGBTQ organizing each for enjoyable and political neighborhood. The archive contains tens of 1000’s of LGBTQ-friendly areas across the nation, like Washington, D.C.’s Paramount Steak House — one of many few industrial Damron listings that has remained open and LGBTQ-friendly for the reason that first journey information was revealed. The initiative shares the histories of notable areas within the type of short vignettes, all honoring the legacy of Damron’s books and the historic battle over LGBTQ protected areas.