9 accounts to observe to broaden your understanding of LGBTQ historical past

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 each the rights and visibility of those teams, observers of the political battleground haven’t got to sit down idly by. From political advocacy to private training, communities can rally behind the trigger, armed with a depth of data proving how the previous can inform the longer term.

Accessible training has at all times been a major device 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 information that will have been almost unimaginable to seek out only a few a long time in the past. And that is extremely necessary to communities which have had their histories systematically ignored, particularly LGBTQ individuals, and LGBTQ individuals of coloration particularly.

So, on prime of all of the political organizing, nonprofit help, 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 very important a part of our nation’s — and the worldwide neighborhood’s — existence. Listed below are only a handful of the various accounts sharing numerous elements of those communities’ lengthy histories.

Creators and social media campaigns

@RainbowHistoryClass(opens in a new tab)

One of many greatest accounts on the listing with greater than 485,000 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 ladies within the music trade, like Grammy winner Wendy Carlos and (opens in a new tab)the Academy Award-recognized composer(opens in a new tab) Angela Morley(opens in a new tab), to a historic recounting of lesbian and gay solidarity during the HIV and AIDS crisis(opens in a new tab).

Past its common host and contributor, Australian artistic and popular culture fanatic Rudy Jean Rigg(opens in a new tab), the account additionally invitations exterior voices (known as “substitute academics”) to contribute commentary and featured historical past classes based mostly on their very own areas of experience (many movies deal with LGBTQ Australian historical past, particularly). Go to Rainbow Historical past Class’s website(opens in a new tab) for extra info on its mission and the account’s academics.

@EllieMedhurst(opens in a new tab)

Ellie Medhurst is a lesbian trend historian and former contributor(opens in a new tab) to Rainbow Historical past Class, sharing her knowledgeable information 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(opens in a new tab), how queer fashion aesthetics appear in fictionalized media(opens in a new tab), and quick biographies of lesser-known lesbian figures, just like the early Twentieth-century feminist writer Otake Kōkichi(opens in a new tab). Medhurst additionally runs a personal blog(opens in a new tab) and Instagram page(opens in a new tab), the place you’ll find lengthier discussions of lesbian and queer trend selections, like dungarees (overalls) and their connection to lesbian feminists(opens in a new tab) or the historical past of short hairstyles and community resistance(opens in a new tab).  

A screenshot of one of Medhurst's TikTok videos

Medhurst dives deep into queer trend historical past.
Credit score: Ellie Medhurst / TikTok

A screenshot of one of Medhurst's TikTok videos

Medhurst highlights extra trendy lesbian trend, as properly.
Credit score: Ellie Medhurst / TikTok

@(opens in a new tab)ItGetsBetter(opens in a new tab)

The It Gets Better project(opens in a new tab) 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 continuously highlights unknown LGBTQ historical past by its “30 Second Queer Historical past” sequence. Movies spotlight moments, actions, and leaders just like the celebration of Harvey Milk Day(opens in a new tab), the work of Stonewall activist Stormé DeLarverie(opens in a new tab), the legacy of the Los Angeles’ Trans Empowerment Center and AIDS activists(opens in a new tab), and unknown information about a variety of(opens in a new tab) Black queer icons(opens in a new tab), from vogueing pioneer Willi Ninja to blues pianist and singer Gladys Bentley.

@(opens in a new tab)BiHistory(opens in a new tab)

BiHistory is an Instagram account and digital archive project(opens in a new tab) created by Mel Reeve, a author and former archivist based mostly in the UK. The Instagram challenge was conceptualized as a technique 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(opens in a new tab), Seventeenth-century opera singer and swordsman Julie d’Aubigny(opens in a new tab), and famed performers Bessie Smith(opens in a new tab) and Josephine Baker(opens in a new tab).

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On Instagram you may discover historical images(opens in a new tab), interviews(opens in a new tab), and other media(opens in a new tab) like zines, flags, and commercials created by and for bisexual organizers, in addition to present occasions in LGBTQ organizing and event programming(opens in a new tab). BiHistory has beforehand published three zines(opens in a new tab) concerning the BiHistory archive, and is set to release its fourth(opens in a new tab), chronicling the “close, spiritual, and arguably queer relationships between medieval monks, saints, and nuns(opens in a new tab).”

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Museums and archives

GLBT Historical Society(opens in a new tab) 

The GLBT Historic Society was based in 1985 as a main useful resource for preserving public LGBTQ historical past. Primarily based in San Francisco, the society collects and reveals historic supplies associated to queer communities across the nation, hosting events(opens in a new tab) and academic alternatives for the general public to interact within the wealthy and complicated tales of LGBTQ individuals. On each its Twitter and Instagram(opens in a new tab) pages, the society posts glimpses into the huge archive, which incorporates one of many first Pride flags(opens in a new tab) hoisted on the San Francisco Homosexual Freedom Day Parade in 1978. You’ll find extra of the archive, main supply databases, analysis guides, and online exhibitions(opens in a new tab) on the society’s website(opens in a new tab)

Digital Transgender Archive(opens in a new tab)

The Digital Transgender Archive is an internet 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 numerous databases, on-line media, and impartial historical past initiatives, together with independent trans publishing houses(opens in a new tab), newsletters(opens in a new tab), and different historic media like photograph collections(opens in a new tab) and random ephemera(opens in a new tab), which cowl all kinds of transgender historical past.

Parts of this database are shared on the archive’s Instagram web page. If you happen to’re within the tales shared, dive deeper into the database(opens in a new tab), and its accompanying map(opens in a new tab), as properly different instructional sources supplied on the official website(opens in a new tab)

Making Gay History(opens in a new tab)

Making Homosexual Historical past is an oral historical past archive turned podcast (and Twitter account) created by journalist Eric Marcus(opens in a new tab), sorting and sharing 30 years’ value of archival audio clips that includes the voices and tales of LGBTQ individuals, mates, 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 individuals. The tales cowl the numerous lives of activists, like playwright and homosexual rights activist Larry Kramer,(opens in a new tab) former UCLA cheerleader and LGBTQ novelist Randy Boyd(opens in a new tab), and collegiate tennis star and AIDS activist Sara Boesser(opens in a new tab). After visiting the initiative’s Twitter web page, go to the official website(opens in a new tab) for extra info, or listen to the podcast(opens in a new tab)

Wearing Gay History(opens in a new tab) 

Sporting Homosexual Historical past chronicles using clothes, particularly T-shirts, in LGBTQ organizing and neighborhood constructing, with hundreds of pictures and accompanying info made accessible in a free, accessible digital archive and shared on its Twitter web page. The account and database had been co-created by Dr. Eric Gonzaba(opens in a new tab), 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 LGBTQ golf equipment, occasions, and different neighborhood areas. Discover the total assortment of textiles and histories on the Wearing Gay History website(opens in a new tab).

Mapping the Gay Guides(opens in a new tab)

One other fascinating Twitter observe is the digital archive Mapping the Gay Guides(opens in a new tab), which chronicles the historical past of queer areas throughout america. It was co-created by Gonzaba and historian Dr. Amanda Regan and is predicated on journey guides written by Bob Damron(opens in a new tab), a homosexual man who traveled extensively all through the Nineteen Fifties and Sixties and printed one of many earliest journey guides compiled explicitly for homosexual males in 1964. The archive bodily maps the legacy of LGBTQ organizing each for enjoyable and political neighborhood.

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The location consists of tens of hundreds of LGBTQ-friendly areas across the nation, like Washington, D.C.’s Paramount Steak House(opens in a new tab) — one of many few industrial Damron listings that has remained open and LGBTQ-friendly because the first journey information was printed. The initiative shares the histories of notable places within the type of short vignettes(opens in a new tab), all honoring the legacy of Damron’s books and the historic battle over LGBTQ protected areas.

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