Welcome to my blog. Since 2006 I have been running guided tours of Nottingham with historical lgbt (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) themes. During my research I have uncovered lots of information that I can’t use on the tours for various reasons, but I think the information should still reach an audience. But there were also aspects of lgbt history that I thought should reach a wider audience. That is why I began this blog
I never took a real interest in history at school – it was the sort of school which practiced “history for girls, geography for boys”. Probably the event that really sparked my interest was my grandfather’s 100th birthday in 1978. Since then, most of my life has involved heritage and history in some shape or form.
Some people think history is dull. I don’t. The popularity of “Horrible Histories” proves that even the most boring periods of history have interesting bits. Lgbt history is no different, and much of it has yet to be re-discovered.
I’m not a great fan of “dumbing down” history (a trend currently prevalent on tv), but neither do I think much of over-blown, pompous academic gobbledigook from people like David Starkey (he just rehashes old research instead of tell us something we don’t already know). I prefer plain English.
One criticism I’m likely to get is that I’m trying to prove that the society we all live in could only have happened because of gay men and women, that we owe everything to gay men and women, and that straight people have taken credit for the actions of gay men and women throughout history. That’s far from the case. I have no heterophobic agenda. I’m not “reclaiming” gay history, I’m “rediscovering” what is already there, it’s everyone’s history as much as straight, or women’s, or ethnic history is.
In a multi-cultural world, even a “multi-diverse” world, it’s easy to forget that we all contribute something to society, however small. That has always happened, and there are ways to reveal how our ancestors influenced society. I think people will recognise that until recent decades history has been written and presented to us by white, straight, middle- or upper-class, academic, Christian men. Convention led them to research and present history as though it was made by people like themselves.
In the late 20th century more research was put into the history of women, black people, children, the working classes and other cultures, and their influences around the world. Some true heroes have been reclaimed from obscurity, NOT because they were deliberately hidden but because nobody thought they were relevant.
That’s how I see lgbt history. It’s a hidden world waiting to be revealed. I see myself as an explorer and I hope you feel the same as you read my blog. Perhaps other areas of society will be revealed as it assimilates the new information. Already people are researching the contribution made by left-handed people (we sinistrals must stick together!!), and the physically impaired (perhaps sparked by the contribution to science by Stephen Hawking).
My blog will also bring you the queerest facts from history for you to use in your own celebrations in LGBT History Month (that’s every February in the UK, and every October in the USA, by the way).
I also want to make this blog “family friendly”. The majority (if not all) lgbt blogs, websites and magazines are unsuitable for children, and I think children are often the ones most interested in history. I don’t like the hypocrisy of insisting our lgbt community is family orientated if it refuses to produce a family-friendly online presence. If I need to bring “adult” themes into the posts I’ll give advance warning.
So, what can you expect? Here’s just a sample of the range of subjects I will be covering:
· The lady who escaped marrying the Honourable Clotworthy Skeffington to save millions of lives and introduce a new language into the UK.
· How a gay poet invented St. Valentine’s Day and may have written the first Robin Hood ballad.
· How Eros, a torch relay, and an assassination became part of the “Gayest Games in Ancient Greece”.
· How the first “Queen” of Great Britain chose the world’s most internationally-used national flag.
· How the Age of Aquarius is truly “the Gay Age”.
· And much more.
I hope you enjoy my blog.