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Looking for Our History

Patricia Nell Warren has a lot to say about our history, and explains not only why a complete history is important, but also why so much of our history is missing.

However, many are working diligently to find our lost history, and also to ensure that the history of the current generations will not be lost.

Contrary to the belief of many, our history didn't start with Stonewall, a momentous occasion, nonetheless. Much of the information being compiled is available on the net, and you will be amazed at what a little digging can find.

Rictor Norton has done an amazing job of compiling historic documents and literature from centuries past, including information on Gay Tombs in Wesminster Abbey to a look at lesbian pirates. In exploring his site, you'll learn how so much GLBT literature was censored and a look at some of the early effects of homophobia. Mr. Norton even includes trial excerpts, dating as far back as the 17th century, including one which shows how commonplace "homosexual invitation" was and documents that establish that lesbianism is no new invention.

It's even possible to find the history of a particular issue. One issue that is still very much on the hotplate is same-sex marriage. Paul Hassell takes a look at the marriage issue, starting back in time with early Egyptian, Greek and Roman cultures. Other issues are also covered. For example, GLINN has put together timelines of the history of a wide-variety of issues and aspects of our lives, including Gays in the Military, religion, and sports.

Ever present in any look at history are lists of people who are known to have been gay or lesbian, or can be assumed, but not "proven" to have been gay or lesbian. One such list includes entries as far back as the "ancient world." Notable Lesbians Throughout History."

Other lists take a look at people who impacted gay and lesbian culture in some way, and include detailed biographies and their contributions.

Beyond the overview of our history, there are many local projects that are working to reclaim and document GLBT history. One such project includes photos and information regarding Southern California Lesbian History.

There are timelines galore, but none so comprehensive as The Historical Calendar Project is attempting to be.

Not only is our history not limited to the present and recent past, it is also expands beyond the borders of the United States.

For example, take a "walking tour" of Sydney, Australia, through the haunts that were of interest to "Homos, Perverts and Painted Pansies" from 1860-1969, or this look at the German Gay Rights movement, which started in 1897. Archives are popping up all over the world, as we work to reclaim our past and educate our future.

Enjoy your explorations, and don't forget to record the history that you know, so that others may learn.

In Pride, and until next time...
Deborah


 

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Drop a note to Deborah at gaylesissues@rslevinson.com

copyright 1986-2010 Deborah Levinson