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Recovering Queer Lives

Activity collecting LGBT+ images
Mural of Marsha P. Johnson, Joseph Ratanski and Sylvia Rivera in 1973 by Gary LeGault Mural of Marsha P. Johnson, Joseph Ratanski and Sylvia Rivera in 1973 by Gary LeGault

The lesbian archive at Glasgow Women’s Library highlights the importance of foregrounding the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals in our histories of the modern world. Such accounts vitally inform those working on social justice campaigns today, while also revealing the lived experiences of those oppressed by social and legal discrimination and how they creatively constructed a sexual identity from their desires and the cultural resources available to them.

We would now like you to conduct your own research into queer history, by identifying an LGBTQ+ individual or activist from the past. This could be someone from your local area, a national figure who’s always sparked your curiosity or an individual from a region of the world unfamiliar to you. What matters is that we collectively learn more about the diverse history of queer lives in the modern world by sharing our findings. Try searching on-line for LGBTQ+ archives or draw on local knowledge and resources.

Upload an image of your individual to this Padlet wall, along with short responses to the following questions:

  1. Who is your individual, where are they from and when were they alive?
  2. How did they understand their sexuality?
  3. What was their experience of discrimination and how did this impact their life?

Link to Padlet

For information on how to post your research to Padlet see

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A Global History of Sex and Gender: Bodies and Power in the Modern World

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