Welcome to the Personalities Dateline. You have twenty seven stories to choose from. You can read about the diversity and achievements of people important to the LGBT+ community today. In the stories are pioneers who campaigned to establish rights for LGBT+ people. Others changed attitudes by living open and proud lives. There are people who have given us songs, stories and drama to inspire us. Others provide us with opportunities to celebrate our achievements. Check out the links some of them have to the Legal Dateline.
The choice of stories was a very considered one by the wallchart project team. Time has passed since the choice was made. Choices were made based on a specific contributions at a particular time and do not reflect a broad appreciation of everything a person may have made across their lifetime.. You will surely think of others to include in a dateline of your own.
The relationships of the people chosen here are important. Stories of people with these intimate sexual and/or emotional relationships have often been neglected or even deliberately erased. Their lives and loves were characterised as ‘wrong’. Sharing our stories is vital. The stories here help challenge fixed and stereotyped identities. We see that lives in the past could be vibrant and happy.
Some of the people chosen are now well known but others are less so. Some are connected to the labour movement and organised activism. Their stories make oppression and resistance more visible. Some are influential voices, inspiring others to take action. Many stories recognise and value the importance of working together with allies.
Each story explains an important event. It can be anything from a trial, to a new job or a medical intervention. The stories are not detailed biographies, though a few other events are included. Some aspects of a person’s background and heritage are included to highlight the diversity of the group. Sometimes their age is highlighted to show that people can help make change happen throughout their lives.
We should thank those who continue to uncover and keep our stories alive.
‘[gay] ‘history’ is not a luxury for arty types, not just a vague feeling that we queer folk have been around a long time. It is crucial advice, passed from one generation to the next. Scrabbling around in libraries for glimpses of our history and literary heritage is just as important as the more obvious kinds of activism. Knowing our past brings confidence, wisdom and ability to laugh at our enemies and ourselves.’Emma Donoghue