A recording made at the British Library Knowledge Centre of the Raphael Samuel History Centre history and policy series.
In this panel discussion we asked:
- what precedents there are for apparently unconventional home and family formations
- how far recent shifts reflect broader changes in expectations and experiences of home and family
- what they might portend in terms of assimilation, radicalism and difference
- why history might matter in all this.
Professor Matt Cook is a cultural historian specialising in the history of sexuality and the history of London in the 19th and 20th centuries. Cook has a background in literary and cultural theory and cross-disciplinary work through public and community history. Cook is Birkbeck University Director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre, and editor of History Workshop Journal.
Professor Jeffery Weeks OBE was a GLF activist in the 1970s and a founder of Gay Left. Weeks’ first book Coming Out (1977), was a pioneering early study of the history of homosexual politics in Britain and radical LGBTQ politics.
Weeks gives an overview of activism, reform and social factors which have enabled queer family and identity building, and the fights still to be fought (approximately 00.10–20:25).
Dr Katherine Holden explores the relationship between marriage, feminism and the LGBTQ community.
She challenges the continued model of the nuclear family and the structures of assumed relationships which inform housing policy, economic models and continued oppression of love and relationships of all shapes and sizes (approximately 20:25–31:15).
Dr Alison Oram investigates how queer history is transmitted by historic homes and the impact of this work for heterosexual and LGBTQ visitors and families alike (approximately 31:15–41:14).