From the 1500s to today, this site charts the struggles for love, identity and legislative change faced by LGBTQ communities in the UK.

Here we explore the experiences and stories encountered in our collections, but also pose questions and seek to involve the community in thinking about answers. This is not a finite resource and will grow over time to represent the spectrum of LGBTQ life and experience in the UK.


An outdoor Pride event with people holding up flags and signs

Queer homes and families: A history and policy debate

Discover a history, and question the future, of what makes queer homes and families.

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A couple kissing at Gay Pride, London in monochrome

Queer in the city: London

Explore London – past, present and future – from a queer perspective.

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Rainbow flag outside a house

Armistead Maupin on Tales of the City

Where and how does the LGBTQ community view themselves in literature? Join author Armistead Maupin to discover how over 40 years, the Tales of the City stories shaped his life and captured the spirit of the LGBTQ movement.

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Arena Three

Arena Three: Britain’s first lesbian magazine

Steven Dryden looks at how Britain’s first lesbian magazine came about and its impact on society.

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The men killed under the Buggery Act

The men killed under the Buggery Act

Steven Dryden explores three executions under the Buggery Act during the 1800s, looking at how they were reported in the media of the time.

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Blog posts

Finding the Humor in 'Sappho'

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Louise Siddons is an associate professor of art history at Oklahoma State University and a Fulbright Scholar at the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. She is writing a book about the photographer Laura Gilpin that examines...

Boys, Boys, Boys: Enderunlu Fazıl Bey’s Hubanname

Monday, February 8, 2021

In June 2019, I shared with you the British Library’s beautifully illustrated copy of the Hamse-yi Atayi, which included copious illustrations of same-sex desire. In that post, I had the opportunity to tease out how we see and interpret homosexual...

BL Labs Awards Symposium 2020, Rewind, Reflections, Box-sets and Seasons Greetings

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Posted by Mahendra Mahey, Manager of BL Labs. This action packed, detailed 'rewind' and festive bumper edition blog post about last week's largest ever BL Labs Awards Symposium 2020, contains some hidden seasonal gifts🎁(if you read very carefully) to bring...

Shortlist and voting for BL Labs People's Choice: Public Awards 2020 announced! Last chance: Book BL Labs Symposium!

Monday, December 14, 2020

Posted by Mahendra Mahey, Manager of BL Labs. Screenshots from the 10 BL Labs shortlisted entries for the Public Awards 2020 After much deliberation and intense discussion with key people from the BL Labs Advisory board and British Library we...

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