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.

Articles

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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Transgender identities in the past

Transgender identities in the past

Steven Dryden invites transgender activists to consider two newspaper articles from our collections and asks if we can find trans and gender non-conforming identities in the past.

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Bisexuals in print

Bisexuals in print

Jen Yockney MBE discusses the longest-running magazine for bisexuals Bi Community News – how it emerged, the content it covers and its relationship with the gay press.

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LGBTQ themes in the British Library collections

LGBTQ themes in the British Library collections

Hannah Gabrielle takes a look at how LGBTQ people, narratives and interpretations cut through the British Library’s vast collections.

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Blog posts

Recording of the week: the lesbians aren't into dustbins

Monday, November 4, 2019

This week's selection comes from Lucia Cavorsi, Audio Project Cataloguer for Unlocking our Sound Heritage. The British Library Sound Archive holds the most exhaustive oral history collection relating to LGBTQ+ lives in the UK: the Hall-Carpenter Oral History Project. Set...

BL Labs Symposium (2019): Book your place for Mon 11-Nov-2019

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Image taken from page 203 of '[Griffith's new historical description of Cheltenham and its vicinity ... with ... engravings. L.P.]' Posted by Mahendra Mahey, Manager of BL Labs The BL Labs team are pleased to announce that the seventh annual...

The Theatre Censors Part 3: George Street

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

George Street (1867-1936) became Examiner of Plays in 1914. Street was already a published journalist, critic and novelist. He wrote summaries of every play he read leaving behind a valuable historic record of the topics that were of most concern...

Recording of the week: securing the right to read

Monday, August 19, 2019

This week's selection comes from Josie Wales, Rights Clearance Officer for Unlocking our Sound Heritage. Along with many other libraries around the world, the British Library celebrated LGBTQ+ Pride this summer, with staff from St Pancras and Boston Spa joining...

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