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Friday, 06 December 2019 03:37

Colonial Williamsburg Puts LGBTQ People Back At The Heart Of History

colonial williamsburg lgbtq history

Many LGBTQ people contributed to the Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia in the 1700s. Today, a guide that highlights their contribution has been created. They thus regained their rightful place in history.

This initiative started with Aubrey Moog-Ayers, a queer apprentice weaver. Many visitors asked her for information about LGBTQ people of that time. Were there any? Who were they and what did they do?

She, therefore, undertook personal research and was able to convince the officials of the living history museum of the importance of carrying out further research.

“I’m queer, and I wanted to see if that was something that existed if I could see myself in the past,” she said.

And then the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation agreed to do extensive research on the subject, as they felt that inclusion of queer history encouraged at the museum was not enough.

“Human beings who operate outside of sexual and gender expectations have always existed within and contributed to our history,” Beth Kelly, vice president of the Education, Research and Historical Interpretation Division at the foundation, wrote in an internal memo. “Sharing this history is vital if we are committed to telling a holistic narrative of our past.”

Of course, it wasn’t easy to track down LGBTQ people.

“There are all these gaps,” Colonial Williamsburg historian Kelly Arehart said. “It’s like chasing shadows.”

Now they planned to create a sourcebook for interpreters and guides. It will be the second to be published in the United States after the 1200-page national park’s publication entitled “LGBTQ America: A Theme Study of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History”.

So here’s a part of LGBTQ+ history that has resurfaced after being erased for too long.

Photo from history.org

2 comments

  • Comment Link Eli Tuesday, 24 December 2019 04:15 posted by Eli

    Yes, I know what you mean, but we must not forget that at that time being gay was considered a crime and a disease. A woman who wasn't married, or married but without children, people thought that she wasn't normal, that there was a problem.
    Of course, many lesbians, for example, had relationships with other women and no one ever knew about it, but some of them were found out and had to pay a fine for misconduct so their case was put on file.
    Even people who wore clothes of the opposite sex were seen as depraved.
    In the case of the Colonial Williamsburg, what was cool was to see a queer woman pushing the museum staff to be interested in LGBTQ people.

  • Comment Link Stephanie Sunday, 08 December 2019 02:04 posted by Stephanie

    Are you F kidding me! Who the F cares who was sleeping with who back then! The stupidity of the people running CW today. This was considered your private life and if it exists today it no doubt existed throughout history. Insecure nuts

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