10 queer creators on LGBTQ+ history’s most important moments
Acast provides a platform for, and is committed to amplifying, the voices of creators everywhere. With February marking LGBTQ+ History Month in the UK, we asked 10 queer podcast creators what they think is the most important moment in LGBTQ+ history.
You can read, watch and hear more on our Instagram feed @acastpodcasts — and don’t forget there’s still time to sign up to Aclass: Queer Voices, a workshop for aspiring LGBTQ+ podcasters taking place on Thursday, February 25 from 6.30–8.30pm GMT.
Jamie Wareham, #QueerAF: “The most important moment for me is when we repealed Section 28 in the UK. It was a law that stopped schools and public services from ‘promoting’ homosexuality, and lifting it meant teachers were allowed to talk to their students about what it meant to be LGBT. For me, that meant a teacher talking to me about one of their gay friends, and me realising — probably for the first time — that there was no shame in my sexuality. For hundreds more stories to do with gender and sexuality, lifting Section 28 meant lifting the shame for them, too.”
Diane Chorley, Chatting With Chorley: “For me, the most important moment in LGBTQ+ history was probably Section 28. At the time I’d opened my gorgeous little nightclub, The Flick, down in Canvey Island, and we thought things were moving along just peachy. Everyone was having a good time and getting along, then all of a sudden the Government decided that wasn’t OK anymore, and that these beautiful lives these people led were all of a sudden null and void. We couldn’t talk about it in schools and it wasn’t even viable as a normal way of living. That was wrong. It was unacceptable, and that still happens today — the Government makes policies and things that affect people in our community, and we’ve got to look out for that.”
Stu Oakley, Some Families: “My moment was not so long ago — 2002, when the UK Government made it possible for LGBT people to be able to adopt. Prior to 2002, you had to be a married couple in order to adopt — and obviously at that time gay people were not allowed to be married. So the change in law effectively opened it up for queer people to be able to adopt — and so, 15 years or so later, it’s meant that my husband and I have also had the opportunity to adopt. So a very important moment in history personally.”
Lotte Jeffs, Some Families: “The moment I’d like to draw people’s attention to is not so distant history — it’s a moment in April 2009, where the law changed to allow two women who were married or civilly partnered to both be considered legal parents and attributed as such on the child’s birth certificate. Before that point, the non-biological parent would have had to have adopted the child, which would have meant a lot of paperwork and unnecessary complications. Now, the law means that you don’t even have to be married — if you go through a licensed clinic, you are both considered the parents. In terms of our identity and how we feel as queer parents, that’s something really important. I’d like to see this change even further for trans parents who could identify however they wish on the birth certificate, and not be confined to the role of ‘mother’ because they’re the biological carrier of the child. There’s still a way to go, but it’s a moment in history I’m personally very thankful for.”
Mufseen Miah, Queer Talk: “One of the most important moments in LGBT history was the repeal of Section 377 in India. This happened in 2018, and effectively meant that same-sex relations were legalised — therefore paving the way for a more inclusive subcontinent.”
Candy Warhol, Dragony Aunts: “An important moment in history for me is May 22, 2015, when Ireland became the first country in the world to pass same-sex marriage with a national referendum. As a proud Irish Queen that’s a moment I will never forget.”
Matthew Riley, Bottoming: “One LGBTQ figure I think everyone should know is Alan Turing. He was a mathematician and computer scientist who, among other things, helped decode intercepted messages during the Second World War. This not only helped reduce the duration of the war by an estimated two years, but also saved over 14 million lives. Despite his heroic contribution, he was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts, and received a form of aversion therapy popular at the time which aimed to associate homosexual thoughts with extreme nausea. Some refer to this as ‘chemical castration’ with the aim of ‘curing the gayness’.”
Brendan Geoghegan, Bottoming: “I’d say the most important moment in LGBTQ history, in the context of mental health, is the removal of homosexuality as a mental health condition from the DSM-II in 1973, and from the ICD-10 by the World Health Organisation in ’92. Prior to this, gay people were treated in psychiatric hospitals with aversion therapy, which hoped to ‘cure’ them of what was then seen as a mental illness. Sadly a number of people actually signed up to this voluntarily, due to the homophobic culture at the time. In our second LGBTQ History Month special episode we talk with Tommy Dickinson, author of Curing Queers, which is a book that highlights accounts from patients that received — and nurses who administered — these treatments. Some of these nurses were gay men themselves.”
Tash Walker, The Log Books: “I think so much of our history is untold and unshared that maybe I don’t know what my favourite moment is yet. But, to answer the question, let’s go to the 70s, let’s bring it back to the UK. 1972, you had the first Pride march in London with around 2,000 participants — and then a couple of years later, on March 4, 1974, Switchboard, the LGBT+ helpline, was founded, by a small group of volunteers who just wanted to get together and be there to pick up the phones, to help inform, listen and support those in need.”
Scott Flashheart, Probably True: “You can’t really have any one moment in history without all of the other moments before it going on — it’s like knocking over dominoes and saying ‘oh, cool, which one was your favourite?’ They all fit together. We’ve got stuff like the Stonewall riots, which is great — if you’re going to have a riot, you might as well have someone singing a song about their pubes while you’re doing it. Or before that, there was Alan Turing, who helped win World War Two as a big, gay nerd. It didn’t end well for him, but that’s mostly true of all LGBTQ history. Or Oscar Wilde, who was a messy bitch who loved drama, and that ended up killing him. Even if we go far back enough to Sappho, the Greek poet who is the origin of the word ‘lesbian’ because she lived on the island of Lesbos. Legend has it that she died after throwing herself off some cliffs because she’d been spurned by a lover — because, again, LGBTQ people, messy bitches who live for drama. We’re good at that kind of shit. We make it work. I’ve already messed this up because I’m not talking about any one person. There are so many that I can’t choose, and that’s always going to be true. There are all these people, all throughout history, all doing their thing. I’m supposed to choose a moment but there are too many, it’s overwhelming. How can you choose one? They’re all awesome and terrible at the same time.”