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  • Imogen

A trip down memory lane(The LGBT history of Wales)

The history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community is rich in Wales and it is crucial to devour this history in order to acknowledge the original foundations of LGBTQ+ communities, address the founders and most importantly, celebrate how far the community has come. This article will steer you in the right direction on where you find unique stories about LGBT Wales.

There are numerous blogs and articles that discuss and delve into the history of LGBT Wales, some of these are, Wales since 1945, The Heritage Fund, Youth parliament of Wales, The British Museum, The Comma Press Blog and Cardiff School of Journalism touches on stories of LGBT history.

Norena Shopland, founder of The Rainbow Dragon, produces stories about the history of LGBT Wales. A favourite tale she shared was the life of Girly Grey from a newspaper dating all the way back to 1890. The story tells the story of Girly Grey who formed a relationship with Lady Anthony, the two would often rehearse plays together at the lady-ships home. Girly would often dress in women’s clothing and play the part of the female and Lady Anthony would acquire the males role, when they weren’t acting, the lady-ship would rather be referred to as Girly’s ‘boy’.

If you prefer to learn on the go, we’ve got you covered. Podcasts are increasing in popularity and many have been produced about LGBT history. A podcast was created by Simon Brown which connects us to our LGBT heritage. Attitude Heroes also dedicated an episode to its podcast featuring Mark Gatiss talking about his personal experiences and the LGBT scene in the 70’s. Mark describes being gay in the seventies was like ‘picking your GCSE options in school, you are completely in the dark’. Mark intertwines humour into his stories, so for a light listen, this podcast is a must.

Events are available to the public to enhance knowledge on the history of LGBT Wales. This includes a talk at the Senedd that takes place during LGBT History month, these talks include unique stories that societies generally aren’t taught about like, the lesbian suffragettes who fought for equal rights during the sixties and the marvellous Richard Desmond who helped combat stringent and unjust laws.

It’s been a long fight for equal rights in Wales which still continues to this day but, it’s a fight that will go down in history. The LGBT community has paved a way for a just world and this will never be forgotten because of those who remember, celebrate and share their stories.



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