Six “historic LGBT landmarks” are being recognised for reflecting England’s “queer history”.

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality the sites include landmarks important to “queer historical” figures like trans French spy Chevalier D’Eon, playwright Oscar Wilde, and lesbian diarist Anne Lister.

Chief executive Duncan Wilson said the influence of men and women “who helped build our nation has been ignored” because they came from minority groups.

Other locations  include the former home of Benjamin Britten and his partner, the grave of writer and Egyptologist Amelia Edwards and last year well known LGBT venue Royal Vauxhall Tavern was listed which prevented the club’s development by its landlord.

Playwright Oscar Wilde’s west London home already had listed status, but has been relisted to emphasise its importance as an LGBT landmark. He lived Kensington and Chelsea before being imprisoned for two years’ hard labour in Reading Gaol for gross indecency.

Lister was seen as a pioneer by many because she candidly identified herself as being romantically attracted to women. She inherited Shibden Hall from her uncle in 1836 and lived there for several years with her partner, Ann Walker.

Historic England Anne Lister

Shibden Hall, in Halifax, has been relisted to record her significance as a lesbian trailblazer.

Named the Pride of Place project, it has been led by historians at Leeds Beckett University’s Centre for Culture and the Arts. Researchers had asked the public to suggest LGBTQ heritage sites.

Prof Alison Oram, lead researcher at Leeds Beckett University, said it had been a real passion project for the team.

“We’ve had a tremendous response to it from people across the country, who have pinned their favourite LGBTQ heritage places on our crowd-sourced map. It’s been wonderful to meet and discuss the project with many diverse LGBTQ communities,” she said.

Mr Wilson added: “Our project is one step on the road to better understanding just what a diverse nation we are, and have been for many centuries. At a time when historic LGBT venues are under particular threat, this is an important step.”

 

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