David Paynter

Internationally renowned David Paynter was a Sri Lankan artist raised in a Christian mission; his religious upbringing would influence him and his work throughout his life. His paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy for nearly twenty years, from 1923 to 1940. Though now remembered primarily for his Biblical scenes, he also painted portraits, focusing on labourers and people outside of the Sri Lankan upper class. He is remembered equally for his work and for a scandal surrounding it.

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tatiana de la tierra

In the age of the internet, recording queer history has never been easier; not only in sharing stories as we do at Making Queer History but in preserving stories that may otherwise be lost. Blogs, social media, videos, newsletters, and more have become the means by which we commemorate and celebrate one another and ourselves. Researching someone’s life is much easier when they’ve recorded it on their own blog, as is the case for tatiana de la tierra.

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Lesley Gore

In honour of Lesbian Day of Visibility recently, we wanted to look at a woman whose music is incredibly well-known, but whose queerness is often erased. Her music has been used in PSAs and presidential campaigns alike, and she worked hard to become a prolific singer, songwriter, actress, and LGBTQ+ activist. Lesley Gore was a vibrant and proud Jewish lesbian. Unlike many of the people we write about, she was fortunate enough to have the language to talk about her identity—and did. It’s an unfortunate truth that one of the rare people we’ve written about who used clear terms to describe their experiences still had her experiences erased.

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Florence Nightingale Part II

Though Nightingale’s career is the star of her story––the founder of modern nursing is an incredible credit––the extent and nature of her work is a bit different than what is said. Remembered primarily as The Lady with the Lamp, a nurturing angel who helped sick soldiers, there is much more to her story.

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Florence Nightingale Part I

The memory of Florence Nightingale still ripples throughout Europe and North America. Documents about her life still exist and uphold her legacy; in many ways she has become something of a mythological figure. Even in life there was merchandise relating to her, but it’s taken on a new life in books, valentines, and even colouring pages. She’s remembered as a no-nonsense feminist icon, a tender motherly figure, the founding of modern day nursing, and even the hero of nursery rhymes. Less discussed in the possibility that she was a lesbian and/or asexual.

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Princess Isabel of Parma and Maria Christina, Duchess of Teschen

The history of the queer community is a history of love stories; love for oneself, one's friends, one's family. Because of the nature of the queer community, it is often the story of romantic love. From the tales of fashion designers and models, kings and ladies-in-waiting, and even royal manicurists, the history of love is a diverse one. This story is one about a Princess and a Duchess.

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Simon Tseko Nkoli

Any person who stands on the intersection of multiple marginalized identities can recognize this struggle. It's not an easy one to manage, but it is that balancing act that Nkoli the leader he was. He was the first in many regards, and he made the room for the seconds, thirds, and fourths who came after him.

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Grupo Chaclacayo

Grupo Chaclacayo was a queer art collective from Lima, Peru active from 1982-1994. Through their subversive happenings, processions, photography, drawings, artifacts, and sculptures, they used their bodies as a site to critique issues within Catholicism, military violence, the mistreatment of indigenous communities, and homophobia. Grupo Chaclacayo was comprised of three central members: Helmut Psotta, Sergio Zevallos, and Raul Avellaneda, although they occasionally collaborated with others including Jorge Angeles, Sixto Paniora, Frido Martin, Klaus Wittkamp, Cesar Guerra, and Piero Pereira.

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Salim Halali

— Tom Cohen

The life story of Salim Halali is one with countless branches. His experiences as a gay Jewish man in Paris in the 1930’s are as eventful as one would imagine, and his music career is not only well known but well remembered, what with being crowned the “King of Shaabi” at the height of his popularity. He lived just as extravagantly behind closed doors, often throwing lavish parties with his two pet tigers. There's much to be said of his storied life.

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Anna Freud Part II

In only a short time, Anna Freud was diagnosed with hysteria, forced to give up her academic dreams, pushed into becoming a school teacher, and put into a situation with her father that he deemed inherently erotic. She adapted to each issue differently.

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Anna Freud Part I

Anna Freud is not the most well-known name in the Freud family. Intentional or not, there is a heavy shadow hanging over her story. Sigmund Freud is a well-known man, but he is not well-loved in the queer community. His homophobic and transphobic ideas taint his already largely disproven theories. Worship him or despise him, he is remembered and still discussed in most psychology circles. The same cannot be said for his youngest daughter. One of the founders of child psychology and an open lesbian, Anna Freud was not always in line with her father’s teachings. Despite all of the conflict one would expect between them, one fact is clear: Anna Freud loved her father.

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