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LGBT wiki is ‘necessary’ for the preservation of our history

LGBT wiki is ‘necessary’ for the preservation of our history

A new ‘Wikipedia-style’ website the LGBT archive has launched to document LGBTI history so it’s not forgotten.

Like Wikipedia the website curates information submitted by contributors. But this one specifically documents the history of LGBT people – which its founder says is unknown to a new generation.

‘I created this site when I realised how little today’s younger LGBT people knew about the struggle that won us our equalities and our freedoms,’ said founder Jonathan Harbourne, who launched the project in June of 2011 as the LGBT History Project.

By now the website has over 3600 articles. These are grouped into categories like arts and health. Each article explains the history of a character, event or important document and explains its special place in queer history. The Julius Ceasar entry for example, gives a summary of his exploits in Britain and the rumours surrounding his sexuality.

The website features ‘Timelines’ as well: where information is showcased along a theme like religion.

Historian Jeff Evans says the project will be a powerful political tool for the future. ‘The LGBT Archive, in collecting and preserving the evidence of past events and attitudes, is both urgent and necessary,’ he said.

‘In the absence of such a body of material it’s all too easy for those with a political agenda to invent their own distorted version of the past.’