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Monument planned for 19th century activist Edward Carpenter

Monument planned for 19th century activist Edward Carpenter

Members of the Sheffield community say it's time to give Edward Carpenter the recognition he deserves.

The Friends of Edward Carpenter group in the city in South Yorkshire, England is raising funds for a memorial dedicated to the early civil rights trailblazer.

A gay activist ahead of his time, Carpenter was moving in with his partner at the same time poet Oscar Wilde was imprisoned for his sexual relations with men.Upcoming events include a benefit concert in July where folk singer Grace Petrie will perform. 

Led by Kate Flannery, Mark Scott and Steve Slack, Friends of Edward Carpenter will also be participating in Sheffield Pride. The event is kicking off 2 June with its first-ever parade.

The group is also getting involved in anti-homophia education by going to schools and talking about Edward Carpenter.

'Here we have a positive role model who is a part of our gay history, yet has had little public recognition for his work,' said Slack.

Born in 1844, Carpenter was close friends with American poet Walt Whitman. He authored The Intermediate Sex based on his belief that same-sex attraction was natural for people of a third sex.

Carpenter's socialist philosophies led to his involvement in progressive issues such as sexual freedom, vegetarianism and the women's movement. In 1914 he co-founded the British Society for the Study of Sex Psychology. He also lectured to the Independent Labour Party.

Visit the Friends of Edward Carpenter website for more information or to make a donation.