For my final “Let’s take some time to honor those who died at Pulse and LGBT people in general.” trick, I wanted to highlight a means for us to see how the events in Orlando fit into a long lineage of LGBT people fighting for rights. This new event in our history is horrific but, as we queers do, we overcome. This is no exception.
And that comes from one of my favorite Instagram accounts, @lgbt_history. The Instagram is one of those “For the greater good!” showcases of LGBT history, ran as a means to illustrate how what seems to just be a “recent” history is not: we have quite some depth. The account shares this thought through a brilliant mixture of vintage documentary photography, mainstream gay media, and queer ephemera (mostly by way of pins, that I need to get onto ebay about buying).
The account is so varied, too: it spans micro-movements and continents, cultures and castes within the community. It’s also super funny and thoroughly warming as you see that, as long as there have been LGBT people, there has been a sense of fiery humor to help cope with the pain and persecution. @lgbt_history holds a mirror to our now, so that we can see ourselves in the past. (For example: the featured image on this post is an excellent example of seeing ourselves in history. Is that not me?!)
That feeling of being alone and isolated and removed from a community is solved with @lgbt_history: the work they are doing shows that we’re not only valued and a part of something larger in today’s society but that we’re a part of something that spans decades and decades and decades. LGBT people have always been around and this Instagram is a testament to that.
As we all exit the funk of violence and hate, let’s gather around the LGBT history book to find hope, to see that there always has been—and always will be—a will to go on. That will never not be the case. We survive because we don’t know any better. Give an LGBT person a hug today (And every day!) and follow @lgbt_history.