My views and understanding of Queer history has evolved. Queer history is an integral part of society as same-sex couples were not always viewed as different, couples didn’t have to always hide their relationships, and gender roles used to be fluid in society. All of this is essential to understanding the world we live in and the social institutions that shape our learning. Queer history in the forms of movements such as gay liberation, lesbian feminist, queer movement are just as important to being taught in schools as the Civil Rights Movement or the Suffrage movement. I decided to take this course because of my career aspirations of wanting to be a litigation lawyer. So, I thought that taking this class would better help me in the future if I have a deeper understanding of the LGBTQ community and their history. As I will mostly likely be representing individuals that identify with the LGBTQIA+ Community. Also, I wanted to take this course to help understand the barriers that have prevented LGBTQ history from being taught in schools and higher education.
At the start of this course I did not have much knowledge on LGBTQIA+ history. My understanding of LGBTQ history was very limited I knew about Emily Dikerson, The Don’t Say Gay Bill, the controversy of the gender netural bathrooms in schools, and the implications of for LGBTQ community due to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Additionally, this past summer I studied abroad in London, England and while there I heard a little bit about their LGBTQ history and how it has shaped their society today. In England I learned about sodomy laws that targeted gay males and how they were persecuted by Parliament. I also learned about the Sexual Offenses Act of 1967 which made same-sex acts in the United Kingdom legal for men over the age of twenty-one if conducted in private. In England their was never any laws that prosecuted lesbians because it was just unthought of at the time that two women would choose to be together, so the monarchy and parliament did not believe that lesbians existed. Lastly, our speaker in the UK talked about how the Stonewall Riots transformed the LGTBQ community even in Europe because the UK Gay Liberation Front was founded and started to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community. Other than educational knowledge I did have some personal experience about LGBTQ history and representation through friends, family members, and social media from hearing their personal experiences, coming out stories, and how they feel they are viewed in society.
Since I have started the class my knowledge has evolved to better understand that the battle for LGBTQ equality is always critical as this struggle relates to visibility, equality, acceptance, and justice. In class my knowledge has evolved to better understand that the battle for LGBTQIA+ is critical because Queer history is American history. The LGBTQIA+ equality struggle is critical as they fight for visibility, equality, acceptance, acknowledgement, and justice. This class essentially made me examine my Longwood experience and academics in a holistic approach. I started questioning how I work to make events and spaces not only a safe space for students of color but make myself and my environment a safe space for underrepresented students on this campus.