Category: hello friends

Hey, thanks for your great blog! Just wanted to let you know that over on Instagram @feastandfolly has been covering gay Mardi Gras for the last few days and it is amazing. Some of the pictures date back to the early 50’s as well, for folx looking for stuff before Stonewall.

Wow, I just briefly checked it out, and it’s so neat! The costumes are beautiful, and it’s really interesting to learn about the history of gay Mardi Gras. Thanks!

Hey so in one of your asks you recommended a book about Stonewall. Do you remember what book it is? Thank you, you guys are great

Hi there! Fortunately, there are so many books about the Stonewall Riots for all ages. Unfortunately, that means I can’t for the life of me remember which we previously recced.

Here are just a few of the ones I could find—I hope one of them is of interest! I can’t say I’ve read all of them, but I wanted to share a list of a few available.

Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum

The Stonewall Riots: The Fight for LGBT Rights by Tristan Poehlmann

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter

The Stonewall Riots by Laurie Collier Hillstrom

Stonewall by Martin Duberman

This Day in June by Gayle Pitman (this one’s a kid’s book and it looks adorable!)

Question: Do you have any articles on genderfluid people? I searched through a couple likely tags and articles on your blog and website, but couldn't really find much, figured I should double check. Also, thank you *so much* for running this project. It means so much to me and a lot of other people to have our history, to know we *have* history, especially without having to track it down ourselves. Thank you.

Hi there! 

Unfortunately, we don’t have any articles on genderfluid folks. However, that’s definitely not due to lack of interest! We have covered nonbinary folks like King Kristina.

It’s definitely something on our to-do list along with aromantic folks. There are some really rad genderfluid folks making history right now though! Drag queens like Jinkx Monsoon, Violet Chacki, and Eureka O’Hara, actors like Kelly Mantle, Cara Delevigne, and Nico Tortorella, and folks like Janei Kroczaleski, who was previously a powerlifter!

We love hearing what y’all are interested in seeing from us, so please share if you know any genderfluid folks (or folks who may have considered themselves genderfluid given the language) from the past! Or even better, submit an article proposal.

I have to do a big massive history project next year that’s worth a significant percent of my overall secondary school points. Do you have any suggestions?

Hi there!

Wow, this is a big question! First, I’ll say you should definitely figure out what you’re most interested in—it can be anything. Are you interested in video games? Engineering? Victorian-era fashion? Ancient funerary practices? There’s queerness to be found.

Next, I’ll link you here. It’ll offer some research tips and several queer online archives that can help you out. Good luck, and feel free to let us know how it goes (or if you have any questions)!

sorry if yall aren't the right place to ask this, but do you happen to know any pronunciation guides to pronouns? I don't want anyone to feel even remotely obligated to spend time explaining their pronouns to me in what should be a quick moment. if this isn't the right place could you maybe point me in the direction of people to ask? totally get it if not, yall are supes busy!

Hi there! No problem; I know it can be tricky to dig through sources, especially when you’re not sure what to look for. Here are some pronoun guides. Some use more outdated language than others, but pronoun and pronunciation-wise, they should be helpful.

Source 1
Source 2
Source 3
video by Lydia X. Z. Brown whose work I really admire.

Thanks for reaching out! Have a great day

Sorry if this is unclear or asking about something you've recently covered, but I'm drunk and have just found you and I love her: what is/are your personal/academic opinion(s) on Jane Addams? Do you have a resource about her relationships with women that could be valuable for a queer … Fan? I guess. Follower? I know it's speculated she was queer, specifically that she had a partner (I haven't read much on her, but Mary I think her name was?) Much thanks for anything you have abt her! Xx

I’m so glad you asked this! I’m from Chicago, and I have so many feelings about Jane Addams. She did so many great things for our city and she was a big ole lesbian.

That’s all, of course, my personal feelings (aside from Addams being a lesbian—while she may not have used the label for herself, I feel comfortable saying it’s the one that most accurately describes her).

The woman you’re thinking of is Mary Rozet Smith. She and Addams were together for more than three decades, and their closest friends described them as being married.

Her most notable work, Hull House, was settled by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in September of 1889. Starr was also a lesbian, and Addams’ partner for many years. Their relationship ended around the time Addams met and started her relationship with Smith. Hull House housed social, educational, and artistic programs. It was a center for social reform. Both women worked especially with new immigrants and women—they campaigned and promoted education, autonomy, and the destruction of traditionally male-dominated fields.

The fact that Hull House existed in a poor neighbourhood wasn’t an accident. There were classes in literature, art, history, current issues, and more. All were free, and they drew in the working class folks in the surrounding neighbourhood. Addams didn’t just create those programs though, she worked with the community and led studies and surveys on the causes of poverty and then shared these with folks in the neighbourhood. She also shared them with legislatures, who she pushed for social reform.

Additionally, queer folks are typically have lower income, especially lesbians who wouldn’t have the benefit of a man’s income. Women were discouraged from working, and Addams fought against that with her classes and her push for reform. Because of this, Hull House was also a meeting spot for lesbians at the time.

Now, despite the good she did, Jane Addams was not perfect by any stretch. She was a supporter of the prohibition, mainly because of her whorephobic rhetoric. This is regularly overlooked, and I refuse to pretend that she had no flaws. I love and appreciate all of the work she did, but she still had the issue of looking down of poor folks she felt were doing something “wrong.” She had the same issue we find with early feminists (and feminists today, let’s be honest) in that she was staunchly anti-sex work.

Hull House still partially exists as the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Years ago, the museum had a project called “Was Jane Addams a Lesbian?” I’m uncertain if it still exists; it’s been a while since I’ve been to the museum. The director of the museum does believe she was a lesbian. In fact, there are few scholars who believe she wasn’t a lesbian. One scholar, for example, believes it’s we should focus elsewhere, because focusing on whether a lesbian was a lesbian might “overshadow” the good she did. We at Making Queer History believe straight historians should move on and let queer folks have fun.

I hope that was educational and helpful! Jane Addams is a wonderful part of our history, and she means a lot to me as a queer Chicagoan.

Heyyy, queeristorians! Hope you're well! Wondering if there are any future plans for any more aromantic or possibly aromantic historical figures? Also, what's your (whoever answers this) favorite fact that you've learned through your research here? Thanks for all your good work! 😀

Hi there!

It’s definitely on our list! We’ve had people suggest Florence Nightingale, Nikolai Tesla, and Queen Elizabeth the First of England, so there are definitely some options to explore.

Oooh, my favorite fact. Well, I began my research before I joined this project, but I was able to continue that research and write about Eleanor Rykener who is one of my favorite people. I’ve read so many papers about her, and I’ve been over her court transcript too many times to count. I’m (slowly but surely) working on my Latin so I can try to read the original transcript. In the simplest modern terms, she’s a bisexual trans woman and sex worker from the 14th century. I love her a lot. You can read our article about her here.

Just a quick addition from Laura, my current favourite fact is about Everret George Klippert, the last man in Canada to be convicted for homosexuality.  And he was found while the police were  investigating an arson attempt.

Klippert was taken into custody, and though he was cleared of any involvement in the fire, he immediately confessed to multiple sexual relationships with men. “He couldn’t stop confessing. I think that you’d have to hold your hand over Everret’s mouth to stop him from blabbing,” gay rights lawyer and activist Douglas Elliot said.

And apparently according to another lawyer 80% of the things used against him in court came from his own mouth. 

(You can learn more about him and other Canadian Queers by become a patron)

do you have any recommendations on books about queerness in asia, especially central/northern asia and siberia? even asian americans, im not picky at all lol thank you!!

Hi there! I was really excited when I saw your ask; I’m Kazakh, and I’m always interested in exploring more Central Asian queer history. Unfortunately, Kazakhstan isn’t a great place for queer folks, so there’s not a whole lot to be found here aside from “That’s when I Realized I was Nobody”: A Climate of Fear for LGBT People in Kazakhstan by Kyle Knight, a Human Rights Watch report.

There’s unfortunately just very little out there about Central Asia and queerness. Here are some books I was able to find about queerness in Asia in general. I included a couple of fiction books as well.


The Carpet Weaver by Nemat Sadat (Out June 2019) This is the one Central Asian book I was able to find, and I’m really excited to read it when it comes out!

This entire list (No Central Asian characters, as far as I can tell)


Mobile Cultures: New Media in Queer Asia edited by Chris Berry, Fran Martin, Audrey Yue

Queer Asian Cinema: Shadows in the Shade by Andrew Grossman

Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community edited by Gerard Sullivan, Peter A. Jackson

Queering Migrations Towards, Form, and Beyond Asia edited by Hugo Córdova Quero, Joseph N. Goh, and Michael Sepidoza Campos

Here are some articles that may interest you as well.

And finally, I’d recommend checking out the org Queer Asia!

I see a lot more gay/bi history than trans history, and i know it can get grey, but do you know any older trans history, with more uplifting than sad tales if you can. Thank you!

Hi there!

Yeah, it can be hard to come by trans history, and it’s super frustrating! Fortunately, there are more and more queer historians and academics working to research and share trans history. We’ve written a few articles about trans folks ourselves! I’ve listed them here from oldest to most recent and noted the ones with happy endings. Enjoy!

Elagabalus, the Empress

Eleanor Rykener

Kristina, Kind of Sweden*

Albert D.J. Cashier

Osh-Tisch, the Warrior*

Alan L. Hart, Part 1 & 2

Victor Barker

Sir Ewan Forbes, the Doctor*

Billy Tipton and the Question of Gender*

Almost Forgotten Voices: The Transvestite Magazine of Weimar Berlin

Jeanette Schmid*


Dawn Langley Hall*

Marsha P. Johnson, Pride

Chrystos* (Note: Still Alive)

Maryam Khatoon Molkara, a Woman Who Changed her Country*

Lou Sullivan

Anderson Bigode Herzer, the Poet

Rita Hester, the Beginning of the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Rituparno Ghosh: Exploring the LGBT Community in India

Dwayne Jones and the Dangers of Tragedy Tourism

just curious, has anyone criticized you for calling yourselves "queer" history and because of its slur history? I'm sorry if this isn't a new question, I was just wondering. as a mascandrogyne, I'm personally fine with saying queer, but I know the term still comes under a lot of critique

Hi there! Fair question. We’ve definitely gotten our fair share of that. You can find our opinions and responses in our queer discourse tag.