Campaign for York’s First Permanent LGBT+ Rainbow Plaque


A Crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise money for the first permanent explicitly LGBT+ history plaque featuring a new rainbow design.

York LGBT History Month, York LGBT Forum, York Civic Trust and the Churches Conservation Trust are working together on the plaque which will commemorate Anne Lister, often called ‘the first modern lesbian’, and her solemnized union with Ann Walker at Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate, York in 1834. Anne Lister was the subject of 2010 BBC drama The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister and forthcoming Lookout Point production TV show Gentleman Jack, starring Suranne Jones.

This crowdfunding campaign is the culmination of several years of work and collaboration, to make the LGBT history of York visible. It grew out of events which invited the community to make their own DIY rainbow plaques celebrating the LGBT stories that were important to them. The organizations involved hope a rainbow plaque will help to eradicate prejudices by making visible the existence, and achievements of LGBT+ individuals throughout history.

“This plaque is so important not just to commemorate Anne Lister and Ann Walker’s solemnized union in 1834, but also for York, and LGBT people today. I believe we need a permanent Rainbow Plaque because so much of the opposition to and prejudice to LGBT identities comes from people thinking they’re “non-traditional” and we think we can fight that by showing that LGBT people have existed for hundreds, if not thousands of years,” said Kit Heyam, assistant coordinator of York LGBT History Month.

The online crowdfunding campaign hopes to raise 800 pounds to cover the cost of the handmade enamel plaque and professional installation and will be online only until June 10. Support and share using #RainbowPlaques

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