The queer community has a long history of resilience and protest that school textbooks still overlook. However, people have found new ways to share the important stories of our past and that have led us to where we are today as a community. If you want to brush up on your LGBTQ+ history, here are some Instagram accounts you definitely need to follow.
Rainbow History Class
If you want an entry into queer and trans history that doesn’t feel like a dry academic lesson but also isn’t too simplified and glitter-soaked, follow Rainbow History Class right this second. On the account, Irish creator Hannah McElhinney shares LGBTQ+ stories all the way from Ancient civilisations up to the internet age and will help you discover incredible activists, gender-bending icons and fundamental pop-culture knowledge.
Lesbian Herstory Archive
This account brings the largest and most iconic lesbian archive in the world to Instagram by posting highlights from dyke marches throughout the late 20th century. Founded in 1973, the central idea behind the archive is that preserving knowledge about lesbian history is a political act against the patriarchy and the invisibility to which queer women have too often been relegated.
London-based presenter Jack Guinness launched this Instagram account in 2017, making it a database of people who made LGBTQ+ history through activism, art and performance. Queer Bible is unique in its way of portraying queer stories and icons with original illustrations by LGBTQ+ artists.
As well as being active on social media, Visual AIDS is a US organisation dedicated to showcasing the work of HIV Positive artists. It is the world’s biggest archive of its kind, that includes the work of famous artists such as Felix Gonzalez Torres and Keith Haring. The Instagram account is a time capsule of art inspired by the AIDS crisis and by the stories of people living with HIV around the globe.
This account offers an alternative look into lesbian history and culture by platforming content about sapphic fashion trends from the past and the present. Each post explores the significance of staple items in lesbian fashion, such as dungarees, slogan tees, power suits, tuxedos, Dr Martens and top hats.
With more than 190k followers, the Instagram account created by Leighton Brown and Matthew Riemer, a couple living in Washington DC, is the perfect resource to find out more about the key moments in LGBTQ+ history. Ranging from milestones that triggered cultural shifts to overlooked details and narratives, this collection of historical imagery is a true gem when it comes to queer culture.
The Queer Archive
Created by a collective based in Athens, this account is a platform for queer arts that gathers anything from avant-garde art and photography to high-camp humour. The aim is to promote diverse artistic expressions that portray all aspects of queer history and existence.
Bonus: Queerstory on GCN’s Instagram account
Every single day, your friends at GCN share a post about a historical fact that happened on that day in queer history. Just look for the hashtag #queerstory on our social media and you’ll find little pills of knowledge about our community and the historical figures who paved the way for us all.
By reminding us of how far we’ve come, these LGBTQ+ history accounts also show us how far we still have to go to make our world a truly inclusive and diverse place.
© 2023 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.