Grass roots LGBT history: a thread
July 1, 2018 6:26 AM   Subscribe

This is a thread about what my friend found in her attic. (Single link Twitter thread by Gavin McGregor, best to read first.)

What the friend out in her attic turned out to be a small, personal archive of Paud Hegarty, former manager of the still existing Gay's the Word bookshop, who'd passed away some eighteen years previously. Paud "had made the shop available as an organising space for campaigns including @LGSMpride (Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners, depicted in the movie Pride) and had courageously fought persecution by Customs & Excise in its homophobic attacks on free speech and our community."

The collection, consisting of pamphlets, copies of Gay Comix and other LGBT literature, as well as several dozen buttons for various political and lgbt campaigns was donated to the bookstore. For the curious, the buttons are viewable at Paud's Pins.
posted by MartinWisse (9 comments total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
The other, Paud Hegarty, had died 18 years ago from an Aids-related illness at the age of 45.

A whole generation, lost.
posted by Nelson at 6:41 AM on July 1, 2018 [6 favorites]

Oh my god this is so beautiful.
posted by nikaspark at 7:44 AM on July 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

Thread Reader app version.
posted by zamboni at 7:45 AM on July 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

It’s hard to think about the struggle and I’m crying at a breakfast restaurant and having these artifacts out for people to see means so much to me. I mean, for most queer people these bits and pieces are all we have.
posted by nikaspark at 7:47 AM on July 1, 2018 [4 favorites]

History is so important--the history of everyone is equally important particularly now as there is such a rise in people who want to deny history or change it to suit their own agenda. This has always been true--seems dangerously so now, but that just makes it vital that we protect archives like this.
posted by agatha_magatha at 8:46 AM on July 1, 2018 [2 favorites]

My current art and writing career is exploring the idea that queer people find ourselves and survive “reversions to the mean of history” by these fragments and bits.
posted by nikaspark at 9:11 AM on July 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Gay's the Word is still open in London, and is unfortunately once again the only LGBT+ bookstore in the city. If you live in London, consider ordering all your books from them. They're currently rebuilding their site but can take your orders via email.

What blew my mind in that collection was the near pristine quality of Trina Robbins', The Best of Wimmen's Comix, an incredibly important piece of feminist and underground comic history. I look at that picture and I just want to quickly but carefully slip that book into a Mylar bag.
posted by Stanczyk at 9:42 AM on July 1, 2018 [5 favorites]

Fascinating to see this time-capsule of history.

"Lesbians play Tennis" is my favorite of the pins. Don't know why, it just caught me off-guard.
posted by FleetMind at 9:43 AM on July 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

I’m flying to London tonight, I’ll check it out!
posted by nikaspark at 11:40 AM on July 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

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