As part of their ongoing collection of online talks the Working Class Movement Library are celebrating LGBTQIA+ month with a talk from Ray Woolford. In ‘The importance of working class LGBT+ women in history’, Ray will explore significant yet overlooked working class womxn who’ve played crucial roles in multiple civil rights movements.
Ray writes: “Kath Duncan was the most important UK civil rights leader of the past 100 years & yet until my 5 years’ research into writing my biography of her, The Last Queen of Scotland, almost nothing was known. As a gay man, it was all the more shocking to me not to find any LGBT icons in history who led real struggle which often cost them their lives.
Many ask why is so little known about Kath Duncan? The answer is that a humble primary school teacher born into poverty, who became a communist, and who happened to be LGBTQ when it was a crime, was something still not cool. Newspapers of the day dedicated countless column inches to the activities of the Scot, who was involved at the highest level in campaigns such as the 1920s hunger marches and the fight against Oswald Mosley’s fascists. She took on slum landlords, rallied against gas price rises for the poor and, later, acted as a recruiter and fundraiser for the Spanish Civil War. She was also a suffragette. But her legacy has been largely airbrushed out of history…”.
The Working Class Movement Library is a well documented and vital resource with 200 years worth of records of ordinary men and women campaigning, organising and protesting. Based just a fifteen minute walk from the city centre, the library is a homage to those who have fought and struggled to get their voices heard.
Check out their website for more information and online activities and talks similar to ‘The Importance of Working Class LGBT+ Women in History’.
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