By 1923, the behaviour of these women was so visible that the powers that be had to debate their ‘legality’. Outrageously, lesbians remained off the statute books because the House of Lords feared giving other women ‘the wrong idea’ by criminalising them. But writers such as Radclyffe Hall published fiction about girl on girl love and the way forward was paved.
It’s actually pretty straightforward to plot out the trajectory of increased legal rights, greater visibility and decreasing violence and discrimination towards LGBT+ people. But the history of the love that dare not speak its name has something even more uplifting to teach everyone. Namely, that the courage, tolerance, passion and playfulness we’ve had to cultivate along the way are characteristics that benefit every loving human being. And that’s something everyone can celebrate.
Words by Nichi Hodgson