Plaque for "first modern lesbian" to change after lesbian erasure complaints
A tribute to Ann Lister is set to be changed after its wording sparked a backlash for not stating she was a lesbian
The blue plaque was unveiled in July outside Holy Trinity Church in York where Lister made her vows to Ann Walker in 1834.
The original memorial read, “Gender-nonconforming entrepreneur. Celebrated marital commitment, without legal recognition, to Ann Walker in this church. Easter, 1834.”
TODAY! Make sure you get to the Holy Trinity Church, Goodramgate by 12:30pm so you don't miss the unveiling of York's first permanent rainbow plaque in honour of celebrated local diarist Anne Lister. In partnership with @yorklgbthistory @YorkLGBT @TheCCT #York #LGBT #Yorkshire pic.twitter.com/A7IeoEOqIs— York Civic Trust (@yorkcivictrust) July 24, 2018
An online petition, started by Julie Furlong, urging York Civic Trust to alter the wording has attracted more than 2,500 signatures.
The petition stated: “Anne Lister was, most definitely, gender non-conforming all her life. She was also, however, a lesbian.
"Don’t let them erase this iconic woman from our history.”
New wording will be proposed in the coming weeks.
Furlong told the BBC she was pleased about the change: “I am very happy that they have realised that lesbian erasure is not acceptable, but I will wait to hear on the final wording before expressing opinion as to that”.
Lister, who died aged 49 in 1840, kept diaries throughout her life. Her love story with Ann Walker forms the basis of the BBC drama series called Gentleman Jack, due out later this year.
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