History is always written from the perspective of the majority, or the people who are in positions of power and influence.
Intersectionality should underpin historical narratives, especially in the queer space, as we know that specific demographics have actively fought for our collective rights – including the ones that we have today.
We wanted to host an online panel that investigates narratives that are usually not seen or heard during queer history and awareness months.
The panel was closed to allow conversations to be had without interruption, and we invited people to contribute any questions or talking points, in advance of the recording.
The questions covered were:
- Has your identity impacted your experience or understanding of queer history?
- Can you share with us something that people may not know about queer history from your own lived experience or perspective?
- A lot of queer history and perspectives are framed through western perspectives e.g., terminology, behavioural expectations: how important is it, that we decolonise queer history and understand it from a global majority perspective?
- Knowing what we do now, about queer history and its pioneers: what advice would you give to someone who’s just starting to investigate their own history?
*Content warning: discussions of coercive sexual behaviour, including mentions of r*pe and discussion of the AIDS epidemic*
Vaneet Mehta (he/him) is an Indian bisexual man born and raised in Southall, West London. He is a software engineer, writer and public speaker and the founder of #BisexualMenExist, which went viral in 2020. He has appeared on numerous panels and delivered talks to various companies. He has written for Men's Health, Stonewall, GMFA, Metro UK, OutLife and Unicorn Magazine and his work has been published in The Bi-ble: New Testimonials, The Ampersand Project and The Sex Agenda. He has just published his first book, Bisexual Men Exist. You can buy Bisexual Men Exist here
Zainabb Hull (they/them) is a trans, queer, disabled, brown femme from London who works as the Project Co-ordinator at Inclusive Mosque Initiative. Alongside their work at Inclusive Mosque, Zainabb is a freelance writer, editor, and grassroots organiser. They're passionate about anti-colonialism and anti-racism, disability justice, and Black and brown trans joy.
Cole Banton (he/him) is a trans, queer, black man who lives in Kent. Currently working as a digital marketer, Cole is a creative man of many talents including music, acting and content creation. He is always looking to educate people on Trans matters and uplift his community. He was recently a part of a show called BlkQr TV and is often sharing his experience as a black, queer, trans man on his TikTok (@colebant) and Podcast (T Time Podcast UK).
Thelma Ndaula (she/her) is a human rights activist with lived experience as an LGBTQ+ refugee including homelessness. She is the Ambassadors & Operations Manager for Say It Loud Club – a community of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. Thelma is trained to work with vulnerable people, and passionate about giving back to the community, especially on the integration and resettlement projects for LGBTQ+ refugees in the UK.