Part of History
CW: queer deaths in history, arson
I subscribe to the History channel This Day in History newsletter and I check it every morning before I get out of bed. And yeah, okay, maybe I shouldn’t be looking at history before coffee and hurting my own feelings when history is upsetting. But I have my reasons.
Yet, this morning was hit a little harder. Because on June 24 in 1973, the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans, a popular space for queer community, was burned down.
No one was ever arrested for the crime. The cause was “undetermined”.
32 people died. Several were injured, mostly the ones that jumped out of the second floor windows.
Until this morning, I don’t recall hearing about this. So much queer history has been hidden and erased. And it’s deeply upsetting. I mentioned this in another post earlier this month.
(Disclaimer: not saying other folks don’t know, not saying other folks don’t write queer history, not saying it doesn’t exist. I’m talking about wide known mainstream news and history does not often include events like this except maybe as small footnotes or a single sentence.)
And as much as I want to end on a positive note, I am honestly struggling because of the current laws being put forward or passed on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programs across several states here in the US. And the many anti-trans and anti-queer laws passed.
The only thing I can think of is that I will make this weekend a project of seeking out queer joy in my books. And also seeking out more books on queer history. Feel free to send me books or documentaries you’ve read or watched about queer history.