Yom Shabbat, 15 AdarI 5781
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Trove of Jewish LGBT history goes on display in U.K.

February 12th 2014

On a sodden evening last week, veteran gay activist Peter Tatchell stepped up to a podium at the London School of Economics and described how in the 1980s he battled to allow pink-triangle memorial wreaths to be laid at the Cenotaph war memorial in London’s Whitehall.

Campaigning alongside him was a lesbian who had escaped Nazi rule, coming to England in the Kindertransport, he said. Her parents perished and her uncle, who was gay as well as Jewish, was rounded up early on and died in Sachenhausen concentration camp.

“The Jewish and LGBT communities have many shared experiences. Different but shared,” Tatchell noted. “And of course in Jewish LGBT people, the two experiences are combined. The legacy – the history of struggle against persecution and injustice – is one that both our communities have endured, and still endure.”

He was speaking at the launch of Rainbow Jews, the United Kingdom’s first archive of Jewish lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and despite torrential rainstorms and a Tube strike, the auditorium was packed to capacity. Read more