Author and activist James Baldwin wrote, “If you know whence you came, there are absolutely no limitations to where you can go.” For centuries, the lives of people from the queer community were invisible; their contributions neglected and often criticised. Today, in order to put an end to the discrimination and suffering that has marked the road to LGTBQAI+ rights, there are laws that foster societal acceptance, along with honest conversations around equality.
Paying homage to the honour and resilience of the queer community are these monuments from around the world, that tie their struggles in one common thread, serving as reminders of their achievements.
Legacy Walk — Chicago, Illinois
An outdoor LGBTQ history exhibit, this half-mile stretch has bronze plaques dedicated to the queer individuals whose lives impacted others and contributed immensely to the society. Situated in the ‘Lakeview’ neighborhood of Chicago, which has been known nationally and internationally as ‘Boystown’, this memorial talks about queer history that has been overlooked, minimized or redacted entirely from most historic texts. A historic landmark in every way, Legacy Walk completes 10 years in 2022.
Alan Turing Memorial — Manchester, England
You might be familiar with this person, especially since Benedict Cumberbatch portrayed him in 2014’s The Imitation Game. Alan Turing was prosecuted and chemically castrated for homosexual acts during the 1950s, but not before he established himself as the Father of computer science. A bronze statue dedicated to him sits on a bench in the middle of Manchester’s Sackville Park.
Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism — Berlin, Germany
Many minorities were persecuted under the Nazis including queer individuals, with almost 50,000 sentences being passed. In 2003, the German parliament decided to build a monument for the persecuted homosexuals, which stands as a symbol against persecution of all queer individuals, worldwide. A concrete cube with a small, square window allows the visitors to watch a video playing inside the structure.
Homomonument — Amsterdam, Netherlands
Originally erected to commemorate the gay men and women who lost their lives in the World War II, Homomonument, designed by Amsterdam-born artist Karin Daan in 1979, stands tall as one of the first public monuments dedicated to the LGBTQ community. On the bank of Amsterdam’s Keizersgracht Canal, three pink granite triangles combine to form one great triangle. The three triangles point to the city’s National War Memorial, the Anne Frank House, and COC Netherlands LGBTQ advocacy organization.
Gay Memorial Stone — Paris, France
Bruno Lenoir and Jean Diot, two Frenchmen, were burned alive under the country’s anti-gay law in 1750, becoming the last men to be executed because of their sexuality.
In 2014, a Gay Memorial Stone was unveiled in Paris, France to mark this horrific and gross injustice.