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LGBTQ World Heritage!

Author Solivagant
#1 | Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:42 | Edited by: Solivagant 
The "US World Heritage Gap Study" report contains a suggestion that there might be a justification for nominating a site to represent "Human Diversity" in the form of LGBTQ culture – presumably on the basis that sites relating to the heritage of such culture(s) are as relevant as other sites which have been and are being proposed to represent the cultures of ethnic or religious minorities. Among suggestions were Stonewall Inn and the "Henry Gerber House".

We could of course argue whether this proposed "correspondence" thus drawn between ethnic/religious and "sexual" cultures is maintainable. It might be argued in favour that LGBTQ "culture" doesn't relate simply to "sexual" matters but to the entire range of human interactions/activities across which it is distinctive. Whatever - whether such a nomination is ever likely to happen – and if so how the more conservative cultures of the World as represented on the WHC would be likely to react, is another matter!!

It set me thinking however as to whether any existing WHS have a significant LGBTQ aspect and whether a "Connection" was justifiable . As far as I know (and hardly surprisingly) NO existing WHS documents make any reference to LGBTQ aspects in their claims! There is no easy way by which a site's "OUV" can be updated to encompass the "latest" ideas about its OUV so the only way LGBTQ "culture" is going to be "represented" is probably via a new nomination. But a little bit of thought and Googling did identify a number of current WHS which DO have LGBTQ "significance".

It appears that there now exists a sub-genre of History, Archaeology etc titled (non-pejoratively) "Queer History". This is studied in its own right and its tangible and non tangible heritage is identified and celebrated. The "US WH Gap Study" proposal taps directly into this strand of academic endeavour and a study of articles produced by it has helped identify the WHS I have listed! The subject seems to possess a significant credibility and momentum such that for instance the British Museum has recently started providing a "Gay Route" which one can follow to see 40 historic "Gay objects"! Given such facts the idea of an LGBTQ WH proposal emanating from a liberal democracy doesn't seem entirely a fantasy - though whether 21st C USA fits that description is debateable!

As always a "problem" arises regarding the issue of "Associative" significance for "Tangible Heritage". As far as I am aware, the locations in US suggested as potential WHS have nothing tangible in their design and contents to mark them out as representative of LGBTQ culture - but they would presumably be nominated on the basis of their historic associative "significance". I have tried to limit proposals to WHS where something tangible is present which can be related to a significant "Gay" etc personage or event whether historic or current. I have ignored connections which seem too peripheral – e.g the suggestion in the most recent review of the Barragan House that its colouring and atmosphere is "Gay"!! This is apparently likely to be the case as a Google search will discover but doesn't seem to be enough to create a place of "Gay pilgrimage"!

Whilst the UNESCO Web site description refers only to the death of Jews, Roma, Sinti and "prisoners of several European Nationalities" the Nazis also persecuted Homosexuals and such prisoners transported there were subject to particular degradations.

The "Homomonument" on the Keizersgracht canal commemorates those who have been persecuted because of their sexuality - . As such it chimes with the OUV statement that the city "was a crucial centre for ......intellectual exchange and the dissemination of humanist thought"

Pyramid Fields of Giza
The tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum contains what has been regarded as a representation of "The First Gay Kiss". It has been represented on Gay Pride T Shirts etc See -

Villa Adriana
The "Antinoeion" is thought to be the "tomb housing the remains of Antinous.... built so that Hadrian could commemorate his paramour to whom he was joined by a deeply passionate and spiritual bond." Antinous was deified by Hadrain and later became a "gay icon" across many centuries and has been represented/referred to in "Gay" art and literature. See -

Author winterkjm
#2 | Posted: 10 Jan 2017 06:58 | Edited by: winterkjm 
National Park Service Theme Study

NPS LGBTQ Initiative

Stonewall National Monument (first national monument to the LGBTQ Heritage)

This recognition of LGBTQ heritage really began in 2014 regarding the national park service. Specifically, there has been an initiative to designate significant LGBTQ sites on the national register and as national historic landmarks.

Author elsslots
#3 | Posted: 10 Jan 2017 10:37 
whether a "Connection" was justifiable

Sure! Well-researched!

Author meltwaterfalls
#4 | Posted: 10 Jan 2017 11:44 | Edited by: meltwaterfalls 
My curiosity was also peaked by that mention in the Barragan review of him being gay. I must admit to not knowing his biographic details that well and can't find anything beyond some ropey conjecture online.

So yep I think probably best to leave that one off, unless building residences that value privacy is enough to qualify, in which case we can stick in any old town on the Mediterranean.

Author nfmungard
#5 | Posted: 10 Jan 2017 11:51 
My curiosity was also peaked by that mention in the Barragan review of him being gay. I must admit to not knowing his biographic details that well a

I am not sure a claim like that should be made in a WHS review solely based on a deduction: Bachelor means gay. Does it?

When I visited the guide addressed the living conditions of him and he supposedly had frequent female visitors, seems he was quite the philanderer. But who knows. Catholics make up all kinds of crazy things... Still, without evidence I don't feel this belongs in a review.

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