Exploring LGBTQ+ history at National Trust places

Many of the places we look after were home to, and shaped by, people who challenged conventional ideas of gender and sexuality. Discover their stories and find out more about our work in this area, supported by the Queer Heritage Collections Network (of which we're a founder member).

LGBTQ+ history at our places

We look after special places for everyone, for ever. LGBTQ+ heritage plays an important part in the history of the nation and a vital role in unlocking the histories of some of our places.

With the investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund received in March 2021, we're developing our digital skills programme to support our work on LGBTQ+ heritage.

Stories and connections

What does LGBTQ+ mean?

In exploring gender diversity and same-sex love we are using the acronym LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer) and seeking to acknowledge the widest diversity of lives and experiences.

‘LGBTQ+’ is widely accepted as an inclusive term to reference the diversity of gender and sexuality that go beyond the ‘hetero-normative’ (that is, binary definitions of gender and of ‘one man with one woman’) conventions. 

‘Queer’ was once a term of abuse that has now largely been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community. It has also begun to be used as a term that encompasses all aspects of difference across gender and sexuality. It is a way to look at gender and sexuality as a spectrum rather than a series of definite, fixed categories.

We have adopted the approach taken by Historic England in their Pride of Place project and acknowledge that ‘in the past, as today, there is no single LGBTQ+ community, terminology or uniform identity that defines all LGBTQ+ people or heritage’.