LGBTQ culture

More Zoom Events in 2021

At the end of this very real annus terribilis, I want to say a few words to you, our loyal readers and attendees.  Above all, thanks!  Thanks for keeping Oscar Wilde Tours alive by reading our blog, attending our Zoom tours, watching our YouTube videos, contributing to our fundraisers—in short, for being a fabulously loyal community.  When the pandemic hit the US, in March, it seemed likely to kill the company completely.  Who would have thought that 9 months later, as the pandemic continued to rage, we would be putting on our 28th Zoom tour, with audiences regularly over 100, and have gathered over 28,000 views for our videos? It’s been a hard year, but ours is a tiny, flourishing corner.  And we have a lot more coming after the holidays!  Want to find out more?

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Paris's richest LGBTQ history site

Paris’s richest LGBTQ history site is a cemetery!

Paris is one of the world’s great LGBTQ history cities—and Père Lachaise cemetery is possibly Paris’s richest LGBTQ history site!  How did it get that way?  Père Lachaise was the first garden cemetery—a trend in the 19th century that led to the creation of London’s so-called Magnificent Seven, New York’s Green-wood, and Boston’s Mount Auburn.  The garden cemeteries were meant as a kind of public park, and one of the attractions was to be the famous people buried there.

The founders of Père Lachaise started this off by moving some famous tombs to the new cemetery.  You see one of them above.  This is the tomb of the iconic romantic couple of the Middle Ages, the theologian Abélard and his abbess wife Héloïse.  This idea worked out well.  Père Lachaise is in fact a hugely popular tourist destination—the most visited cemetery in the world.  And the attraction is its famous ‘residents’, including such luminaries as Chopin, Rossini, and Jim Morrison.  LGBTQ celebrities are particularly prominent.  Oscar Wilde’s tomb is the most visited in the cemetery, and other famous residents from Paris’s LGBTQ history include Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, and Colette.

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