We recently got a great write-up from Merryn Johns, Curve Magazine’s wonderful editor-in-chief. This is a source of great pleasure to me, as I have struggled hard to include Lesbian history in our tours. Unfortunately, as anyone who studies LGBT history knows, there is less evidence for Lesbian history than gay male history from almost every period and place and culture. This is not as you might imagine because of prejudice against Lesbians.
Instead there is simply less evidence for women’s private lives than men’s. In other words, it has to do with women’s general invisibility rather than Lesbianism’s status.
Since Lesbianism obviously involves *only* women, it is largely hidden in the historical record. This is less true from the 19th century on, however. As a result, LGBT tours of modern places like New York or Paris are relatively rich in Lesbian history.
Our Greenwich Village LGBT history walking tour is particularly good. Many famous Lesbians have made their home in the Village, and there have even been Lesbian bars in the Village since the early 20th century.
The “Gay Secrets of the Metropolitan Museum” tour also includes a lot of Lesbian history, from a Greek vase that may depict female-female courtship to the amazing painting by Rosa Bonheur illustrated in the article and Picasso’s portrait of Gertrude Stein.
I recently took the tour of the Metropolitan Museum, and was amazed to find many sculptures, ceramics, canvases and photographs that had gay tales to tell. While art and its history have been very male-centric, and the tour is admittedly of special interest to gay men, lesbians are not left out. Conducted by Professor Andrew Lear, who might be Ian McKellen’s little brother, the tour was fun, gossipy, and had something for the girls.
Check out the article: http://www.curvemag.com/Culture/Queering-Art-History-471/
And come on our New York gay history tours! For more info, and to buy tickets: https://www.zerve.com/OWTours/MetTour