Five LGBTQIA+ objects added to a British museum's permanent collection this Pride Month

June is marked as "Pride Month" across the world to acknowledge the LGBTQIA+ community's fight for equality and fair treatment, and also as a testament to the Stonewall Riots, which ushered in the movement for equal rights.

Recently, a British museum inducted five new "gay" artefacts into its permanent directory. Take a look:

Wakashu art

An example of a Japanese wood block print from c1600-1900. (The specific object will rotate for conservation reasons, but will always have an LGBTQ+ theme). These prints often depict wakashu – male youths – who were desired both by men and women and who, with their androgynous appearance, constituted a ‘third gender’. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Sappho, the lesbian

A 2nd century AD coin depicting Sappho issued in Mytilene on the Greek island of Lesbos, to celebrate the city’s most famous daughter. It is one of the earliest images of Sappho in the Museum’s collection. By the 19th century her poetry had made the word ‘Lesbian’ – someone who lives on Lesbos – a term for a woman who loves women. 

(Photograph:Reuters)

Nine Bob Note

A ‘Nine Bob note’ which was made for use in a club event organised by Duckie in 2008: Gay Shame Goes Macho. Featuring the image of gangster Ronnie Kray instead of Queen Elizabeth, the design skilfully evokes the appearance of the original ten shilling note which was in circulation until 1970. The ten shilling note was bound with the popular expression 'as queer as a nine bob note'.

(Photograph:Reuters)

Terracota art

A 1st century AD Terracotta Roman lamp from Turkey, depicting two women engaged in oral sex, generally regarded as taboo by the Romans

(Photograph:Reuters)

D'Eon - the gender bender!

A bronze medal – issued in 1777 – of Chevalier d’Eon. D’Eon was a celebrated 18th-century soldier, diplomat and spy. They lived openly as a man and as a woman in France and England at different stages of life, drawing much public interest. Today the Chevalier is recognised as a talented and tumultuous personality, who was celebrated both as a man and as a woman during a long and eventful life

(Photograph:Reuters)

Roman taboo

A 1st century AD Terracotta Roman lamp from Turkey, depicting two women engaged in oral sex, generally regarded as taboo by the Romans

(Photograph:Reuters)

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