Anne Lister is honored as her plaque is changed to celebrate her as a lesbian


A rainbow-lined blue plaque has been unveiled to celebrate Britain’s ‘first modern lesbian,’ Anne Lister after mass accusations of straightwashing her biography. The plaque went up at Holy Trinity Church in York, marking Lister’s communion with Ann Walker, which they both valued as marriage. The original sign sparked outrage in July by describing Lister as “gender non-conforming” but leaving out her sexuality. Its replacement calls her a “lesbian and diarist.” The rainbow around the outside of the plaque has also been altered not to leave any space for doubt for who this woman was. More than 2,500 people signed a petition accusing the original plaque of erasure, prompting a joint apology from the York Civic Trust, York LGBT Forum, York LGBT History Month and the Churches Conservation Trust. In a statement, the groups promised to better represent Lister, who wrote millions of words about her life.


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