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Workplaces and Creativity

LGBTQ people have been employed in every profession and occupation. But at certain historical moments, they have been associated with some areas of employment more than others. This has often been due to simple stereotyping, especially regarding employment considered to be more suitable for the opposite sex. In other cases, some vocations were more welcoming, or at least exposure was less dangerous for LGBTQ people.

  • Exterior of the south-eastern end to the abbey church at Rievaulx Abbey

    The Medieval Church

    Church records offer insights into the medieval queer past.

  • Map of London showing the playhouses

    Strategic Cross-Dressing

    There is a long history of women crossing gender to benefit from the financial and employment privileges afforded to men.

  • Black and white photo of front elevation of The Old Vic.

    Independent Women

    From the mid-19th century, educated women who worked could remain unmarried and form their closest emotional ties with other women.

  • Postcard of members of the NUWT London Unit standing on steps demonstrating for equal pay

    Women's Employment

    The First World War gave many women the opportunity to enter trades and professions that were previously closed to them.

  • Interior of tube carriage

    Creative People

    Lesbians, bisexual women and homosexual men were prominent among the designers, artists and architects who shaped 20th-century England.