At the end of last year we finally decided to become National Trust members and have been enjoying visiting our local sites regularly for the last few months. When we discovered they would be celebrating and exploring their LGBTQ heritage with a programme called Prejudice and Pride, 50 years after the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, we knew we had to get to one of their events.
Our local National Trust house, Kingston Lacy was profoundly shaped by William Bankes. William Bankes fled England in 1841 to avoid prosecution for same-sex acts. He had no choice but to leave England but he continued to send back works of art and treasures.
If you’ve never been to Kingston Lacy, we highly recommend a visit. With acres of gardens and woodland to walk, a beautiful house to visit and a lovely cafe and shop, there is plenty to do.
As part of the National Trust’s Prejudice and Pride programme Kingston Lacy put on a Jazz picnic and flew the Rainbow Pride flag atop the house. It was such a lovely afternoon in the gardens, just listening to the music and enjoying some family time.
We talked to M about the Pride flags and a member of staff even managed to find me a few spare Pride badges that have been handed out at Pride marches around the country. We’ve been unable to attend a Pride this year, so it was nice that the member of staff made the effort to find me a couple of badges for M and us to show our pride.
Aside from enjoying a family day out together, it also felt so nice to support such an important event. I love the fact that The National Trust have chosen to recognise their LGBTQ history and share it. When they announced they were going to share it they experienced all manner of abuse, which shows there is still so so much more work to do in regards to making LGBTQ history part of everyone’s history. I want our little man to see how important it is to recognise the part EVERYONE plays in life.
If you wish to visit other National Trust sites exploring their LGBTQ history just visit their site for more information.