There are many things that I will miss when I leave the UK, but that everything is so bleeding old around here is not one of them. I dropped History in school when I was 14 and haven’t looked back since (get it) but here it’s staring me in the face at every corner: in the bust of Virginia Woolf that stood in front of my first-year hall, in the free-to-access collections at the British Museum (alternatively known as the Shrine to the Empire), or in the weathered storefront of newly 35-year-old bookstore Gay’s the Word.
Okay, maybe history has its plus points.
Y’know which bit of “history” needs to go, though? This damn thing.
Produced in 1939, this propaganda poster wasn’t actually publicly circulated during World War II and was instead just recently rediscovered as a commercial goldmine. It encapsulates so much of what exasperates me about this world and the study of its past: wars, nationalism, and overdone memes.
Now I’m talking history because this month is
Femslash February LGBT History Month in the UK. I may not like old things but I do like queer things, and as I was perusing the history section at Gay’s the Word in some vague hope of finding a serious topic to write about, it occurred to me that (a) there’s so much more to romanticised wartime nostalgia than the ubiquitous “keep calm” franchise, and (b) you can really read lesbian subtext in anything, can’t you? So here I present to you my humble contribution to this month’s celebration of queer history, 100% made up in my head.