LGBTQIA project and project-protecting LGBTQIA profiles?

+13 votes

Hello, all! Do we have a project in place that can project-protect Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intertsexual Asexual etc. (LGBTQIA+) profiles? If so, I'd like to join. If not, I'd like to coordinate with other LGBTQIA+ WikiTreers to make this happen.

heart Happy Pride Month heart

Some related G2G conversations over the years. If there were more conversations on other topics under the Big Umbrella, I wasn't able to track them down easily! Almost all linked here are related to profiles of transgender people which also happens to be an area where project-protection would be helpful and help foster a safer more welcoming environment for trans WikiTreers.

ago in WikiTree Help by K Raymoure G2G6 Mach 1 (17.1k points)
edited ago by K Raymoure

K., could you further explain what the purpose of the project would be? Is it about improving the quality of profiles of deceased LGBTQIA+ folks or fostering a welcoming environment for living LGBTQIA+ folks, or something else? 

Both! And protect profiles who do qualify (see below.)

It's also always good to have a group of folks who are out and LGBTQIA+ to answer questions non-LGBTQIA+ folks may have about features that impact LGBTQIA+ people and profiles, profiles of LGBTQIA+ people, etc.

We are by no means a monolith, and organizing ourselves can help represent that diversity of perspectives. Without at least a little bit of organizing, LGBTQIA+ individuals can often be perceived as an authority on something they don't have lived experience with. A lesbian, for instance, might have a less visceral response to the Find a Grave acronym because lesbians are less likely to be bashed by that word than their male gay counterparts. I was never bashed with that slur; I'm queer enough to be sensitive about writing it out instead of using the acronym, but wasn't sensitive enough to take on the heat of asking others to consider not using the acronym. I've been struggling to write this paragraph for way too long; in summary: there are some conversations that are best served with some intra-community talk before engaging in inter-community talk. Hope that makes sense.

A great example of a profile that I'd love to protect is that of Nancy Brown, an AMAB person who dressed, worked, named herself, and lived as a woman her entire adult life. In 2020, everything about her life suggests a high likelihood that she would have come out as a transgender woman. But we weren't talking pronouns during her time, and the topic of queering history is a complicated one even intra-community! While I chose to use she/her pronouns as a queer person as a way to respect my genderqueer Elders, we don't actually know how Nancy referred to herself. We only have one account of her and that author uses he/him pronouns for Nancy while affirming every other aspect of her gender. A WikiTree marathon related to gender markers caused a marathon participant to misgender her as male a few years back. This resulted in a G2G conversation that did not foster a welcoming environment for transgender people, and I'm grateful to the folks who showed up to try to rectify that.

I hope that helps answer the question of purpose as I'm currently pondering it, but always open to adjustments from other LGBTQIA+ WikiTreers! I guess the tl;dr is twofold: LGBTQIA+ informed WikiTree work as relates to LGBTQIA+ features and profiles, and fostering an LGBTQIA+ community of genealogy nerds for various reasons including but not limited to intra-community discussion and mutual support.

I would recommend that you spell out each acronym at least once when you make a post and then use the acronym in following references.  I'm not sure what a LGBTQIA is.  I'm familiar with the first four letters but the last three have changed in the past few months since I last saw an acronym like this.  Not sure if the letter combo is constantly evolving or if different in different countries maybe?  

I also have no idea what an AMAB is and I'm sure I am not alone.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual+. AMAB = "Assigned Male at Birth", and its a transgender term for trans women :)
Generally all acronyms like LGBT+ and LGBTQIA mean the same: all sexual and gender identities. The difference is that the longer acronyms mention all identities explicitly.

3 Answers

+4 votes

I don't see any project covering LGBT+ people or anything close to it in the list of projects. So it may be good idea to start one.

It will probably be a project with a large focus on 20th century profiles. Before that most sources about someones sexual orientation are unreliable, because people would deny it and the information would be based on rumors and gossip.

ago by Koen van Hoof G2G6 Mach 1 (19.1k points)
That was my impression RE: existing projects.

And yeah, having the project will be a great way to consolidate some LGBTQIA-centered conversations around the whole queering history question and what's considered acceptable evidence, etc. Messy messy messy, but we gotta start somewhere.
Hi Koen, although I agree that most of the people will be from the 20th century, we don't just have to rely on rumour and gossip to make some assumptions about people from earlier periods.  There is other evidence; writings, legal cases, and histories for instance.
+1 what John said. In the comments of the initial post here, I added a link to the lovely Nancy Brown who was born around 1790. We have a description that is fundamentally gender affirming while also confirming Nancy was AMAB. So we already have some WikiTree profiles that qualify, and I agree with John and Koen that it'll still probably be weighted towards 20th century profiles!
+6 votes
I do have a question - if a profile becomes project protected, does that mean the original profile manager no longer has access? I have several family members that would fit this project, but I don't want to give up the management of their profiles to people who didn't even know them.
ago by Alicia Taylor G2G6 Mach 4 (41.5k points)
+2 votes

Hmmm... I don't think this idea could be project protected. There are four guidelines. They must meet all four - and one of which is they be 200 years old or notable. So, unless there were a lot of openly LGBTQIAP people running around 200 years ago, this is going to be difficult. And, unfortunately, none of my profiles would qualify for that. Like Koen van Hoof predicted, all of my family's profiles are from the 20th century.  

So, it sounds like to me, unless they are notable, the project cannot be protected. However, I believe they would already be protected under the Notables project. 

* Do not protect any profiles under 200 years old unless they fit Wikipedia's guidelines for notability.

ago by Alicia Taylor G2G6 Mach 4 (41.5k points)
I've asked K to clarify her intent for this project.
I think people that had a role in LGBT emancipation and people that have been convicted for something like 'sodomy' / 'indecency' could be in the scope of this project.
Koen, I love the way you're thinking about this!

John, having an LGBTQIA+ Notables project would be better than the kind-of nothing-ish we have at the moment for sure. Would ultimately like to have something broader in scope, but tried to (somewhat poorly, gah) communicate what was I thinking intention wise in the comments below the original post. If LGBTQIA+ Notables project seems like a good way to start with folks who have project leadership experience, I'm amenable. I've only lead a free space project, so I'm vague on a lot of WikiTree's structural jazz.
This would likely be a team under the Notables project with you as a team leader.


Send me a message at Eowyn at and I can help connect you with the project.
K, if the idea goes ahead, I'd love to take part :)
I just realised I haven't actually said anything, but I'm also happy to get involved.
I think there are two main purposes:

- Writing and improving profiles of LGBT+ people.

- Making WikiTree more friendly for LGBT+ people, e.g. discussing solutions for difficulties that are embedded in the system.

The first purpose would be in the right place in a LGBT+ team of the Notables project. The second purpose is of a more functional nature. Could a LGBT+ Notables Team also serve the second purpose?
Great question, Koen.  I initially thought, no, they are two very different types of goals, and most projects focus on #1 types of activities.

But then I realized that we do try to do something of #2 in the Native Americans project.  But I'd say our overarching focus is on the #1-type activity.  So perhaps it's possible. It's a very different type of activity, and I think deserves special attention, but yes, I do think that a project could be designed to do both. England project does this well, I think.
Thanks Koen and Jillaine, I had been thinking myself that having a Help page that explains solutions to system difficulties such as how to add a same-sex spouse or represent a non-binary gender or transgender might be a good outcome.  Those help pages might already exist, I haven't checked.

However as this is a genealogy wiki, the main activity would presumably be on #1 type activities.
Proud this is coming together and happy to help add profiles of our notables.

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