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Daily Mail launches bitter attack on National Trust plans to celebrate LGBT history

By Samuel McManus

The Daily Mail has blasted the National Trust’s plans to celebrate its LGBT+ history next year, describing the leadership team behind the plans as “tiresomely PC.”

Yesterday (December 21) the trust revealed that it will be publishing new resources about the LGBT+ history of some of its properties, and hosting a number of events titled “Prejudice and Pride” at properties with notable queer history. Kicking off next year, the celebrations will coincide with the 5oth anniversary of homosexuality being partially decriminalised in the UK.

Aimed at revealing how ingrained LGBT+ history is within British society, the “Prejudice and Pride” programme seeks to “offer a greater understanding, accessibility and higher profile for LGBTQ heritage,” according to the trust.

However, Daily Mail columnist James Delingpole has taken offence at the plans, arguing that marking the end of state-sanctioned homophobia is “at odds with the Ttust’s culture, history and core membership.” Saying he would “resign in disgust” at the plans, had he not already resigned (no doubt in disgust at something else), he mourned one particular planned event, “Sutton House Queered,” for attempting to unpack the queer history of a National Trust property which he so fondly remembers for contrasting Hackney’s “urban grunge, graffiti and melting-pot multiculturalism.”

Describing queer history as an “amusing background detail,” Delingpole goes on to argue that James Lees-Milne, one of the trust’s founding figures (who famously had a number of same-sex affairs), wouldn’t have wanted his sexuality to define him. Of course, having been born in 1908, if Lees-Milne did let his sexuality define him he would have found himself in prison – or worse. Not wanting historical context to blur his argument, Delingpole suggests that Lees-Milne “would have been appalled” by celebrating LGBT+ history.

Perhaps Delingpole preferred the good old days, when LGBT+ people’s contributions to culture were hidden – he may even have preferred it when we ourselves were hidden. As he complains that the trust is “appealing… to more minorities” before sarcastically commenting, “apparently the LGBT audience is a vital one that it has hitherto neglected,” we can’t help but feel like this might be the case.

Sadly for Delingpole, we’re not going anywhere.