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Sensible Footwear: A Girl's Guide

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Cartoonist Kate Charlesworth presents a glorious pageant of LGBTQI+ history, as she takes us on a PRIDE march past personal and political milestones from the 1950s to the present day. Peopled by a cast of gay icons such as Dusty Springfield, Billie Jean King, Dirk Bogarde and Alan Turing, and featuring key moments such as Stonewall, Gay Pride and Section 28, Sensible Footw Cartoonist Kate Charlesworth presents a glorious pageant of LGBTQI+ history, as she takes us on a PRIDE march past personal and political milestones from the 1950s to the present day. Peopled by a cast of gay icons such as Dusty Springfield, Billie Jean King, Dirk Bogarde and Alan Turing, and featuring key moments such as Stonewall, Gay Pride and Section 28, Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide, is the first graphic history documenting lesbian life from 1950 to the present. It is a stunning, personal, graphic memoir and a milestone itself in LGBTQI+ history. In 1950, when Kate was born, male homosexuality carried a custodial sentence. But female homosexuality had never been an offence in the UK, effectively rendering lesbians even more invisible than they already were—often to themselves. Growing up in Yorkshire, the young Kate had to find role models wherever she could, in real life, books, film and TV. Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide is a fascinating history of how post-war Britain transformed from a country hostile towards ‘queer’ lives to the LGBQTI+ universe of today, recording the political gains and challenges against a backdrop of personal experience: realising her own sexuality, coming out to her parents, embracing lesbian and gay culture, losing friends to AIDS. Kate’s ex-navy dad said to her: ‘You shouldn’t have told her, love… you should have just told me.’ But it turned out her mother might have known a bit more about life, too.


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Cartoonist Kate Charlesworth presents a glorious pageant of LGBTQI+ history, as she takes us on a PRIDE march past personal and political milestones from the 1950s to the present day. Peopled by a cast of gay icons such as Dusty Springfield, Billie Jean King, Dirk Bogarde and Alan Turing, and featuring key moments such as Stonewall, Gay Pride and Section 28, Sensible Footw Cartoonist Kate Charlesworth presents a glorious pageant of LGBTQI+ history, as she takes us on a PRIDE march past personal and political milestones from the 1950s to the present day. Peopled by a cast of gay icons such as Dusty Springfield, Billie Jean King, Dirk Bogarde and Alan Turing, and featuring key moments such as Stonewall, Gay Pride and Section 28, Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide, is the first graphic history documenting lesbian life from 1950 to the present. It is a stunning, personal, graphic memoir and a milestone itself in LGBTQI+ history. In 1950, when Kate was born, male homosexuality carried a custodial sentence. But female homosexuality had never been an offence in the UK, effectively rendering lesbians even more invisible than they already were—often to themselves. Growing up in Yorkshire, the young Kate had to find role models wherever she could, in real life, books, film and TV. Sensible Footwear: A Girl’s Guide is a fascinating history of how post-war Britain transformed from a country hostile towards ‘queer’ lives to the LGBQTI+ universe of today, recording the political gains and challenges against a backdrop of personal experience: realising her own sexuality, coming out to her parents, embracing lesbian and gay culture, losing friends to AIDS. Kate’s ex-navy dad said to her: ‘You shouldn’t have told her, love… you should have just told me.’ But it turned out her mother might have known a bit more about life, too.

55 review for Sensible Footwear: A Girl's Guide

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    This is an fucking incredible, exhaustive, dazzling history of LGBT life in england and its coverage of recent history blew me away. I always knew there were things I wasnt aware of about my history as a gay woman, but I never knew there was so much! This is vital reading. Theres no other way to put it. Funny, inclusive, beautiful, affectionate and so full of love it might burst. I loved this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Asta

    Bloody brilliant, aye!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    Sensible Footwear: A Girl's Guide by Kate Charlesworth combines a beautiful memoir of a lesbian life with an in-depth queer history of post-war Britain. Its a real treasure trove, one I pored over for hours learning about queer actors, activists and artists, many of whom seem to have been lost to common knowledge, especially in the younger queer community. I've been thinking lots recently about how only certain bits of LGBTQ history seems to get a lot of traction while other people and events th Sensible Footwear: A Girl's Guide by Kate Charlesworth combines a beautiful memoir of a lesbian life with an in-depth queer history of post-war Britain. Its a real treasure trove, one I pored over for hours learning about queer actors, activists and artists, many of whom seem to have been lost to common knowledge, especially in the younger queer community. I've been thinking lots recently about how only certain bits of LGBTQ history seems to get a lot of traction while other people and events that were really significant seem to still be largely hidden, so I'm really glad to see books like this one coming out. Like Jane Traies' collection of oral histories Now You See Me: Lesbian Life Stories which I recently read, Sensible Footwear highlights some particularly lesbian-specific themes around enduring and sometimes lifelong relationships that fluctuate over time between the sexual, romantic, platonic and familial which I really loved seeing, as well as considering the intersections of class and gender on the lesbian experience. Older lesbians and WLW have so little representation in the media, and even within my queer communities there's quite a big divide between generations, so I really enjoyed this way of connecting with older women's experiences. The art is as brilliant as you'd expect from a career cartoonist, and there are plenty of emotional and thought-provoking moments, including a few that had me in tears. Highly recommended!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jess

  5. 5 out of 5

    Veganne

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rachael Eyre

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gwen

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bethan

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bernadette

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    Charlott

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    Liz Pywell

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    Silje Nord

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    Flora

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    Althea

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alice

  17. 4 out of 5

    Petra Hallberg

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    Raphaelle Masquillier

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    Lawrie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susie

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jo Harvey

  22. 4 out of 5

    unevendays

  23. 4 out of 5

    Roseanna Pendlebury

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emma McKie

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bill The Bold

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jazz • Min

  27. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  28. 5 out of 5

    dele

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  30. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  31. 4 out of 5

    Etfys93

  32. 4 out of 5

    Eileigh

  33. 5 out of 5

    Monique

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    Lovisa

  35. 5 out of 5

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  36. 4 out of 5

    Winnie

  37. 5 out of 5

    Gili

  38. 4 out of 5

    Marcelo Teixeira

  39. 4 out of 5

    Maria-Eirini

  40. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  41. 4 out of 5

    Alyazia

  42. 4 out of 5

    Alex Lawless

  43. 5 out of 5

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  44. 4 out of 5

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    Alexandra

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    Weregoth

  47. 4 out of 5

    nico

  48. 5 out of 5

    Lou

  49. 5 out of 5

    Clare

  50. 4 out of 5

    Holly Casio

  51. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Burns

  52. 4 out of 5

    Becky Garratt

  53. 5 out of 5

    Kate Spencer

  54. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  55. 4 out of 5

    Pam

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