(noun | to erase, verb, -s, -ed, -ing)
The act of removing a specific kind of person from memory. This is done by multiple means including their omission from current affairs and history, redirection of their efforts to give the acclaim to other groups, and violence. Erasure has been used since the beginning of time for various reasons. This has led to many LGBQIA+ experiences being seen as new when they’ve been around for generations. Erasure is one of the most basic ways the mainstream tries to use to undermine the experiences of queer people. One of the ways we combat erasure is with visibility.
e.g. Many transgender people don’t come out until adulthood because of the erasure of trans people from history by people such as the Nazis of WWII (see pic).
The burning of the library at the Institute for the Science of Sexuality
On May 6th, 1933, the German Student Union, one of the Youth Wings of Hitler’s Nazi movement, made a coordinated attack against the Institute due to its purpose of being a place of higher learning about LGBTQIA+ experiences. 12,000 – 20,000 documents of the Institute’s library were publicly hauled into the street and burned while Joseph Goebbels gave a speech to a crowd of 40,000 nazis. This mass burning was a massive act of erasure of transgender and queer history.
Further reading to gain expanded context:
Trans erasure, trans visibility: History, archives, and art | Archer Magazine
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