‘Quist’ App Brings Queer History to Your Smartphone

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By Nick Mattos, PQ Monthly

Spending too much time cruising Grindr and Scruff these days? Put your smartphone to good use and download Quist, a new app that aims to increase the LGBTQ community’s awareness of their own history.

The Quist website says more:

Historical events in the app paint a picture of how far the LGBTQ community has come over time — how we have been treated, how we have reacted, how our allies have supported us, and how others have worked vehemently to stop the progress. LGBTQ individuals’ contributions to society and events in HIV/AIDS history are also included.

As James Nichols of The Huffington Post phrases it, “The app evidences a need for new ways of constructing, remembering and sharing queer history, as the LGBT community continues to make political and social gains and risks forgetting the trajectory that has brought us to this point.”

Another important dimension of the Quist app is the way that it enables queer people to connect their own experiences, struggles, and victories with the larger and broader history of the queer community, integrating personal memories into collective experiences. West Duncan, former Portlander and current Women’s and Gender Studies MA candidate at DePaul University, notes that “memory serves as a powerful force in how we formulate our situated knowledges and epistemic privilege. It provides a critical lens of analysis through which we both create and view both personal and social narratives, as well as how we see our identities as a location among our social histories.”

If you’d like to clean your own critical lens of analysis, Quist is available as a free download in the iTunes App Store and Google Play. Readers: what are your thoughts on Quist?