Quist - Today in LGBTQ History

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
Quist - Today in LGBTQ History App Poster Image
Explore LGBTQ history and link to learning resources.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about major events that affect the LGBTQ community and about notable LGBTQ people who participated in world events. The "on this day" approach can show kids events and people often overlooked in mainstream history classes, which may offer a fresh perspective. Linking out to other sites may inspire further research as kids dig deeper into certain stories and people. Quist isn't slick or designed to capture the hearts and minds of teens, but it does offer curated historical information that isn't always readily accessible.

Ease of Play

User interface and search feature a bit clunky but functional.

Violence

Some stories recount tragic, violent events in the LGBTQ community's history, including beatings, assassinations, and other physical abuse. There usually aren't graphic images or information, but users can link out to other information that might go into more lurid detail.

Sex

There are references to marriage, romantic love, and physical intimacy throughout, but it's rarely in a way users would consider gratuitous or tasteless.

Language

Some mild swearing within the app (one frequently displayed ad boasts, "Dammit, I'm a unicorn!"); more severe bad words ("f--k," "d--k," "p---y," "c--t") appear occasionally on linked sites. Ads rotate through, so content changes.

Consumerism

Some external links point directly to sites such as Amazon, where users can buy the landmark media (such as award-winning books) described in some stories.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Linked sites may have references to substances.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Quist - Today in LGBTQ History is a reference app for learning about the LGBTQ community's history around the world. It's filled with stories about major historical events, equal rights milestones, and LGBTQ individuals' contributions to society and culture (such as great advances in science, literature, media, and technology). Most stories are overwhelmingly positive, supportive, and informative. The free version of the app has a banner ad across the bottom of the screen, which can contain iffy content (for example "Dammit, I'm a unicorn!"); users can remove by paying $4.99. Though most in-app and linked content is generally kid-friendly, some external links are less so and may contain language or other content that's inappropriate for young users.

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What's it about?

QUIST is a reference app for exploring historic events that involved members of the LGBTQ community. A contraction of "queer history," Quist's developers created the app to build awareness, engagement, and support for the LGBTQ community and the history of the community's struggles. On launch, users see events that occurred today in LGBTQ history; then users can tap that story to view a longer entry and browse other entries from that date. Each entry includes its date, its location (tagged by country), and relevant links. Some links head to profiles on Wikipedia, while others link to videos, outside websites, or commercial sites selling items related to the story (for example, a story about a genderqueer author winning an award includes a link to buy that author's book from Amazon).

In addition to seeing today's events, users can tap to display a navigation bar and explore events by date or browse by country. There's additional information about the app available, and users can link to the developer's website or recommend a new entry for the app via the Contact option. There's also an option to remove ads; the app is free to download and users can pay $4.99 to disable the ads across the bottom of the screen.

Is it any good?

Quist is a good first step for learning about LGBTQ history. The volume of stories here might be the app's most powerful message; search any notable date or browse any country's entries and you'll learn about members of the LGBTQ community who were involved in major world events throughout history. There also are many stories about civil rights tragedies and triumphs, including landmark court cases and famous firsts. Interestingly, the developer's website might be an even better resource: There, kids and teachers can learn more about the developers and their work to tell the LGBTQ community's story and honor its champions and allies. You'll also find links to teaching resources, activity ideas, and other high-quality teaching resources that can help teachers navigate how to tell stories that aren't widely known or commonly shared.

Though the volume of stories is great, navigating the app can be unpredictable, making it occasionally hard to take advantage of all that content. It's not always clear where to click, and the stories that remain are inconsistent, as you view one and then move back to a page of search results. More clear, consistent navigation features and a simpler interface would make exploring these stories more enjoyable. Also, keep in mind that the links out to other websites have inconsistent quality. You'll know what you're getting into with Wikipedia, but some external sites include profanity or images that may not be appropriate for kids, which makes it best for use with an adult.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Search for special dates from history, such as your family's birthdays or notable historical dates (such as September 11th or July 4th). What do you find? What surprises you?

  • Use the map feature to browse entries by country. Which countries have the most entries? What's similar about different countries' stories? What's different?

  • Some of the content that links from stories goes to sites that sell the items described (such as books from one author and an entrepreneur's consumer product), while some user-generated sites might have language or images that aren't as professional (or profanity-free) as Wikipedia. Talk about your family's rules for online browsing: Make it clear where kids can go solo and where they need to bring an adult.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Subjects: Social Studies: cultural understanding, history, timelines
  • Skills: Responsibility & Ethics: embracing differences, honoring the community, respect for others
  • Price: Free-$4.99
  • Pricing structure: Free to try, Paid (Pay $4.99 to remove ads from the bottom of the screen.)
  • Release date: October 9, 2013
  • Category: Reference
  • Topics: History
  • Size: 21.60 MB
  • Publisher: The Communicationist LLC
  • Version: 1.2
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 5.0 or later; Android 2.2 and up

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love learning about LGBTQ history

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