seriously I had some little TikTok teenybopper burst out laughing on my tour because I said that a historical figure was “most likely what we’d now call gay”
you’re free to take a ouija board out to the cemetery and try to explain the dizzying array of current queer terms and get a solid answer as to how he identifies within that framework but
until then, I’m going to continue NOT definitively assigning someone identity terms they didn’t self-identify with, and might not have even known, when I’m responsible for representing them faithfully and they’re not here to correct me. even more so when they’re part of my own community
I mean, you know, as long as that’s okay with you. Bestie.
Gay transgender activist Lou Sullivan spent years researching the life of Jack Garland, an obscure early 20th century transgender man who evidently loved men. He rifled though archived newspapers and letters in local libraries for any scrap relevant to Jack, and finally managed to get the completed novel published only very shortly before his death by AIDS in 1990. The book made a single run from a now-defunct publishing company, so a very limited number of copies of the book exist today. Approximately 30 libraries carry it across the US and certain sellers have another handful of copies available for upwards of $200+ each.
However, I could afford to shell out that $200, and I think Lou would want his book to be accessible to the modern trans population. So I've bought a copy and scanned it and converted the pages into a PDF,
what career historians do is not the same as what your high school history teacher does
what career historians do is not the same as what hobbyist "history buffs" on the Internet do
if you're looking at sources that are 20+ years old you cannot blame modern historians for what you find, history is a fast-moving and constantly-shifting academic field like any other
the fact that the concept of sexual orientation (which includes heterosexuality!) is only about 150 years old does not mean that people we would now call LGBTQ+, same-sex romantic and sexual behavior, gender transition, etc. have not always existed. Lots of things we can now recognize have always or long existed in humans, we didn't have a concept of until similarly recently (e.g. mental illness, most forms of structural oppression).
what looks "clearly gay" to someone in 2021 isn't necessarily what looked that way in 1821 or 1521 or 21 BCE, just like it's not what looks that way to people from other cultures today. It is for the benefit of LGBTQ+ people and history to recognize this, to recognize how LGBTQ+ people expressed ourselves in the past!
a lot of historians are ourselves LGBTQ+
Stop being anti-intellectual and blaming "historians" for your inability to do the most basic research on this
“Agree with most of this but would like to point out that a part of the push to make Pride less sexual is to make it a safe space for queer children and to help straights realize being queer isn’t just about fetishes.“
(The person is not tagged because I don’t want to send any hate to them, and the reply isn’t being responded to directly because Tumblr has made that near impossible)
When I came out, my mom told me I couldn’t tell my little sister because it was too sexual.
Later, I moved to the “Big City”, what I hoped to be a haven for queer people. I was with one of the first queer friends my wife and I had made in the city, we had just watched their wrestling debut, and had gone to their apartment afterwards with a group of strangers. Some this group our friend had told us behind the scenes were much more right wing causing our friend to keep parts of their queer identity under wraps.
Our friend suddenly turned to us and began scolding us, telling me and my wife that one of their coworkers at the city Pride Centre had approached them and told them that she had seen me and my wife kiss, and we needed to cut it out with the PDA.
I nodded in front of this group of strangers and when I could no longer hold my tears back I excused myself to the bathroom, cried and waited there until it was no longer obvious I had been crying. We hurried out.
The kiss in question was a goodbye kiss, as my wife went back to campus, and I don’t remember it. I have always been rather shy with PDA and don’t think it could have been much more than a peck. The coworker later told our friend that she was going through a bad breakup and our friend later explained that this was actually the reason for the complaint.
I have never felt safe in queer spaces since. Talking to the same friend later, they asked me and my wife to chaperone the Queer Prom and without thinking I assured them we would make sure not to hold hands or dance while we were there so it would stay “a safe space for children”.
When I was a child, I stumbled into a pride parade and was shocked and upset by the men in gold short shorts. My uncle apologized for letting me see something so sexual and awful.
Every single thing queer people do is “about fetishes” to people who hate queerness. Being less sexual is not going to change that.
I had seen short shorts before. I would see them again, and no one would apologize for that. The thing I was being kept “safe” from was not overly sexual behaviour, and considering there are already laws against indecent exposure, the same is true for children now.
Keeping theoretical children safe has been the justification for the continuing genocide against queer people all around the globe, so this rhetoric is not harmless. It has been used to put queer people in labour camps and slaughter them.
I have nothing to prove to “straights” and I was the “queer child” who was horrified by the pride parades. As an adult, the discomfort I felt at seeing queer people existing happily and authentically in short shorts, is not something I needed to be kept safe from.
This nonsense is nothing more or less than the same moral panic that has killed queer people throughout history.
actual modern historians: in this letter, Margaret tells her dearest friend Adela, “my love, I long to worship at your altar of Venus once more. come to me and rain kisses upon my breasts as you did in Paris last spring.”
people on the Internet: “FrIeNd???” ERASURE. STOP TRYING TO HIDE THE GAY. “OH MY GOD THEY WERE ROOMMATES”
aforementioned historians: she. she opens the letter with “My dearest friend.” we’re literally quoting here, and we just admitted they had sex
people on the Internet: “JUST GALS BEING PALS” EH? R/SAPPHOANDHERFRIEND?
historians: a truly vast number of us are queer
people on the Internet: LOL FELLAS IS IT GAY TO KISS YOUR BEST LADY FRIEND’S BREASTS??? NOT IN HISTORY!!
I haven't seen any posts about this but with how many gays are on this damn site... I should have.
Time to pay some respect to your elders.
This is Arnie Kantrowitz. Gay. Icon. Legend. Pioneer.
Listen okay. First he taught for 41 years. Openly gay about it. Made all his baby gay students feel good about themselves. It was his passion, his longest term activism.
Then. Then you wanna know what he did?
Kantrowitz got involved with the gay rights movement shortly after the 1969 Stonewall riots that marked the movement’s birth. In 1970, he joined the Gay Activists Alliance, becoming the organization’s vice president. As an English professor at the College of Staten Island, Kantrowitz created one of the first gay studies courses in higher education in 1973. He later became the chairman of the college’s English department. In 1986, Kantrowitz was among the founders of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). He wrote the 1977 memoir “Under the Rainbow: Growing Up Gay,” one of the first LGBTQ activists’ memoirs. He also wrote the 2005 biography “Walt Whitman: Gay and Lesbian Writers,” as well as publishing a number of essays in newspapers, magazines, and books. Kantrowitz was elected grand marshal of the Staten Island Gay Pride parade in 2009.
“Students came to me with their secrets and, you know, I was as supportive as I could be,” Mr. Kantrowitz said, “and encouraging them, saying, ‘I survived and you will, too.’”