The History of Queer Rights

1978 Words8 Pages
After reading the script, the Greek government decided to let the movie open. There were riots and protests against it. Alexander the Great was too masculine, too good of a commander, too heroic and important to Greek history to be bisexual, protesters claimed (Esfandiari). Queer erasure, the act of editing a historical figure’s sexuality out of a textbook or censoring it in other ways, has been very harmful to the LGBTQ+ community and has significantly hindered their fight for acceptance. The existence of sexualities other than “straight”, has been known and understood since the beginning of human history. From B.C.E to modern times, humans have known of the existence of sexual acts and relationships with the same sex. In Ancient Greece, there is documentation of homosexuality being accepted by society. In Ancient India, China, Japan, and Persia, homosexuality was recognized and tolerated, if not accepted. It was only when Christianity began to spread that the natural destruction of these ancient culture’s values culminated, and the medieval period brought an attitude of intolerance to all cultures influenced by Christian values (Crompton 150). In the Renaissance, strict social attitudes loosened somewhat with the advent of humanism, a revival of Greco-Roman ideology, but quickly plunged back into intolerance (Crompton 389). The 17th and 18th centuries were no more accepting than the medieval period, with figures such as Thomas Jefferson suggesting a punishment of “castration” for a homosexual man and, for a homosexual woman, “[...]by cutting thro' the cartilage of her nose a hole of one half inch diameter at the least” (Papers 2:492--504). The punishment he suggested was never written into law, but it was at the very least ... ... middle of paper ... ... UP, 1961. 34-38. 1779-1781. Founders Online, National Archive. Web. 19 May 2014. Jefferson, Thomas. Papers 2:492--504. 1778. The Founders' Constitution. Web. 20 May. 2014 Johnson, Ramon. "History's Most Famous (Gay?) Leaders." About.com Gay Life. About.com. Web. 17 May 2014. . MacDonogh, Giles. Frederick the Great: A Life in Deed and Letters. New York: St. Martin's, 2000. Print. Morello, Carol. "Acceptance of Gays in Society Varies Widely." Washington Post. The Washington Post, 04 June 2013. Web. 21 May 2014. Spielvogel, Jackson J. Western Civilization. New York: Thomson/Wadsworth, 2009. Print. Vasiljevic, Vera. "Embracing His Double: Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep." Academia.edu. Academia, 2008. Web. 20 May 2014. .
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