LGBTQ* People In History (of Great Importance)
The “Einstein of Sex”: Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld
14 May 1868 – 14 May 1935
Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld was a scholar, physician, sexologist, and arguably the first outspoken gay and transgender activist in modern history.
Why he rocks?
1. Jewish gay* identified doctor, fought to end Paragraph 175 in Germany ( a law that made homosexuality punishable by law)
2. Founding member of Wissenschaftlich-humanitäres Komitee(WhK) ( English: The Scientific-Humanitarian Committee), which acted advocacy group to many underrepresented individuals (including the queer* population).
3. Led the FIRST congress for sexual reform
5. Created a way of cataloging identities, 64 of them, outside of “gay/lesbian,” including many ways to identify oneself outside of cisgender identification. Hirschfeld is one of the earliest scholars and advocates for the transgender community in Western culture.
6. Created the Institute for Sexual Research, which became a safe haven for queer* individuals in Berlin
7. Joined the Bund für Mutterschutz (League for the Protection of Mothers), fighting for women’s equality and the decriminalization of abortions
8. Lost his entire library and most of his life work to the Nazi party but was able to flee and save his life (and rumored to have saved a few others). Nazi soldiers burned the entire institution’s contents on May 6, 1933 (80 years ago this month).
Imagine what the world might be if we still had all of his notes and the stories of hundreds of queer* identified and trans* identified individuals.
LGBTQ* History In The News
Pride Month News You Should Know
(the following text from JPost.com)
A Survivor’s Story — Read Here
Paragraph 175 — Read Here
Pink Triangle History — Read Here
(Upsetting) Post-Camp History — Read Here
Pink Triangle Memorial — Read Here
Photo Blog Series — Look Here
Theatre/Play about Pink Triangles: Bent — Read Here
Graphic Novel, including a Hitler Youth Homosexual Relationship —Read Here
LGBTQ* (Young Adult) Fiction You Should Know
Gravity by Leanne Lieberman
Ellie Gold is an orthodox Jewish teenager living in Toronto in the late eighties. Ellie has no doubts about her strict religious upbringing until she falls in love with another girl at her grandmother’s cottage. Aware that homosexuality clashes with Jewish observance, Ellie feels forced to either alter her sexuality or leave her community. Meanwhile, Ellie’s mother, Chana, becomes convinced she has a messianic role to play, and her sister, Neshama, chafes against the restrictions of her faith. Ellie is afraid there is no way to be both gay and Jewish, but her mother and sister offer alternative concepts of God that help Ellie find a place for herself as a queer Jew. (from Amazon.com)
LGBTQ* Historical Novels To Keep On Your Radar
BASED ON A TRUE STORY
Written by: Erica Fischer (Edna McCown translator)
Acclaimed in Germany and England, this tragic and remarkable real-life love story won a Lambda Literary Award when it was first published in America in 1995. Lilly Wust (“Aimée”) was a conventional middle-class mother of four, estranged from her philandering husband, when she met Felice Schragenheim (“Jaguar”) in 1941. Their passionate affair unfolded against the backdrop of the deportation of Jews from Berlin, but several months passed before Felice could even bring herself to tell Lilly that she was Jewish and living illegally on the streets. “I knew, of course, what it meant,” Lilly recalled in old age. “Not for a moment did I think that I too could be in danger. On the contrary, all I wanted to do now was to save her.” Lilly’s heroic efforts to conceal and protect Felice through the next two years make for painful and inspiring reading. Felice was arrested in August 1944 and sent her last letter to Lilly four months later. In 1981 Lilly was awarded the German Federal Service Cross, though no one could read this as a happy ending. —Regina Marler
World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Jews
The World Congress of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Jews: Keshet Ga’avah consists of around 50 member organizations in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The World Congress holds conferences and workshops representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender Jews around the world. The focus of these sessions varies from regional, national, continental, to global.
The Hebrew subtitle Keshet Ga’avah - Rainbow of Pride - emphasizes the importance of Hebrew and of Israel to the World Congress.