(your response may be used in the very near future)
KNOWhomo Nonfiction (a Moderator is currently reading)
LGBTQ* Gender Bending and Presentation (You May Not Know)
Upon arriving at the University of Nebraska, Willa Cather walked in dressed as William Cather. Willa Cather claimed William was Willa’s long-lost brother.
Cather, whose works are staples in American fiction, is one of America’s leading lesbian historical authors. Cather presented as a fairly “butch”/”tomboy” lesbian, wrote constantly, studied and lived in Nebraska (think about that), and dated women throughout her life. Cather openly spent a portion of her time with her companion, Edith Lewis. And by portion, we mean 40 years.
“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”
― Willa Cather
(your response may be used in the very near future)
LGBTQ* Terms You Should Know
"TWO-SPIRIT" — an umbrella term (sometimes) used as a noun by indigenous people of North America to describe those who express their truths and self outside of the gender binary
Also recorded as: twospirit; two spirit
* Please note the above photo which describes We’Wa as Berdache. This term has been used by anthropologists in the past to describe trans* and Two-Spirit indigenous persons. It is now considered to be an archaic term and is often considered offensive.
IMPORTANT: The only individuals who identify as Two-Spirit are those who are individuals of specific cultures and ethnicity. Two-Spirit takes on more than just gender identity. It is a cultural and spiritual term.
Known Indigenous Tribes Who Openly Recognize(d) and Support(ed) Two-Spirit Members
Above Photograph All of We’Wa.
LGBTQ* Slang History (You May Not Know)
THE GAME OF FLATS
Texts from the 1700s refer to sexual acts between two women as “the game of flats,” or “flats.” The phrase came from the perception that sexual acts were primarily tribadistic (simulated heterosexual behavior). It is believed that the phrase was slang in Turkish culture and then recorded in London for the first time.
Photo Source: Created at Join the Realm
Information Source: Baker, Michelle, and Stephen Tropiano. Queer Facts: The Greatest Gay & Lesbian Trivia Book Ever. London: Arcane, 2004.
LGBTQ* Quotes and Quips
Gloria E. Anzaldúa - Poet, Feminist, Woman of Color
*click on image for larger image*
LGBTQ* History (You Might Not Know)
Homosexuality has been LEGAL in Illinois since 1962.
Let’s break this down a little bit more:
When the Stonewall Riots broke out in New York City, Illinois was the ONLY state in the entire United States where you had any type of protections.
Illinois is also also home for Harry Gerber and the first Gay and Lesbian rights organization in the United States, the Society for Human Rights (SHR).
Picture Source (above) : Wikipedia
Picture Source (Gerber) : Wikipedia
LGBTQ* Posters and Propaganda You May Have Missed
1988 National Coming Out Day Poster
* (Left to Right, Top)James Baldwin, Willa Cather, Errol Flynn, Michelangelo, Edna St. Vincent Millay
* (Left to Right, Bottom) Cole Porter, Elanor Roosevelt, Bessie Smith, Walt Witman, Virginia Woolf
LGBTQ* People and Artifacts in Historical Archives
Franklin Kameny’s Protest Signs (now scattered throughout the American History Museum in Washington, D.C.)
Following from the Smithsonian Institution
Frank Kameny, who died on Oct. 11, was one of those Americans of whom few may have heard but who devoted his life to furthering civil rights, most especially for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) people. He instigated or participated in many of the important gay rights actions of the 20th century.
This display shows a selection of the protest posters that Kameny and the Kameny Papers Project donated to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2006. Three of the most resonant picket signs are now on display in Flag Hall, just off the entrance from the National Mall and near the Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the national anthem, and the civil rights-eraWoolworth Lunch counter. Another poster is currently on view in The American Presidency exhibition among a number of protest signs. The Kameny collection is part of the Museum’s long-standing commitment to preserve the history of American democracy and the struggles for individual and civil rights in the United States.
Kameny Political Cartoon Pulled from QSyndicate.com
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* “Signs” from Our Past
"Vulva Hands" — A gesture of lesbian solidarity which was popular during the 1980s. It is believed that the gesture originated at the women’s peace camps at Greenham Common (England) and then spread to the USA. It is also the American Sign Language sign for “vagina.”
Photo Above: Two forefingers, touching downward, and two thumbs, joined at the top, form a triangle. *For the sign of lesbian identity, the hands are held over the head in the air.
Photo Source: WikiMedia
LGBTQ* History You Should Know
DID YOU KNOW?
The first recorded evidence of homosexuality is found in Mesopotamia circa 3000 B.C., where artifacts depict men having relations with other men.
Source: OUT IN ALL DIRECTIONS (1995) p. 162
Photo Source: Phantom Report
LGBTQ* Documentaries You Should Know
Before Stonewall (1984)
full movie featured above
nothing for world AIDS day?
Please excuse us for this. (I am speaking on behalf of all of the moderators. This is Rebecca.)
We have all fallen drastically behind this last week. Many of last week’s posts were queues (Ruth Elizabeth was a rock star and supplied many of them).
KNOWhomo does try to post information about HIV/AIDS and STIs throughout the year. (previous posts) Many of the moderators also took time to participate or reflect on those with and supporting those with HIV/AIDS.
We hope each member of the KNOWhomo family takes a moment after reading this post to research their nearest testing center (find one in the U.S. HERE), attend a lecture or discussion, volunteer, read any literature/watch films about HIV and AIDS, and continue to educated themselves throughout their lives.
We need to all be supportive. This is not exclusively a LGBTQ* history.
Though, it is important that you know some of the strongest voices of the community rose during the 80s during the SILENCE = DEATH (ActUP!) demonstrations and public outcry for government attention in the United States and all over the world. (I am currently working my way through The Pink and the Black, which focuses on France.)
The AIDS quilt has captured both LGBTQ*/heterosexual/ally histories for over two decades now. ZELDA RUBINSTEIN was the safe sex gay mother we all needed to hear from in the early 80s. KEITH HARING's art remains one of the most recognizable voices of art activism. TONY KUSHNER's Pulitzer and Tony Award winning play ANGELS IN AMERICA has challenged audience and theatre’s tech crews for nearly two decades. The Mermaid would have never regained her voice, the Beast never known his soul, and a Gutter Rat would have never found a Genie, Princess or had his final wish granted without the genius of HOWARD ASHMAN.
Our community may have never started collecting and sharing personal stories at such a concentrated level had it not been for this epidemic.
We are here.
We are all (no matter what sexual orientation or gender identity) in this together.
WE WILL -
Keep On, Keeping On!