Sunday, January 19, 2014

Surprising LGTB Facts

LGTB History 101: It should come as no surprise, but cultures on every continent throughout history have in some shape or form accepted or declined gay relationships.

Historical and archaeological research has found evidence that same-sex unions in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt were accepted as well as recognized. Even the Code of Hammurabi contains no restrictions for same-sex unions.

An uncovered tomb in Egypt clearly shows two males in hieroglyphs, Niankhkhum and Khnumhotep  as a cohabiting couple. (2400 BC) There were no sanctions against such relationships.

As many know, the Greeks were notorious for same sex relationships. Most times, older men courted young lads. The belief was that the older male taught and guided the pupil. Not many looked down on this practice as the gods, including Zeus himself, was believed to have had same-sex exploits.

Romans as well enjoyed their freedom to love as they chose no matter the sex. Both the Greeks and Romans eventually succumbed to close-minded and negative beliefs in time. Christianity played a key role in this mindset when it swept through Europe and beyond.

Since those long ago times, much has happened throughout the world and much will continue to change as the world begins to realize that love has no bounds. I suspect there will be animosity and negative attitudes forever, but alas, humans seem incapable of minding their own business and allowing others to live as they choose.

On to the facts that I have found most interesting. As you know, I'm very much a geek and history nut. As usual, this is only a sampling of the wealth of information out there.

**Plato had once argued that an army of homosexuals would be "inspired heroes"

**Some American Indians believe same-sex attraction is a gift and called it "Twin Spirited". Such people were believed to have special gifts and talents.

**The first novel in the US to speak of homosexuality was in 1870. Joseph and His Friend by Bayard Taylor.

**A pink triangle was a symbol on men sent to Nazi concentration camps for being gay and identified of their sexual orientation. Women were identified with a black triangle. Even after the war, the prisoners in concentration camps that were gay were not freed. They had to serve the remainder of their sentence based on German law.

** AC/DC in the 1960's was a term used for those who engaged with both sexes. (In electrical lingo, AC- alternating current. DC- direct current)

**Lesbian as a term was derived from the island of Lesbos, the home of Greek poetess, Sappho. She wrote poetry declaring her love of the same sex and the beauty of women.

**During Hilter's reign he destroyed all German sex research. He went on to persecute German homosexuals from 1933-1945.

**In 1987, Delta Airlines had to apologize for their actions and statements after a crash where they claimed they should pay less compensation to a gay passenger than heterosexuals because the gay passenger may have had AIDS.

**Gay baseballer, Glenn Burke is claimed to have invented the high five. The event happened in 1977. Burke raised his hand and his teammate, Dusty Baker, did the same. Their hands clapped together, becoming the first recorded high five.


**The first lesbian couple to be married in New York were ages 76 and 85.

**FDR created a special task force charged with finding gays in the Navy. The secret group performed oral sex on recruits in order to out gay ones. The incident was called the Newport Scandal.

**Tom Hanks outed a former teacher in a speech when he recognized and thanked him in 1993. The problem was the said teacher had never came out of the closet. Ooops.

**There are 32 countries where it is legal to be a lesbian, but illegal to be a gay man.

**Alexander the Great created one of the largest empires in the world. He was also openly bisexual.

**The earliest recorded same-sex marriage was in the Roman Empire.

More facts and interesting history to come....