- Gender and Relationships»
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender
How were homosexuals treated before the 21st century
Time line History
In Greek society same-sex love among its male and female members was normal. Ancient Greeks honoured Gay relations, Lambda warriors, an army of homosexual male soldiers, successfully conquered neighbouring lands. Many of the Greek Gods and Goddesses worshiped during that time embodied homosexual tendencies, such as Zeus with Ganymede and Apollo with his numerous male lovers. Lesbians of that era included the Goddesses Diana and Camilla, and Sappho, (a poet living on the island of Lesbos). Transgendered beings also were represented during this period of Greek history: "...a bearded Venus was worshiped by male and female transvestites."
In 1274, St. Thomas Aquinas' made the statement that same sex relations is part of one's physiology and feels natural to that person.
14th century. The Arabs, who had previously been fine with same sex relations, wrote "God has no respect for a man who has slept with a man, nor a woman who has slept with a woman."
15th century, Joan of Arc was born. During her adolescent years, she was reportedly sexually intimate with La Rousse, an innkeeper, and Hauviette, another female friend. She was burned at the stake in 1431 for witchcraft, blasphemy, dressing and acting as a man, and sodomy. Five hundred years later, the church that murdered Joan of Arc canonized her as a saint.
1476, Da Vinci was acquitted of homosexual acts with Jacopo Saltarelli.
Michelangelo, while painting the Last Judgment on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, wrote sonnets to Tommasso Cavalieri.
Ficino's translation of Plato's dialogues (which include discussions of gay love) appeared in Italy.
Pope Innocent VII's Papal Bull condoned the murder of at least nine million gays and witches.
Circa 1540, Conquistador Pedro de Cieza de Leon wrote about cross-dressing Indians on Peru's island of Puna and the same sex love lives among those conquered by the Incas.
In 1548, Queen Mary of England revoked the anti-homosexual law.
1565, Queen Elizabeth I, reintroduced the act.
The 17th century marked the dawn of the modern world. At the turn of the century, James VI of Scotland became the "Queen of England". Elizabeth I was commonly referred to as "King Elizabeth." James did almost nothing to hide his homosexuality. In 1615, he actually confessed to being a homosexual and took George Villiers, future Earl of Buckingham, as his long-time companion.
1600, In Asia, women were banned from Japanese Kabuki theatres. Instead, all-male performers took their places and were commonly known to grant sexual favours to male patrons. However In 1648, the Shogunate banned Kabuki plays.
William Shakespeare. Shakespeare regularly created love triangles involving two men and a woman. Most scholars agree that his sonnets were dedicated to a man
1648, Sara Norman and Mary Hammon were cited for sharing a bed in the sexual sense. Eight years later, lesbianism was added to the list of sodomy statutes punishable by death.
In the 1700s, ominous changes were coming over Great Britain for gay men. While noblemen of the time had previously been able to avoid most of the public abuse and severe penalties given to convicted "sodomites" of the lower class, in the 18th century only extreme wealth could save them from public censure.
Late 1700s. Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby essentially eloped and made a home in Wales, where they spent the rest of their lives together. Despite their isolated location, the "Ladies of Llangollen" were known throughout European society. Not only were they approved of, but it became fashionable to travel to visit them. Despite referring to each other in intensely romantic terms and never spending a day apart, there was no hint of sexual activity in their lives, and in fact they were offended when a newspaper column in 1790 suggested it. (This probably saved them from persecution).
Between 1800 and 1834, At least 80 men were hung in Great Britain for committing sodomy.
In 1804, France recodifies the Code of 1791 (renamed Code Napoleon), decriminalizing all private sexual acts between consenting adults.
In 1869, Karl Maria Kertbeny coined the term "homosexuality." Homosexuality was first used in an anonymously published pamphlet, in which Kertbeny advocated the repeal of Prussia's sodomy laws.
In the 1860’s, society’s view of homosexuals changed from the person being a sinner to them being a ‘social deviant’ or ‘pervert.’
In 1895 Oscar Wilde was charged and tried for sodomy and indecent behaviour. Wilde was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison and hard labour. He died penniless in 1900.
1922, Freud argued that homosexuals are not social deviants and to separate them from society is wrong.
With Hitler's rise to power, German gay men were considered one of the "degenerate" groups targeted during the World War II Holocaust. This was where the pink triangle first appeared as a visible sign of homosexuality, it has now been reclaimed as an empowering symbol of both gay identity and remembrance of atrocities suffered. This is a couple of them - Gays were sent to death camps, many were gassed or their frontal lobes were removed in experimental operations.
1960’s and 1970’s homosexuality was considered both a criminal act and a mental disorder. Clitoridectomy’s were at one point a proper “cure” for lesbianism. Electric shock aversion therapy was common or chemical treatment was used to reduce libido. Males may be neutered to “cure” them. In 2003 a study of some of the participants in these “cures” concluded - "The definition of same sex attraction as an illness and the development of treatments to eradicate such attraction have had a negative long term impact on individuals".
June 28, 1969, was when the Stonewall Riot happened. A police shakedown at the Stonewall Inn in New York City turned into the beginnings of the Gay rights movement. Gays, Lesbians, Hippies and Drag Queens were singled out for ID inspection, the police were being rather brutal with them and soon patrons and passers-by alike started to turn on the police, first verbally then it intensified to resistance and even violence. For three hours, the mob ruled the streets of Greenwich Village. The next year on the anniversary of the stonewall riots thousands of people marched in Los Angeles and New York. These marches were to become the gay pride festivals.
1980 was the start of the spread of the illness which is now well known as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
1992, Clinton, set up the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy for gays in the military.
1992 Homosexuality was removed from ICD-10 (international classification of diseases, 10th revision)
In 1999 Ellen DeGeneres made news by being the first major television star to come out as a lesbian.
From the info that I've found it seems that throughout history the pendulum has swayed back and forth in regard to Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Transsexual acceptance. It wasn't only the ancient Romans that accepted all people.
Back at the beginning of my timeline and before all cultures accepted Gays, Lesbians, Transgender, Transsexuals Queens and Bisexual people as normal people who could and did marry whomever they wished to marry.
As the Christian church moved to take over the world they enforced differing views on whether or not it was okay to be in a same sex relationship. If the Pope was Gay then those who were Gay in society were considered “normal” for example during Pope Julius III reign who was openly Gay and had an affair with a teenage waif, Innocenzo, who reportedly had “skin as flawless as alabaster”. Innocenzo was ordained as a cardinal.
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