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LGBT+ through the Ages – In Myths & History

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  • LGBT+ through the Ages – In Myths & History

    I want to invite you all to journey across centuries and stories. We will talk about LGBT+ community in historical times. I prepare lecture on this subject for our convention so I thought good would be to share on knowledge – or open them to discussion. Remember the goal of this topic – we talk here about historical information - so even when we talk about myths, we talk about believes of particular cultures that existed some time on Earth. Or about laws and cultural norms of age. Non-fictional, in this approach. I was inspired by Scion 2E research on Pantheons – that points to LGBT+ in gods and heroes of myths.
    I just want to put it in open – I’m not academic. I’m IT technician by profession. However, I’m large historical, mythological and human rights nerd – I read a lot about those subjects. If you have good sources – feel free to post here for discussions.

    Main openings for the topics here are in those articles:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_history
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_themes_in_mythology

    Having one hours ( or rather 50 minutes on conventions ) for lecture, so here is basic plan I have about it – and by this, list of eras sum-ups I will post in topic, from time to time. I centered on Europe and Near East as it’s ‘heart of history and culture’ for my Polish listeners. Feel free to post information from around the world - I will use them in next year lecture then.
    1. Introduction to LGBT+ ‘letters’ - Kahoot quiz on LGBT+ minorities
      https://create.kahoot.it/details/lgb...1-bf4db52f495b - ( You can also simply read Wikipedia outlines on LGBT+ )
    2. Mesopotamia – circa 3100 BC to 539 BC (the fall of Babylon)
    3. Egypt – circa 3100 BC to 30 BC
    4. Greece – circa 1100 BC to 600 AD
    5. Rome – 753 BC to 476 AD
    6. Vikings / Norse / Rus
    7. Medieval Europe
    8. Byzantine Empire
    9. Chevalier d'Éon – first non-binary historical character.
    10. Stonewall Riots in 1969 CE.
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 01-17-2020, 02:52 PM.


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  • #2
    Mesopotamia – circa 3100 BC to 539 BC

    In Myths

    Epic of Gilgamesh - Gilgamesh was a historical king who reigned in the Mesopotamian city of Uruk in about 2750 BCE. He is the basis for the hero of the Epic of Gilgamesh, considered the oldest story in the world, a 1,000 years older than Homer’s Iliad or the Bible.

    The Epic tells of an arrogant king (Gilgamesh) whom the gods decide to tame by providing him with an equal, gods created being (Enkidu). Some scholars describe him as his servant and others as his ‘beloved friend’. They have various adventures, one of which results in Enkidu dying. To say the least, Gilgamesh’s grief is over the top. He then goes on to try to discover a way to become immortal, as he doesn’t fancy going through the horrors of death, as Enkidu has. There are many innuendos that Gilgamesh and Enkidu relationship was sexual – or at least homoromantic.

    Source - http://lgbthistoryproject.blogspot.c...ove-story.html

    In Mores

    The Middle Assyrian Law Codes (1075 BC) state: If a man has intercourse with his brother-in-arms, they shall turn him into a eunuch. This is the earliest known law condemning the act of male-to-male intercourse in the military. Despite these laws, sex crimes were punished identically whether they were homosexual or heterosexual in the Assyrian society. Homosexuality was also an integral part of temple life in parts of Mesopotamia, and no blame appears to have attached to its practice outside of worship. Freely pictured art of anal intercourse, practiced as part of a religious ritual, dated from the 3rd millennium BC and onwards.

    Furthermore, the article 'Homosexualität' in Reallexicon der Assyriologie states, "Homosexuality in itself is thus nowhere condemned as licentiousness, as immorality, as social disorder, or as transgressing any human or divine law. Anyone could practice it freely, just as anyone could visit a prostitute, provided it was done without violence and without compulsion, and preferably as far as taking the passive role was concerned, with specialists. That there was nothing religiously amiss with homosexual love between men is seen by the fact that they prayed for divine blessing on it. It seems clear that the Mesopotamians saw nothing wrong in homosexual acts between consenting adults".

    Source - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_h...ncient_Assyria


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    • #3
      Interesting. I'm a little surprised you don't have the golden age of Hollywood as a topic.


      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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      • #4
        I need to cram everything for one hour lecture. 🤐 Also, I know few stories about Hollywood, but not having proper sources. No One, of you have materials on Hollywood, share freely here. 😎
        Last edited by wyrdhamster; 12-09-2019, 10:36 AM.


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        • #5
          One of the main ones I know of is Alex Madsen's The Sewing Circle, about lesbian and bisexual actresses in classic Hollywood (including Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, and others). It came out back in the mid 90s and I think was made into a documentary at some point. Andrea Weiss's Vampires and Violets is supposed to be a really good book on the subject of lesbian representation in film, at least up to the early 90s, but is kind of hard to find. David Eirenstein's Open Secret and William Mann's Behind the Scenes both look at the history of gays and lesbians in Hollywood from the 20s to 70s. The biggest problem with Hollywood history is how much empty salacious gossip clutters up attempts to find real stories.


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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          • #6
            I hope you try to be objective. The Romans and Vikings didn't exactly have a shinning example of LGBTQ acceptance, at least for in general if perhaps a specific period was more tolerant. I'd prefer a good resource for my own purposes and these so often devolve into wishful thinking/selective facts.

            You're skipping the migration period then? That would've been interesting to learn about, as would the rest of europe during the Roman times, though I understand your desire to stay within pulp history


            Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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            • #7
              I do hope you touch on the cult of Cybele/Magna Mater when you get to Rome.


              Remi. she/her. game designer.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                I do hope you touch on the cult of Cybele/Magna Mater when you get to Rome.
                I did not know it was having LGBT+ elements - could you point them in cult of Magna Matter?


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                  I did not know it was having LGBT+ elements - could you point them in cult of Magna Matter?
                  You have an entire cult of men who self-castrated and dressed as women. It reads a hell of a lot like trans women seeking an outlet in a world without our terminology or structures.


                  Remi. she/her. game designer.

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                  • #10
                    My partner on his studies had to make Kahoot - interactive quiz for few people at once - on his pedagogical studies - so I made this one on LGBT+ minorities to test platform. Happy answering it with friends.
                    https://create.kahoot.it/details/lgb...1-bf4db52f495b


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                      One of the main ones I know of is Alex Madsen's The Sewing Circle, about lesbian and bisexual actresses in classic Hollywood (including Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, and others). It came out back in the mid 90s and I think was made into a documentary at some point. Andrea Weiss's Vampires and Violets is supposed to be a really good book on the subject of lesbian representation in film, at least up to the early 90s, but is kind of hard to find. David Eirenstein's Open Secret and William Mann's Behind the Scenes both look at the history of gays and lesbians in Hollywood from the 20s to 70s. The biggest problem with Hollywood history is how much empty salacious gossip clutters up attempts to find real stories.
                      The Girls: Sappho goes to Hollywood by Diana McLellan is also an excellent book on this.

                      Paris Was a Woman by Andrea Wiess covers a lot about Natalie Clifford Barney's Parisan Salons infamously full of queer women in the first half of the 20th Century. There is a Documentary with it.

                      I need to look for Vampires and Violets



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                      • #12
                        Got my hands on Ancient Greek sources, so here is my 5 minutes informations for the lecture I want to lead on on them.

                        Greece – circa 1100 BC to 600 AD

                        In Myths

                        Athena is Non-Binary Goddess – Born directly from Zeus head, she stride and blur between masculine and feminine. She is revert often as figure of brilliant ‘Other’ and she often checks to be more like woman or more like man, based on rational observation.

                        According to myths, Amazons run exclusively women society, getting rid of men with him after conceiving a child.

                        In Mores

                        In ancient Greece, there were two terms for people related to the concept of Non-Binary:

                        Gr. Androgenos – ’Effeminate Man’ – Passive homosexuals, cowards, a man who cares about appearance, has long hair, does not wear a beard, uses a perfume or a man who loves many women (because he is mentally weak). A VERY broad term, though with pejorative overtones.

                        Gr. Hermaphroditos – A person with male and female traits - The modern equivalent will be Intersex.

                        The Sacred Band of Thebes (Ancient Greek: Ἱερὸς Λόχος, Hieròs Lókhos) was a troop of select soldiers, consisting of 150 pairs of male lovers which formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC, ending Spartan domination.

                        Sources – Greek Mythology and
                        https://audycje.tokfm.pl/podcast/860...zyzni-w-antyku
                        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Band_of_Thebes


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                        • #13
                          We got Pride Month, so here is some compilation of myths and legends with LGBT + plots from around the world 🌈


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                          • #14
                            Scion community made fan supplement about LGBT+ persons and God Patrons of the game - good point for the Myths part of our topic, here.

                            Scion Pride 2020

                            'Scion: Pride 2020 is the first in a series of yearly supplements celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride for our Scion community by offering some LGBTQ+ related content for use in your campaigns! In this detailed supplement, gain insight of LGBTQ+ patrons, birthrights, historical and mythological queerness, and more! Most of the royalties gained from this supplement will be donated to a variety of Black Trans charities and we encourage DTRPG and OPP to do the same with their proceeds. As such, while we suggest a donation of $10, we have left it as Pay What You Want in case you'd like to provide more or only able to pay a smaller amount at this time. Either way, thank you and happy Pride! This product includes:
                            • 7 new LGBTQ+ divine patrons of varying pantheons, orientations, and identities to use in your games!
                            • An exploration of Queerness in the Celtic World and Myth with some new mechanics!
                            • 10+ new LGBTQ+ themed birthrights to enhance your gameplay and add queer elements to your campaigns!
                            • An exploration of Magical Transitioning and what that means for Storyguiding and for Players!'
                            https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product...ion-Pride-2020


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                            • #15
                              As bi bear man I'm very glad Antinous is in supplement - as lover of Emperor Hadrian, he is pointed as first historical bear chaser. Just see statues of Hadrian, to understand why he is bear icon. He was first Emperor to grew 'barbarian' beard - and had 'official' male lover.





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