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Queer timeline

Related: queer - history of sadomasochism - history


Author Unknown

About 2500 B.C.

    > The Epic of Gilgamesh - a tale of love between two "friends"; the harsh king of 

       Uruk, Gilgamesh; and a stranger, Enkidu, sent by the gods to temper the king.

About 1900 B.C.

    > Sodom and Gomorrah - According to Chapter 19 of the Book of Genesis, the cities 

       are destroyed by fire and brimstone.  Centuries later, this story was interpreted 

       by Philo of Alexandria and other religious writers as an angry God's punishment 

       for the homosexuality of the inhabitants.

594 B.C.

    > Solon rules Athens - Empowered to write new law code, Solon declares the death 

       penalty for any unauthorized adult male who mingled in a schoolyard with boys below 

       the age of puberty.  He apparently had no problem with relationships between 

       adult men and post-pubescent youth... his own poetry includes such unmistakably 

       homoerotic lines as "Boys in the flower of their youth are loved."

580 B.C.

    > Sappho's School for Girls - Situated on the Greek isle of Lesbos, Sappho's 

       school for girls flourished, as did the exquisitie love poems she wrote to her students.

About 393-387 B.C.

    > During this decade long period, Plato wrote The Sumposium, Phaedrus" among 

       other works in which he spoke of the free expression of love between adult males.

About 371 B.C.

    > The Sacred Band of Thebes - A military unit formed in Greece consisting of some 150 

       male couples, believing that men fight alongside their lovers would die together

       rather than shame one another.  The Band was annihilated by Philip of Macedon and 

       his son, Alexander the Great, during the Battle of Chaeronea.

About A.D. 60

    > Saint Paul's writings to the Romans - several biblical passages, especially 

      Romans 1:26-27 and I Cor. 6-9 have been used to support homophobia.  Scholar 

      John Boswell points out the tranlations which lead to this interpretation probably 

      do not reflect the real intent of the writer.


    > Emperor Justinian I - Combining Roman law and Christian morality, the emperor 

       decrees homosexuality and blasphemy as equally to blame for the famines, earthquakes 

       and pestilence.  He orders offenders of these 'crimes' castrated.

About 650

    > The Cummean Penitential - A manual used by preist to provide guidelines for homosexual 

       sin.  The nature of the offense and age of the offender were taken into account.  

       "simple kissing" by two males under the age of 20 called for six special fasts; 

       kissing "with emission or embrace" required ten.  Mutual masturbation by men over 

       20 made the offenders liable to twenty days penance; for anal intercourse 

       the period jumped to seven years.


    > Sappho's poems, the earliest lesbian writings, are burned by ecclesiastical authorities 

       in Constantinople and Rome.  As a consequence, we have only one twentieth 

       of her total works.  What we do have were found in an archaeological dig in 1897.


    > The Council of Paris declares sodomy a capital offense.


    > St. Thomas of Aquinas begins teaching - Declares that God created the sex organs 

       specifically and exclusively for reproduction, homosexual acts were thus "unnatural" 

       and heretical.  He was not the first to take this stand, but because of his enormous 

       influence with the church, Aquinas' statments did much to increase intolerance.

About 1260

    > Law Codes from Orleans - The legal school of Orleans orders women guilty of lesbian 

       acts have their clitoris removed for the first offense; that they by further mutilated 

       for a second; and burned at the stake for a third.


    > Order of Templers arrested - King Philip orders the arrest of all French members of 

      the Order of Templars (October 12), they are charged with heresy, sodomy and being 

      in league with the Moslems.  Many were tortured and then executed.  Benefits 

      to Philip by the arrest included confiscating property belonging to the members.  

      Modern scholars still disagree on the accuracy of the allegations.


    > Spanish Inquisition - Pope Nicholas empowers the Spanish Inquisition to investigate 

       and punish homosexuality.


    > Balboa in the New World - From his explorations of modern day Panama, Balboa reports 

       "the most abominable and unnatural lechery is practiced by the King's brother 

       and many other younger men in women's apparel."  Forty offenders were reportedly 

       thrown to his dogs.  Balboa's observations was echoed by others throughout 

       the rest of the century.  One anonymous conquistador reported in 1519 he found the 

       Mayan people to be "great sodomites"; a later explorer wrote to Europe everyone in 

       the New World seemed to practice sodomy.  Homosexuality was accepted in the Mayan 

       civilization, often portraying anal intercourse between men in its art.  Male 

       homosexuality and lesbianism was practiced, but not accepted by the Aztec and 

       Incas.  These cultrues were known, on occasion, to punish such acts by death.


    > "buggery" law passed, English law decrees a penalty of death for "the detestable 

       and abominable Vice of Buggery committed with mankind or beast."  This was the 

       first time the crime was covered under civil law; previously a church matter.


    > Third Provincial Council of Lima, Peru, in promulgating Christitanity to the native 

       populace, tells them "sodomy, whether with another man, or with a boy, or a beast... 

       carries the death penalty... and the reason God has allowed that you, the Indians, 

       should be so afflicted and vexed by other nations is because of this vice that 

       your ancestors had, and many of you still have."


    > Earlist known case of masochism.  Sister Mary Magdalene de Pazzi begs other nuns 

       to tie her up and hurl hot wax at her.  Also has a novice thrash her.


    > Christopher Marlowe writes first play dealing with homosexuality in Britain.  


    > Anit-Sodomy laws in the new world - The Virginia colony becomes the first colony of 

      the new world to pass legislation against sodomy, condemning offenders to death.


    >  First Sodomy Trial in the new world - Richard Cornish is tried and the first to be 

      conviceted of sodomy, in spite of "flimsy" evidence.  He his hanged.


    > The Massachusetts Bay Colony incorporates the language of Leviticus 20:13 into its law:  

       "If a man lyeth with mankinde, as he lyeth with a woman, both of them have committed 

       abomination, they both shall by surely put to death."  Other New England colonies soon 



    > Mary Hammon and Goodwife Norman are charged with "lude behavior upon a bed" in 

       Plymouth, Massachusetts.  The charges against Hammon are dropped, but Norman is 

       convicted and ordered to make a public confession.  The first woman in America 

       known to be convicted of lesbian activity.


    > Definition of sodomy is expanded - The colony of New Haven expands it's definition 

       of sodomy - a capital offense - to include sexual relations between women.


    > Tale of lesbian nuns published.  Venus in the Cloister, or the Nun in her Smock, 

       is published in France, creating a scandal.  The work, on reading, seems to have 

       been written to titillate male readers rather than portray real life.


    > Authorities in Amsterdam announce the discovery of a homosexual network, resulting 

       in 300 prosecutions and 70 executions.


    > Lt. Gotthold Frederick Enslin is dismissed from the military after being found in 

       bed with another soldier, making him the first known person discharged from the U.S. 

       Army for homosexuality.


    > The mother of schoolgirls accuse Marianne Woods and Jane Pirie, mistresses 

       at the school, of "improper and ciminal conduct" with each other.  The british 

       courts debate whether a sexual relationship between women is even possible.  

       Lillian Hellman used this tale as the basis for her play, The Children's Hour.


    > Enlighs Parliament closes a loophole in the definition of the capitol crime of 

       buggery.  It is no longer necessary to demonstrate "the actual Emission of Seed" 

       to convict of buggery or rape.  "Carnal knowledge shall be deemed complete 

       upon Proof of Penetration only."


    > The first Women's Rights Convention by Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  Passes a "Declaration 

       of Sentiments and Resolutions" (based on the U.S. Declaration of Independence).  

       This convention is seen as the precursor of the modern feminist movement, 

       and provides support and communication for many lesbian and bisexual women.


    > Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman is released in its second edition.  

       The homoeroticism of his poetry is more evident than the first edition.  The book 

       provoked much public debate about Whitman's sexuality, and inspired other gay 

       people in years to come.


    > England dropped the death penalty for male homosexual acts; subjecting offenders 

       instead to 10 years to life imprisonment.  The change was a rethinking of capital 

       punishment, not homosexuality.


    > Karl Ulrichs, speaking at a conference of Jurists in Munich, becomes the first person 

       in modern times to declare himself homosexual.  Although he used the term, "Urning," 

       Ulrichs continued to speak out for gay rights.


    > Term "homosexuality" is first published by Karoly Maria Kertbeny


    > First gay periodical "Urnings" is attempted but fails

    > Bayard Taylor publishes, Joseph and His Friends, the first American gay 

       novel.  It is dedicated "to those who believe in the truth and tenderness 

       of man's love for man, as of man's love for woman."

1891    > John Addington Symonds's, A Problem in Modern Ethics offers a systematic  

      review of scholarly literature on homosexuality.



    > 27th - Oscar Wilde is imprisoned for sodomy after a tiral for "unnatural 

       acts" committed with the young Lord Alfred Douglas.  This caused a public 

       sensation.  The playwright was condemned to two years hard labor and the ensuing 

       antigay hysteria provided a serious setback for the nascent English gay movement.


    > Two actresses on an American stage kiss one another.  Immediately after, writes 

       historian Kaier Curtin, ushers rushed down the aisles offering ice water to patrons 

       on the verge of fainting.  The play had nothing to do with lesbians, but the fanciful 

       story of a young woman who magically changes into a young man.


    > Scientific Humanitarian Committee is esatablished by Magnus Hirshfield, President.  

       Hirshfield conducts a study showing that at least 2% of Germany is gay 

in 1891.  He tries to bad paragraph 175 of the Prussian penal code which bans homosexuality.


    > Romaine Brooks, portrait painter, begins wearing men's clothing, cuts her hair and        

moves to Paris were she begins a fifty-year relationship with Natalie Barney.


    > Ira and George Gershwin takeover management of Lafayette Baths in New York City 

       (I still need to see if this is true.)


    > Sodomy alone becomes a felony under the Articles of War in the U.S. Military.  

    > A sting operation conducted at the naval station in Newport, R.I., leads to the 

       arrest of 20 sailors on moral charges.


    > Inversions, the first French gay journal is published.  Produced between 1924 and 

       1926, it stopped publication after the French government charged the publishers with 

       compromising public morality.


    > The book Well of Lonliness is written by Radclyffe hall banned in Britain for the 

       following quote that was describing to female characters - "And that night they 

       were not devided."  This was described as obscene when banned.


    > Nazi's destory Marnus Hirschfeld's libraries.


    > "Vice Versa", the first pulic lesbian publication is produced in the U.S.


    > Harry Hay begins a group that would later become the Mattachine Society.

    > Alfred Kinsey publishes "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male"


    > Mattachine Society is named in Southern California.


    > The American Psychiatric Association adds homosexuality to its list of mental disorders.


    > Eisenhower bans employment of gays and lesbians into government positions.


    > Daughters of Bilitis is formed in San Francisco.


    > Illinois becomes the first state to decriminalize homosexuality.


    > first gay rights demonstration takes place at Whitehall Induction Center in New York


    > first issue of "The Advocate" is released


    > first European gay student group, Comite Pederastique de la Sorbonne, is founded.



    > 27th - Stonewall riots occur in New York.


    > Air Force sergeant Leonard Matlovich sues the military for reinstatement after being 

       discharged because he is gay.  This was the first case to start a string of discharge 

       challenges by gay and lesbian personnel.


    > AIDs is discovered and named.


    > In Bangor, ME Charlie Howard is thrown over a bridge into the Kenduskeag River 

       and drowns for being gay.


    > The "Don't ask, don't tell" policy is crafted into the U.S. Military



    > The Indian film fire, starring Shabana Azmi, India's premier actress, was that 

       country's first feature-length film about lesbianism.  When it was shown at the 

       January 1997 Indian International Film Festival, it sparked a riot among the 

       predominantly male audience, who shouted death threats at the film's director.


    > The "Otherside Lounge" is bomed in Atlanta, Georgia


    > Gay Bar is tear gassed in Washington D.C.


    > Gay bookstore is vandalized with "KKK", "fag" and "187" spraypainted in pink on front 

       windows in Minneapolis, MN.  "187" is police code for homocide in California.


    > Christian radio talk show host says on-the-air that homosexuality should be punishable 

       by death.  Station Manager calls comments "honest dialogue"

    > Internet provider agrees to host GodHatesFags.com


    > KKK sympathizers attack gay bar patron in Holiday, FL



    > Dana International, an Israeli transsexual singer, won the 1998 Eurovision song 

       contest at the 1998 Gay Games in Amsterdam.

    > Gay bar torched in Abilene, TX

    > 71-year-old Thomas Moffat is murdered in Phoenix, AZ


    > 36-year-old Robert Hernandez is shot by a 15 year old in Phoeniz, AZ


    > Gay man is attacked by a young man yelling "faggot" in San Francisco. He enters a 

       coma and dies.


    > televangelist Pat Robertson warns that Orlando, FL will be punished by god with 

       hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist bombings and possibly a meteor for allowing 

       gay pride flags to fly in the city.


    > American Sit-Com Will and Grace is the first to have homosexuality as it's main 

       theme and succeed.


    > 3rd - Aaron McKinney found guilty of the murder of Matthew Shepard.



    > 27th - Vermonts legalization of "Civil Unions" is finalized.

    > 30th - March on Washington

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