Category: answered

What’s the most unexpected info you&rsqu…

What’s the most unexpected info you’ve come across while researching?

Actually in our most recent article I came across something that really surprised me.

In Kenya the Nandi people had this tradition of two women marrying if one woman reached menopause or was widowed without any sons. This wasn’t the surprise, the unexpected part is that they still exist. So in a country where same-sex sexual relationships are illegal, same sex marriage is legal in this area.

You can learn why and more about this tradition here:


replied to your post “I love your texts about Kristina, and that she/they/he are refered to…”

But wasn’t Queen Elizabeth I also crowned a king or something so she wouldn’t have to share her rule? I might be wrong about this example, but I know that there was women we now call queens that were technically officially crowned King because of the difference in these roles and the power coming from them.

after a quick bit of research, I couldn’t find anything that spoke to that, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. As we know all too well here, signs of people reaching outside of their assigned gender roles aren’t always the easiest to find.  If anyone has any sources one or the other I would love to read them!

Have you thought about doing an article about …

Have you thought about doing an article about the chevalier d'Éon? I think he could be an interesting historical character

This person might be among our most requested people to do an article on, so we will definitely have to at some point! But it may take a while, we have covered France numerous times, and are right now working to look at stories from the countries we haven’t looked at yet.

I love your texts about Kristina, and that she…

I love your texts about Kristina, and that she/they/he are refered to as king, but I've only ever heard of them referenced as the queen. Did you start calling them King Kristina or are there earlier sources that use "male" coded language with the titles?

Thank you! She is definitely one of our favourites.

Within our research, we found a wide mixture of people calling her queen and people calling her king.

The title of King just seemed to us to be what she would have preferred, especially considering the questions around her gender identity. While we didn’t end up using he/him/his or they/them/theirs for King Kristina we did want to indicate that there was some level of gender variance there. So King seemed like a good middle ground with a lot of precedents set.

We are not the first though. There is a film, and a countless number of books that also reference her in that way!

hey this is super random but there's a ba…

hey this is super random but there's a ballet on in london this week about Frida Kahlo and it is absolutely fucking excellent, everyone should see it

Thank you for telling us! We did a bit of research after you sent this message and it looks like you are entirely right, it seems fucking excellent.


English National Ballet: She Said review

“Composed of three new ballets by three women choreographers, it’s a campaigning first for an industry in which most of the repertory is created by men. The show opens with Anabelle Lopez Ochoa’s Broken Wings, an impressionistic life story of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Its first 10 minutes are extraordinary, as Tamara Rojo – a witty, vivid and ultimately tragic Kahlo – is seen first as a schoolgirl, playing merrily with carnival skeletons, and then whisked through the defining events of her life: crushed in a bus accident, confined to her bed, and eventually painting away her pain in her art.”


bardboy-s replied to your photoset “We have some new designs up on our redbubble.  And we have options for…”

would it be okay to get the oscar wilde one as a tattoo?

Yes! Thank you so much for asking, that is incredibly exciting, if possible we would LOVE to see the tattoo once it is done if that is okay!

I just want to say that you're a good one…

I just want to say that you're a good one. Like you have so much of my resepct and I hope you have a good day/night.

Messages like this always warm my heart, thank you for taking the time to send such a kind message to us. We truly truly appreciate every single one we get

It's more literature than history related…

It's more literature than history related, but do you have any posts on queerness in Moby-Dick? I've heard Herman Melville was likely in some sort of relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne, and I'm curious if you've written something about how it informed his novel

We, in particular, haven’t written anything about it, but I did do some research upon getting this message and found some neat articles about it!

Synthesis Three: Queer Imaginings in Melville’s Moby Dick

In the final passage for this same part of the story, Ishmael does away with the possible hints and mentions of the union between Queequeg and himself, describing the relationship between himself and this islander he has just met as “man and wife” and “soulmates” of a sort.  Ishmael describes:  “How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts’ honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg — a cosy, loving pair”  (52).  He even ends the passage by calling their night together their “hearts’ honeymoon,” as if he wants to make clear the fact that they are like an old married couple that has become comfortable with one another and appreciates the company of the other on a number of levels.”

The two-headed whale: Bisexuality and Melville’s “Moby-Dick.

“One aspect of this much-studied work, however, has been becoming more prominent in recent years, and that’s the aspect of the book’s–and Melville’s–sexuality. Strangely, even today in 2015 some people shirk from identifying Herman Melville as bisexual. A years-long discussion on Wikipedia about whether to identify Melville as bisexual rests uncomfortably on the judgment that it’s “speculation” or “not proven” (yet curiously Wikipedia does include Melville in an article listing bisexual people, and even includes his photo). As few of Melville’s letters have survived, he never specifically stated his preference and he was happily married to Elizabeth Knapp Shaw for over 40 years, evidently some find it “safer” to leave the topic alone or to give Melville the “benefit of the doubt” and assume as a default that he must have been heterosexual. As a bisexual myself, however, the sexual politics of Moby-Dick are pretty clear to me, and the debate seems pretty silly, especially given the collateral evidence that Melville did have relationships with men as well as women–most notably fellow author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Moby-Dick is a bisexual novel, in my opinion.”

All of this being said, I myself haven’t even read Moby Dick so I can’t have a solid opinion, but I will say after reading these two articles this classic has been added to my Goodreads list!

Do you know if there's a database of psyc…

Do you know if there's a database of psychological/sociological research that's not cis/heteronormative? I'm tired of weeding through science that's bad/inaccurate because of faulty gender/orientation assumptions.

That is a great question, from a bit of digging I found a couple of things you can comb through to see if any are a good fit for what you are looking for 1 2 3.

Good luck!

do you know of any good articles about trans p…

do you know of any good articles about trans people/gender in the viking age? i'm doing my own research as well but if something comes to your mind i would appreciate the input!

Hmm, for that age specifically, I would definitely look to a library or online bookstore. I find that online information is more likely to be categorized by the person, whereas a lot of academic texts go by era. One book that I am going through right now is The Construction of Homosexuality by David Greenberg which covers many different eras and cultures, I will admit I haven’t hit the Viking period yet though