Category: answered

Hey, thanks for your great blog! Just wanted t…

Hey, thanks for your great blog! Just wanted to let you know that over on Instagram @feastandfolly has been covering gay Mardi Gras for the last few days and it is amazing. Some of the pictures date back to the early 50’s as well, for folx looking for stuff before Stonewall.

Wow, I just briefly checked it out, and it’s so neat! The costumes are beautiful, and it’s really interesting to learn about the history of gay Mardi Gras. Thanks!

Question: Do you have any articles on genderfl…

Question: Do you have any articles on genderfluid people? I searched through a couple likely tags and articles on your blog and website, but couldn't really find much, figured I should double check. Also, thank you *so much* for running this project. It means so much to me and a lot of other people to have our history, to know we *have* history, especially without having to track it down ourselves. Thank you.

Hi there! 

Unfortunately, we don’t have any articles on genderfluid folks. However, that’s definitely not due to lack of interest! We have covered nonbinary folks like King Kristina.

It’s definitely something on our to-do list along with aromantic folks. There are some really rad genderfluid folks making history right now though! Drag queens like Jinkx Monsoon, Violet Chacki, and Eureka O’Hara, actors like Kelly Mantle, Cara Delevigne, and Nico Tortorella, and folks like Janei Kroczaleski, who was previously a powerlifter!

We love hearing what y’all are interested in seeing from us, so please share if you know any genderfluid folks (or folks who may have considered themselves genderfluid given the language) from the past! Or even better, submit an article proposal.

I have to do a big massive history project nex…

I have to do a big massive history project next year that’s worth a significant percent of my overall secondary school points. Do you have any suggestions?

Hi there!

Wow, this is a big question! First, I’ll say you should definitely figure out what you’re most interested in—it can be anything. Are you interested in video games? Engineering? Victorian-era fashion? Ancient funerary practices? There’s queerness to be found.

Next, I’ll link you here. It’ll offer some research tips and several queer online archives that can help you out. Good luck, and feel free to let us know how it goes (or if you have any questions)!

Sorry if this is unclear or asking about somet…

Sorry if this is unclear or asking about something you've recently covered, but I'm drunk and have just found you and I love her: what is/are your personal/academic opinion(s) on Jane Addams? Do you have a resource about her relationships with women that could be valuable for a queer … Fan? I guess. Follower? I know it's speculated she was queer, specifically that she had a partner (I haven't read much on her, but Mary I think her name was?) Much thanks for anything you have abt her! Xx

I’m so glad you asked this! I’m from Chicago, and I have so many feelings about Jane Addams. She did so many great things for our city and she was a big ole lesbian.

That’s all, of course, my personal feelings (aside from Addams being a lesbian—while she may not have used the label for herself, I feel comfortable saying it’s the one that most accurately describes her).

The woman you’re thinking of is Mary Rozet Smith. She and Addams were together for more than three decades, and their closest friends described them as being married.

Her most notable work, Hull House, was settled by Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Starr in September of 1889. Starr was also a lesbian, and Addams’ partner for many years. Their relationship ended around the time Addams met and started her relationship with Smith. Hull House housed social, educational, and artistic programs. It was a center for social reform. Both women worked especially with new immigrants and women—they campaigned and promoted education, autonomy, and the destruction of traditionally male-dominated fields.

The fact that Hull House existed in a poor neighbourhood wasn’t an accident. There were classes in literature, art, history, current issues, and more. All were free, and they drew in the working class folks in the surrounding neighbourhood. Addams didn’t just create those programs though, she worked with the community and led studies and surveys on the causes of poverty and then shared these with folks in the neighbourhood. She also shared them with legislatures, who she pushed for social reform.

Additionally, queer folks are typically have lower income, especially lesbians who wouldn’t have the benefit of a man’s income. Women were discouraged from working, and Addams fought against that with her classes and her push for reform. Because of this, Hull House was also a meeting spot for lesbians at the time.

Now, despite the good she did, Jane Addams was not perfect by any stretch. She was a supporter of the prohibition, mainly because of her whorephobic rhetoric. This is regularly overlooked, and I refuse to pretend that she had no flaws. I love and appreciate all of the work she did, but she still had the issue of looking down of poor folks she felt were doing something “wrong.” She had the same issue we find with early feminists (and feminists today, let’s be honest) in that she was staunchly anti-sex work.

Hull House still partially exists as the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Years ago, the museum had a project called “Was Jane Addams a Lesbian?” I’m uncertain if it still exists; it’s been a while since I’ve been to the museum. The director of the museum does believe she was a lesbian. In fact, there are few scholars who believe she wasn’t a lesbian. One scholar, for example, believes it’s we should focus elsewhere, because focusing on whether a lesbian was a lesbian might “overshadow” the good she did. We at Making Queer History believe straight historians should move on and let queer folks have fun.

I hope that was educational and helpful! Jane Addams is a wonderful part of our history, and she means a lot to me as a queer Chicagoan.

do you have any recommendations on books about…

do you have any recommendations on books about queerness in asia, especially central/northern asia and siberia? even asian americans, im not picky at all lol thank you!!

Hi there! I was really excited when I saw your ask; I’m Kazakh, and I’m always interested in exploring more Central Asian queer history. Unfortunately, Kazakhstan isn’t a great place for queer folks, so there’s not a whole lot to be found here aside from “That’s when I Realized I was Nobody”: A Climate of Fear for LGBT People in Kazakhstan by Kyle Knight, a Human Rights Watch report.

There’s unfortunately just very little out there about Central Asia and queerness. Here are some books I was able to find about queerness in Asia in general. I included a couple of fiction books as well.

Fiction

The Carpet Weaver by Nemat Sadat (Out June 2019) This is the one Central Asian book I was able to find, and I’m really excited to read it when it comes out!

This entire list (No Central Asian characters, as far as I can tell)

Nonfiction

Mobile Cultures: New Media in Queer Asia edited by Chris Berry, Fran Martin, Audrey Yue

Queer Asian Cinema: Shadows in the Shade by Andrew Grossman

Gay and Lesbian Asia: Culture, Identity, Community edited by Gerard Sullivan, Peter A. Jackson

Queering Migrations Towards, Form, and Beyond Asia edited by Hugo Córdova Quero, Joseph N. Goh, and Michael Sepidoza Campos

Here are some articles that may interest you as well.

http://www.calvertjournal.com/features/show/9356/new-east-100-shtab-queer-communists-bishkek

https://queerasia.com/qa18-central-asia-and-the-caucasus-in-the-spotlight-roundtable-discussion/

https://queerasia.com/2018/08/27/qa18-bodies-x-borders-reflections-2/

And finally, I’d recommend checking out the org Queer Asia!

I see a lot more gay/bi history than trans his…

I see a lot more gay/bi history than trans history, and i know it can get grey, but do you know any older trans history, with more uplifting than sad tales if you can. Thank you!

Hi there!

Yeah, it can be hard to come by trans history, and it’s super frustrating! Fortunately, there are more and more queer historians and academics working to research and share trans history. We’ve written a few articles about trans folks ourselves! I’ve listed them here from oldest to most recent and noted the ones with happy endings. Enjoy!

Elagabalus, the Empress

Eleanor Rykener

Kristina, Kind of Sweden*

Albert D.J. Cashier

Osh-Tisch, the Warrior*

Alan L. Hart, Part 1 & 2

Victor Barker

Sir Ewan Forbes, the Doctor*

Billy Tipton and the Question of Gender*

Almost Forgotten Voices: The Transvestite Magazine of Weimar Berlin

Jeanette Schmid*

Coccinelle*

Dawn Langley Hall*

Marsha P. Johnson, Pride

Chrystos* (Note: Still Alive)

Maryam Khatoon Molkara, a Woman Who Changed her Country*

Lou Sullivan

Anderson Bigode Herzer, the Poet

Rita Hester, the Beginning of the Transgender Day of Remembrance

Rituparno Ghosh: Exploring the LGBT Community in India

Dwayne Jones and the Dangers of Tragedy Tourism

Victorian era lesbians! Please I'm so cur…

Victorian era lesbians! Please I'm so curious!

Alright! We don’t have a specific article on this, but I am reading a book that I think would be a great place for you to start in terms of looking at Victorian Era Lesbians, and it is the book Surpassing the Love of Man (that is the cheapest copy I could find but check out your library or request it if it isn’t in your range)

Hey, your anon option is not open yet. Anyways…

Hey, your anon option is not open yet. Anyways I just wanted to stop by and say hi. I had been very interested in Kristina of Sweden, specially because of all the ways you can interpret her identity. I remember some time ago, you said you had new information about her and eventually would do another article or something like that. How is it going? There would be a way I could get the sources you talked about? All I can find is in Swedish and I don't know the language

Hello! I also clearly have a deep love for our odd King, and we did say that. I will say with regret that the article isn’t close on the horizon, and generally, I will just add some interesting facts to the already existing article. And when I said that I didn’t know that we would be doing a video on her, so that video ended up getting a lot of the information I was considering writing an article about!

As for sources, I have found so many that I have forgotten to write down when I was just doing research on my downtime, but there should also be some in the description of the video. I hope this helps!

Hi, my friend is doing a paper on a queer hist…

Hi, my friend is doing a paper on a queer historical figure they get to pick. They really want to write about the first person to publicly come out as gay in America (we think it was over radio?) But we can't remember their name. Do you know who that was, and do you have any articles about them handy? Thank you a bunch!!

Hi there! Sorry this is such a late response, I hope it can still be of some use. I think you’re talking about Dale Olson, a writer and agent who represented Rock Hudson and ultimately convinced (and helped) him disclose that he had AIDS. This led to a HUGE shift in the way America looked at AIDS.

Dale Olson actually came out on a televised newscast in the 50s when he was in his early twenties. He was ultimately fired from his job and faced a good amount of backlash, but when asked why he’d do it, he said he wanted to help someone other than himself. I’m paraphrasing a little because I can’t recall the exact quote, but you get the idea.

He was the first national secretary for the Mattachine Society, he a committee member for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the first openly gay man on television. He and his husband were together for thirty years and got married in 2008. Unfortunately, Olson died in 2012, but he lived what seems to be a happy life.

Just out of curiosity, do you have any resourc…

Just out of curiosity, do you have any resources on homsexuality in pre-modern Islamic communities? I've very loosely heard that there used to be a lot more acceptance for sexual fluidity in the region before the concept of sexuality was politicized and I was wondering how accurate it was.

I think the resource I am currently working through that has covered this topic most expansively is The Construction of Homosexuality by David F. Greenburg, while that is not what it exclusively focuses on that, it does offer some interesting insight into it! I hope that helps!