the contrarian

United States

Proud member of the LGBT+ community.

17 | Virgo
Marching/Concert Band
Musical
Chaotic Neutral
Lahore Pigeons | Bee Hummingbird
Eighteen Scholars
Norweigan Forest Cat
Devil's Fingers Fungus

Joined 2018.

Message to Readers

Apparently I made an offensive generalization in my first edition, so I edited it to adhere to what WtW emailed me about. I’m sorry if I genuinely upset anyone who was homeschooled in my last piece — I didn’t mean to make such a harsh generalization. Please forgive me, and thank you for your continued support!

Just An Important Note On LGBT+ Rights/Discrimination! Republished.

May 22, 2020

FREE WRITING

21

Hello guys, gals, and nonbinary pals!

I have been summoned by my WtW friends to give you all a brief history lesson. As a member of the LGBT+ community, I cannot sit idly by as a few members of this community show blatant disregard for the beautiful existence of my transgender/nonbinary/androgynous/gender-nonconforming friends. This showing of disdain and lack of understanding infuriates me to my wit's end. So I have decided to write this piece in hopes that it will shine a light on why we are so defensive about being discriminated against, because that is the hard truth, regardless of your perception of how intense that word is. 

Long story short: We are human too. Short and sweet and straight to the point. Dehumanizing those who do not conform to the strict gender conformities (he/him for men, she/her for women) is a disgusting show of disrespect for those who are just as human as you are. The least we ask of everyone on this Earth is to respect us, whether that be our identity or our sexuality. 

Ignorance is understandable, especially if you're someone who was homeschooled and is only shown a small part of the world. Of course, not all homeschooled kids are like this, but a certain event occurred to cause me to arise from my grave — a phoenix flying from the ashes, you might say — to call attention to a fact that I will repeat over and over again so that those who are uneducated in terms of the LGBT+ community will hopefully learn to understand: We are just as human as a heterosexual/cisgender person. 

I ask of you to please acknowledge that women who love women, men who love men, nonbinary people, transgender people - we are all human. I cannot speak for the entire LGBT community - some of us show the same amount of loathing to others as you do to us. But I do not hate you. I do not loathe you for who you are, what you believe in. I respect you. Is it so much to ask of you to do the same for myself and other LGBT+ members of Write the World?

Now that the rant is out of the way, I will try to explain the suppression of the LGBT+ community in history as much as I can without saying anything that will go against Write the World's guidelines. This will be as brief as I can make it. I will be jumping around to different points in history. Hopefully, my point gets across.

Just a reminder that I am in no way speaking for every LGBT+ person on this site. I am speaking for myself, as someone who has been harassed and discriminated against for being a lesbian.

Let's start with one of the most significant events in recent history: June 26, 2015. On this day, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states. This only scratches the surface of how much we fought to legalize same-sex marriage. Here is a summary of one of the events that eventually led to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S., according to A Brief History of Civil Rights in the United States.

The timeline started in 1970 when a same-sex couple in Minnesota applied for a marriage license. They were denied, and their case went to the Supreme Court. According to MNOPEDIA, this was the Baker v. Nelson case. Gay couple Jack Baker and Michael McConnell were the first same-sex couple in the United States to apply for a marriage license. Hennepin County clerk Gerald R. Nelson rejected their application. Baker and McConnell then sued Nelson, claiming a constitutional right to marry.

The couple argued that since same-sex marriage was not explicitly illegal under Minnesota law, they should've been issued a marriage license. In January of 1971, the District Court judge denied Baker's and McConnell's attempts without comment. Baker and McConnell appealed their case to the Minnesota Supreme Court, claiming a constitutional right to marry. On October 15, 1971, the justices of the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled on Baker v. Nelson, unanimously rejecting the couple's appeal.

Fortunately, they found a way to bypass the rejection of their marriage via adoption, as there was no Minnesota law against marrying someone whom you had adopted. Jack Baker changed his name to Pat Lyn McConnell - he chose a gender-neutral first name so that they could attempt to apply for another marriage license in a new county. They moved in with friends in Mankato, establishing residence in Blue Earth County, applying for another marriage license. McConnel went to the courthouse alone, and the clerk asked no questions about the gender of his partner. The license was issued, but the marriage was technically illegal. 

So, when Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage on May 13, 2014 - over forty years after Baker and McConnell first applied for their marriage license, they did not apply for a new one, as they would admit to their marriage being illegal. 

From 1970 to 2014. That's 44 years. Crazy, isn't it?

But let's go further back.

1652, Joseph Davis of Haverhill, New Hampshire, is fined for "putting on women's apparel" and made to admit his guilt to the community. 

1677, the sodomy trial of Nicholas Sension of Windsor, Connecticut, reveals that Sension has been open about his desire for men for more than 30 years. 

1691, in Massachusetts, Deborah Byar is fined and publicly humiliated for wearing men's clothes.

1752, "Dr. Charles Hamilton" is arrested in Chester, Pennsylvania, and revealed to be Charlotte Hamilton, who confessed to having lived in disguise as a man for several years. 

1777, Thomas Jefferson revises Virginia law to make sodomy (committed by men or women) punishable by mutilation rather than death. 

1779, in an example of "romantic friendship" between men, Alexander Hamilton writes to his friend, John Laurens, "I wish, my dear Laurens, that it might be in my power, by action, rather than words, to convince you that I love you." 

There are so many more examples of LGBT+ people in history, but that's enough examples. If you would like to delve deeper into the subject, then the information from this timeline is from A Timeline of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in the United States.

I will admit that I am not doing extensive research into these events. I am mentioning them only to support the fact that the LGBT+ community has been here for centuries - in fact, some religions mention homosexuality, albeit vaguely - Greek mythology, for example. Zeus and Ganymedes and Apollo and Hyacinthus are the two examples I could find easily. 

There is one easy argument I can think of to bypass the mentions of Zeus and Apollo showing love for other men: "This article says that they were just friends!" or "They weren't gay, because this person said this and has evidence!"

That, my friends, is what we call queer erasure. To put it quite simply, queer erasure is a practice where queer people are erased from history, whether that be in scholarly texts or popular media texts when referring to issues of visibility and exclusion.

There are so many examples of queer erasure that I cannot even begin to review all of them, but let's take one that we should all know: Freddie Mercury. Born Farrokh Bulsara, Mercury was a British singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. He was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.

Four octaves. That's insane.

You might know Queen from their 1975 single Bohemian Rhapsody, which was at the top of U.K. charts for nine weeks.

But what you might not know was that Freddie Mercury was gay. He never publicly came out, nor did he tell his family about his homosexuality. I didn't even know he had a husband until I watched the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. This article, Jim Hutton: The Story of Freddie Mercury's Longtime Partner, is both heartwarming and heartwrenching, as it tells the true story of Jim Hutton - Mercury's husband - and his relationship with Freddie Mercury. 

Let me repeat this for further emphasis:

Freddie Mercury was a homosexual. He had a husband. They loved each other. They lived with each other. But they never came out, and that was their business. If they had publicly come out and told the world of their relationship, I wonder how much backlash they would've had? Additionally, I wonder how many closeted LGBT+ people would've been ecstatic to see a celebrity represent them? But that's just hypotheticals. 

I cannot begin to review every famous LGBT+ person/event in history. But we are here. We've been here, regardless of how much scholars have erased us and suppressed us. You may use whatever excuses you have at your disposal to hate those of the LGBT+ community. But I will not give in to hatred or loathing or whatever ignorance you decide to throw at me or others. If God created all of us as we are, then He is also a strong supporter of His children who identify as transgender, gay, lesbian, asexual, bisexual, pansexual, etc. I am not a religious person by any means, but I want to understand. You can brush this off your shoulder like dust. But your lack of wanting to understand - your ignorance that you could easily solve just by opening your mind - hurts more people than you know.

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  • May 22, 2020 - 7:37pm (Now Viewing)

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3 Comments
  • jun lei

    i came back to reread this. we stan a queen.


    8 days ago
  • Vinter Vejen

    i forgive you


    8 days ago
  • Sadiez

    It’s really awesome that you are addressing this issue. As a member of the LGBT+ community this really resonates with me. This really needed to be said so I’m glad you did :)


    8 days ago