LGBT Love Stories throughout History

The true, the intense and the turbulent LGBT relationships of the ages for LGBT History Month.

Believe it or not, but homosexuality has always been apart of society, with marriage itself being defined and redefined, just as civilization evolves and develops. LGBT people can be found throughout history, and the stereotypes about them have been around for just as long.

There is even evidence to suggest that same-sex marriages were celebrated throughout history in ancient Greece and Rome, as well as areas of China and other parts of Europe!

So with October being LGBT history month, we thought it would be an ideal time to debunk the widely held myth that “same-sex marriages and relationships are a recent invention” and at the same time celebrate LGBT love throughout history…

Khnumhotep & Niankhkhnum

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Image: TourEgypt

Found buried together in an intimate, loving embrace, Khnumhotep & Niankhkhnum were Egyptian servants (manicurists to the royal court) living around 2400 BC. This form of burial was discovered in 1964, and was initially a puzzle to scholars and historians, due to the fact that this type of funeral was usually only reserved for married couples.

Early examination referred to the couple as brothers or relatives, however with reanalysis in the 1990’s, egyptologists concluded them to be a romantic couple. In some hieroglyphs, Niankhkhnum and Khnumhotep’s names are strung together in a way that is translated to mean “joined in life and in death.”

 

Hadrian & Antinous

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Image: BrtishMuseum

Being the first leader of Rome to openly announce his sexuality, Emperor Hadrian took the throne of Rome in 117AD with a 13 year old wife (ceremonially married for political purposes). However, his true love was with younger Antinous, who accompanied the emperor as his closest confidant from 128AD.

Sexual relationships between older and younger men were common in ancient Rome, however, it was expected that the older man would cease the relationship once his younger lover reached manhood. However, the emperor maintained the relationship well past this period and consequently, Antinous downed under mysterious circumstances.

Harian was so inconsolable, that he remained in official mourning for over a week and filled his home with statues of Antinous, as well as naming stars and flowers after him.

Vita Sackville-West & Violet Trefusis

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Image: BrainPickings

English author Vita fell in love with writer Violet during a period when LGBT pride was a laughable concept, but their relationship remained and became one of the most intense and turbulent affairs in literary history.

Both women had been friends since childhood, and began forming intense romantic bonds during adolescence, with it eventually turning into a relationship in their twenties. Despite both women being married to men, since 1918 the two ran off together several times to France, where Vita would dress as a man to avoid public attention.

Unfortunately pressure from their families, society gossip and Vita’s affairs put a strain on their relationship, however it was learning that Violet was still having sexual relations with her husband that ended their love.

Gertrude Stein & Alice Toklas

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Image: HereElseWhere

Gertrude met her life partner, Alice, on Toklas’ first day in Paris in 1907. Stein was an American writer, mentor and art collector, and soon after the two met they became constant companions. They also had a salon together which attracted some of the greatest artists, writers and thinkers of Europe and America, including Picasso, Hemingway, Thorton Wilder and Matisse.

Being another rare example of a proud LGBT couple in a time where discrimination and bigotry was eminent, the two remained deeply devoted to each other for forty years until Stein’s death in 1946. In 1980, a locked cabinet at Yale University revealed hundreds of love letters the two had written to each other over the period of their relationship.

Benjamin Britten & Peter Pears

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Image: HuffingtonPost

Colleagues, mutual muses and lifelong partners Benjamin and Peter were two musicians who met in 1934. Both being extremely talented, Britten was limited by his success due to being openly gay and a pacifist (however is now considered one of the greatest composers of the 20th Century).

Following Britten’s heart surgery in 1974, the composer wrote to his lover; “My darling heart (perhaps an unfortunate phrase, but I can’t use any other).. I do love you so terribly, not only glorious you, but your singing… what have I done to deserve such an artist and man to write for?… I love you, I love you, I love you.” Written in a desperate state of health, this beautiful love letter was written with Benjamin’s determination to live long enough to see Peter one more time.

The two are now buried side by side at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in Suffolk. The Red house in Aldeburgh, where the couple lived and worked for twenty years, is now home to the Britten-Pears Foundation, established to promote their musical legacy, which was made a national landmark this year.

As you can see, same-sex relationships have been a fundamental human right since the dawn of time, and has been apart of society throughout history. With support for LGBT equality increasing across the world-wide political spectrum, Australia needs to jump on the bandwagon.

You can help make same-sex marriage a reality for all Australians by signing the petition here!

EJ.

Get on board with Facebook’s #LoveIs Letter

There’s a new trend taking to Facebook over the last couple of days to help Australian’s take action and raise awareness against the continued discrimination faced by the LGBT community.

So, what is it?

The #LoveIs Letter circulates between friends and family, making its way through different social circles as a way to bring the ongoing, cruel and often violent discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenders back into the spot light. As an extension of the current debate for same-sex marriage, the letter raises concern about the issue and informs people that the legalisation of same-sex marriage will help demolish this bigotry.

How does it work? 

It’s as simple as A,B,C! Participants take action by spreading the letter through a Facebook status which asks them to attach a photo that finishes the sentence “#LoveIs___” and tag friends to do the same…

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How do I become part of the Trend? 

You don’t have to be tagged to spread the love! Just copy and paste the below text and follow the instructions.

Let’s make a change…

118,962 Aussies marry each year, but there are still over 35,000 couples who can’t.

Such discrimination saw 1,798 murders across 62 countries between 2008 and 2015. That’s one LGBT killing every two days! The 2016 Orlando massacre killed 49 people and injured 53 others, making it the worse mass shooting in U.S history.

1 in 4 gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people have experienced physical or verbal abuse in the last 3 years. This may not be you, but it could be a friend, family or someone you know.

Let’s end LGBT discrimination by showing others that it should be ok to love and to marry, no matter what. Help #ChangeAustralia by taking a step towards marriage equality.

Because love knows no gender, and neither should marriage.

Spread the love by posting this as your status and attaching a photo that finishes the sentence: “#LoveIs ___________.”

Tag 4 mates to do the same!

EJ

Myth 4: Marriage is about procreation & LGBT couples can’t have kids, so they shouldn’t marry

The early Christians had discussed whether marriage between a man and a woman should be endorsed, and despite many being against such matrimony, it was finally recognized under the church as a sacrament for the sole purpose of procreation.

So the question is, should we disallow straight couples from marriage if they are infertile or don’t want children? And does adoption count? Because about 30% of female same-sex couples and about 15% of male same-sex couples are currently raising children.

Many opposite-sex couples decide to tie the knot to provide their children with the legal security, stability and social recognition that comes with having married parents. Similarly to any other couple, gay individuals can be exceptional parents, with adoption and fostering agencies even stating that gay couple’s understanding of bigotry and prejudice gives them additional strength when helping vulnerable children who have been through tough periods in their life.

Also, the 2011 census showed 6,300 children living in same-sex couple families. Although this only makes up for 1000 of all children in couple families, it is definitely increasing, and with the legalisation of same-sex marriage, such legal and social benefits will flow to the children of gay and lesbian couples as well as to the couples themselves.

Over 30 years of research reveal that children who are raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated “resilience with regard to social, psychological and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities,” as well as social stigma. Many studies have proven that a children’s well-being is affected primarily by the positive relationship they have with their parents, their parent’s sense of competency and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family rather than the parent’s gender or sexual orientation.

So stating that gay and lesbians are unable to have kids and therefore shouldn’t be recognised under this institution is, without a doubt, unjust.

And due to the fact that all children benefit from being part of a stable, loving family, this right and opportunity should also be extended to all adopted children, right?

EJ

MYTH 3: Same-sex marriage opens the doors to other marriages, like a woman marrying their cat.

Many opposers to same-sex marriage argue that legalising this form of marriage will open the doors to polygamy, beastiality and incest.

One common argument from those that oppose same-sex marriage is that, if Australia were to legalise gay marriage, the nation will be one step closer to accepting polygamy, incest, objectophilia and beastiality.

However, have polygamists and other types of unconventional relationship advocates ever used same-sex marriage to justify their own marriage perspectives? The answer is no.

That’s because when discussing gay marriage, it’s clear that we are speaking about a legal agreement between two consenting adults, and not the idea of marriages or relationships between an adult and multiple other adults, an adult and a child, an adult and an animal, or even an adult and an inanimate object.

The fact is that the Australian Marriage Act currently states that matrimony is defined as the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life. Removing such a statement to include the marriage of same-sex couples will not open the doors to those wanting to marry something other than another human being. Also with the ability to divorce and, not to mention, the increasing rate of marriage dissolutions, if the section regarding “entered into for life” is no longer relevant and has been altered to keep up to date with contemporary society, then how come the section “the exclusion of all others” has not?

We are all arguing for one issue: to overcome and accept same-sex marriage, which will have no effect and will create no precedents for polygamous, incestuous or any other such relationships, just like it will have no affect on heterosexual marriages.

Plus, most animals don’t have opposable thumbs, which means they can’t sign marriage contracts, and even if they do… well, they can’t consent to it anyway.

EJ

Join The Petition – No Mr Turnbull, We Don’t Want A Plebiscite!

An Australian plebiscite on gay marriage is expensive, pointless, and will give opposers the opportunity to run hate campaigns. Say no to a plebiscite and sign the petition today.

The current state of support for same-sex marriage sees Australia moving closer to a pointless, divisive plebiscite.

This public vote will cost over $160 million in tax payer money, provide a platform for hate campaigns, damage the mental health of many young LGBT individuals, and will not bind parliament to the outcome.

Many MP’s have also confirmed that they will ignore the results of a successful same-sex marriage plebiscite anyway.

Parliament has the power to enact marriage equality now, so why are we wasting time and money on something that the government will ignore?

Sign the petition today and say NO to having a plebiscite!

Tell Mr Turnbull, there’s a better way.

EJ

Myth 2: Gay sex is unnatural

Bottleneck dolphins are well known for forming homosexual pairing bonds which often last for life…

People who use this mythologically based argument obviously shows a considerable ignorance of the animal kingdom. In reality, many animals engage in homosexual behaviour. In fact, among the 1500 species whose behaviours have been studied extensively by socio-biologists and researchers over the years, all species have shown signs of homosexual activity.

And it isn’t one offs – or as we call ‘one night stands’ – either.

This same-sex behaviour ranges from occasional displays of love and affection to life long pairing bonds where sex, adoption, raising orphans and even rejections of potential heterosexual partners have been documented. For example, bottleneck dolphins are well known for forming homosexual pairing bonds which often last for life.

It is common, and thus has evolutionary significance not only to human beings but also to the whole animal kingdom.

So why are we prohibiting something so natural?

EJ

Apple’s new emoji’s are so gay its beautiful!

This year, Apple has taken a stance in the federal Government’s lead up to the upcoming plebiscite, releasing a statement of support and posting their logo on the Australian Marriage Equality website!

Not only this, but the latest Apple operating systems update includes new emoji’s as a way to throw their weight behind greater gender diversity. This includes more female gendered sport emojis, male versions of dancers, as well as a rainbow flag and many LGBT diverse characters.

The company said; “Apple is working closely with the Unicode Consortium to ensure popular emoji characters reflect the diversity of people everywhere.”

And now you’re thinking well, how many other companies support this non-discriminatory view of matrimony?

Many, actually.

Corporations, unions, community groups, local governments, churches and even government agencies (including the Australian Bureau of Statistics which included same-sex couples in the 2011 and 2016 National Census) now recognize and support same-sex marriage in Australia.

American Express, Telstra, ANZ, Australian Super, QANTAS, Commonwealth Bank, Foxtel, Holden, Kmart, NRMA and MacDonald’s are only a hand full of the long list of supporting Australian and inernational companies (for the full list click here!).

So don’t just sit there and twiddle your thumbs… Take individual action and make love a reality for all Australians! Check out #TeamEquality for the more information.

EJ