Monday, July 21, 2014 Friday, July 11, 2014
IN A GRAVEYARD in the village of Weybridge, Vermont, stands an unusual headstone. It is inscribed with the names of two women, Sylvia Drake and Charity Bryant, who were born during the Revolutionary era and died in the middle of the 19th century. The women were pillars of their community for four and a half decades … They were also, according to their own understanding and that of those around them, a married couple.

Historian Rachel Hope Cleves uncovers the fascinating story of same sex marriage in Vermont, 1807. (via oupacademic)

Book is called “Charity & Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early America” (Oxford University Press)” 

(via engrprof)

Saturday, May 17, 2014
blackhistoryalbum:

African American Girl Scouts http://ift.tt/1jvkPJM

blackhistoryalbum:

African American Girl Scouts http://ift.tt/1jvkPJM

Sunday, May 4, 2014

princelesscomic:

saladinahmed:

Sample pages from 1947’s ALL-NEGRO COMICS, possibly the only Black-owned/created comic book of the Golden Age. A scan of the entire issue is here: http://digitalcomicmuseum.com/preview/index.php?did=21983&page=1

In case you have been misinformed into thinking there is not a tradition of black people in comics by the current market.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

medievalpoc:

unfantasmarecoreeuropa submitted to medievalpoc:

Christoph Weiditz´s Trachtenbuch

Weiditz was a german artist of the XVIth century at the service of the Habsburgs who dedicated a year painting the everyday of the people of the territories of Spain, including, Netherlands, Rousillon and the both Sicilies.

In his drawings we can see, among paintings of other spanish people without any reference to otherness, black people and moriscos.

He also painted some aztecs brought from Nueva España to the royal court, that are some of the first images known of aztec people drawn from life.

Sources:

http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christoph_Weiditz

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Trachtenbuch_des_Christoph_Weiditz

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Christoph_Weiditz

http://viaf.org/viaf/59421291/

http://catalogue.bnf.fr/servlet/RechercheEquation;jsessionid=E881875E735E237F1EC10CA41097FF22?TexteCollection=HGARSTUVWXYZ1DIECBMJNQLOKP&TexteTypeDoc=DESNFPIBTMCJOV&Equation=IDP%3Dcb158503661&host=catalogue

http://www.smith.edu/vistas/vistas_web/gallery/detail/aztec-juggler.htm

Hampe, Theodor. 1994 [1927]. Authentic Everyday Dress of the Renaissance: All 154 Plates from the “Trachtenbuch.” New York: Dover Publications.

Massing, Jean Michel. 1991. “Early European Images of America: The Ethnographic Approach.” In Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration, Jay Levenson, ed., pp. 515-520. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art.

Ausgabe von Theodor Hampe: Das Trachtenbuch des Weiditz von seinen Reisen nach Spanien (1529) und den Niederlanden (1531/32). 1927 

Andrea McKenzie Satterfield: The assimilation of the marvelous other: Reading Christoph Weiditz’s Trachtenbuch (1529) as an ethnographic document.

[mod note]

unfantasmarecoreeuropa's submission is so huge I have to break it up into a few posts! I will be adding the rest of the submission to the medievalpoc queue. What I love about these is the effort to depict average people and daily life during the early Renaissance.

Monday, April 21, 2014
everestless:

The Loving family. Just 45 years ago, 16 states deemed marriages between two people of different races illegal. But in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, who was white, and his wife, Mildred Loving, of African American and Native American descent. The case changed history.

everestless:

The Loving family. Just 45 years ago, 16 states deemed marriages between two people of different races illegal. But in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court considered the case of Richard Perry Loving, who was white, and his wife, Mildred Loving, of African American and Native American descent. The case changed history.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
ode-to-the-world:

La Mulâtresse Solitude (1772-19 November 1802), was a slave rebel and heroine of the fight against slavery in Guadeloupe.
Originally a slave, she was freed by the abolition of slavery in 1794 during the French revolution. When slavery was reintroduced on Guadeloupe by Napoleon in 1802, she joined Louis Delgrès call to fight for her freedom and took part in the Battle of the 18 May 1802.
She was captured and executed by hanging after being granted to wait out her pregnancy.
Photo

ode-to-the-world:

La Mulâtresse Solitude (1772-19 November 1802), was a slave rebel and heroine of the fight against slavery in Guadeloupe.

Originally a slave, she was freed by the abolition of slavery in 1794 during the French revolution. When slavery was reintroduced on Guadeloupe by Napoleon in 1802, she joined Louis Delgrès call to fight for her freedom and took part in the Battle of the 18 May 1802.

She was captured and executed by hanging after being granted to wait out her pregnancy.

Photo

Thursday, April 10, 2014
simperingcreatures:

John Barry. The Militant Homosexual. 1967. Book.
It is no longer a secret that homosexuality, both male and female, is on the rise in today’s society. In the past, members of the Third Sex led their deviate lives in furtive, secret shame.
Now they are in the open, on the militant march to claim what they consider their rightful place in the modern world, even to the point of picketing the White House.
They insist that archaic laws and moral judgements be changed; that they be given a legal right to live their own lives without legal harassment or social condemnation.
Here is a frank and sometimes shocking compendium of the new philosophy and program of the militant homosexuals written without bias. (from back cover)

simperingcreatures:

John Barry. The Militant Homosexual. 1967. Book.

It is no longer a secret that homosexuality, both male and female, is on the rise in today’s society. In the past, members of the Third Sex led their deviate lives in furtive, secret shame.

Now they are in the open, on the militant march to claim what they consider their rightful place in the modern world, even to the point of picketing the White House.

They insist that archaic laws and moral judgements be changed; that they be given a legal right to live their own lives without legal harassment or social condemnation.

Here is a frank and sometimes shocking compendium of the new philosophy and program of the militant homosexuals written without bias. (from back cover)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
secrethistoriesproject:
SHP Reblogs: earlier posts from the vault! New posts coming late May 2014.

Content note: Please be aware that today’s Secret History contains a graphic account of torture and death.
8. Pierre Seel
In 1939, Pierre Seel was the handsome youngest son of a rich Catholic family in the town of Mulhouse, Alsace. He was also member of the ‘zazou' subculture, a group of stylishly-dressed and generally wealthy young people who enjoyed clubbing, 'decadent' jazz music and shocking their elders. At the time, Mulhouse had a small but reasonably active gay scene — and by the age of 16, Seel was already visiting its bars and cruising grounds. At around this time, he also developed a steady relationship with a young man identified as 'Jo' in his autobiography. 
What teenage Pierre Seel didn’t realise was that the German officers occupying the city, and the French police who were collaborating with them, had already taken his name as a suspected homosexual — possibly after he reported the theft of his watch while attending a known gay venue in 1939. In 1941, Seel was seized by the Gestapo. He was tortured and raped, then taken to the Schirmeck-Vorbrück concentration camp, outside Strasbourg. While his prison uniform was tagged with a blue bar, meaning ‘Catholic’, Seel later discovered that at this particular camp, the symbol was also used to identify homosexual prisoners. Here’s how he describes the events in his autobiography (from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/seel.asp)
"Stripped of our torn filthy clothing, we were handed camp uniforms: ill-fitting shirts and trousers made of hard linen. I noticed a small, enigmatic blue bar on my shirt and on my cap. It was part of an indecipherable prison code that was known only to our jailers. According to documents I eventually checked ‘blue’ meant ‘Catholic’ or ‘asocial’. In this camp blue also meant homosexuals."
While in the camp, something happened that would haunt Seel for the rest of his life:
"One day the loudspeakers order us to report immediately to the roll-call. Shouts and yells urged us to get there without delay. Surrounded by SS men, we had to form a square and stand at attention, as we did for the morning roll call. The commandant appeared with his entire general staff. I assumed he was going to bludgeon us once again with his blind faith in the Reich, together with a list of orders, insults and threats - emulating the infamous outpourings of his master, Adolf Hitler. But the actual ordeal was worse: an execution. Two SS men brought a young man to the centre of our square. Horrified, I recognized Jo, my loving friend, who was only eighteen years old. I hadn’t previously spotted him in the camp. Had he arrived before or after me? We hadn’t seen each other during the days before I was summoned by the Gestapo.
(I’m going to quibble slightly with the translation here — the original French gives ‘Horrifié, je reconnus Jo, mon tendre ami de dix-huit ans...’, but I think the sense here should really be something closer to ‘boyfriend’ rather than ‘loving friend’.) 
"Now I froze in terror. I had prayed that he would escape their lists, their roundups, their humiliations. And there he was before my powerless eyes, which filled with tears. Unlike me, he had not carried dangerous letters, torn down posters, or signed any statements. And yet he had been caught and was about to die. What had happened? What had the monsters accused him of? Because of my anguish I have completely forgotten the wording of the death sentence. 
"The the loudspeakers broadcast some noisy classical music while the SS stripped him naked and shoved a tin pail over his head. Next they sicced their ferocious German Shepherds on him: the guard dogs first bit into his groin and thighs, then devoured him right in front of us. His shrieks of pain were distorted and amplified by the pail in which his head was trapped. My rigid body reeled, my eyes gaped at so much horror, tears poured down my cheeks, I fervently prayed that he would black out quickly. 
"Since then I sometimes wake up howling in the middle of the night. For fifty years now that scene has kept ceaselessly passing and re-passing through my mind. I will never forget the barbaric murder of my love - before my very eyes, before our eyes, for there were hundreds of witnesses. Why are they still silent today? Have they all died? It’s true that we were among the youngest in the camp and that a lot of time has gone by. But I suspect that some people prefer to remain silent forever, afraid to stir up memories, like that one among so many others.”
Later that year, in November 1941, Seel was summoned before the commandant of the camp. He expected to be sent to a fate similar to that to which Jo had been condemned — but instead, he was given release papers and drafted into the German army. He was eighteen years old. Seel spent the remainder of the war fighting half-heartedly for the German army, and was on a train from Poland to France when the end of the war was announced in 1945.
Understandably traumatised by his experiences, Seel returned to Mulhouse, where no-one in his family knew the real reason that he had been captured and deported in 1941. He spoke of his experiences in the war to nobody besides his mother (shortly before her death in 1949), and refused to claim the pension to which he was entitled, in case the reason for his deportation was revealed. He married a woman, and the couple moved to Paris and later Tolouse. In the late 1970s, Seel suffered from alcoholism and severe depression. His marriage broke up in 1978, and he spent time in a psychiatric institution.
Before World War II, French law had been remarkably liberal on the issue of homosexuality – it had been decriminalised during the French Revolution (c.1787-99), and France had provided a haven for many queer men from the UK during the nineteenth century. However, this had changed markedly during the Occupation and afterwards. In 1981 the Bishop of Strasbourg, Léon-Arthur Elchinger, made a number of public anti-gay remarks, suggesting that homosexuality should be regarded as a ‘sickness’.
Seel, recovering from his period of illness, decided that it was time to speak out. First he wrote an anonymous open letter to the Bishop, then he began to appear publicly, writing newspaper articles and giving TV appearances to speak about his experiences. He became an active supporter of the Mémorial de la Déportation Homosexuelle, an organisation founded to preserve the memory of the LGBT+ victims of the Nazis, and in 1994 he published his autobiography, Moi, Pierre Seel, déporté homosexuel (I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual). In the early 90s, he also began a relationship with Eric Feliu, who would remain his partner for the final twelve years of his life.
Persecution wasn’t necessarily over for Seel, though – he received death threats and hateful letters after appearing on television. However, by the time of his death in 2005, Seel’s decision to speak out, together with the actions of other survivors and supporters, had changed the way that people in France and beyond thought about the LGBTQ+ victims of the Holocaust. He is now honoured by a street named after him in Toulouse, the Rue Pierre Seel, and in 2010 a partially-fictionalised version of his story was filmed as for L’Arbre et la Forêt (‘Family Tree’ in English).
Pierre Seel had every reason in the world to stay silent about who he was and what he suffered. His decision to speak out instead played a massively important role in changing things for those who came after him, and in helping to make a world where what happened in 1941 will – I hope with every part of me – never be allowed to happen again.
In his own words:
"When I am overcome with rage, I take my hat and coat and defiantly walk the streets. I picture myself strolling through cemeteries that do not exist, the resting places of all the dead who barely ruffle the consciences of the living. And I feel like screaming. When will I succeed in having the overall Nazi deportation of homosexuals recognized? In my apartment house and throughout my neighborhood, many people greet me, politely listen to my news, and inquire about the progress of my case. I’m grateful to them and appreciate their support. But what can I say to them?
"When I have finish wandering, I go home. Then I light the candle that burns permanently in my kitchen when I am alone. That frail flame is my memory of Jo."
More:
Seel’s obituary in the Independent newspaper: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/pierre-seel-518692.html
Profile and short video at LGBT History Month website: http://www.lgbthistorymonth.com/pierre-seel?tab=biography
Extracts from Moi, Pierre Seel at the Fordham University History Sourcebook: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/seel.asp
Amazon link for English-language version of I, Pierre Seel: http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Pierre-Seel-Deported-Homosexual/dp/0465018483/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352717082&sr=8-1
IMDB page for L’Arbre et la Forêt: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1345444/plotsummary
Trailer for for L’Arbre et la Forêt:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcmqltJ7Gj0
Book review of Moi, Pierre Seel: http://artwednesday.com/2010/12/02/moi-pierre-seel-deporte-homosexuel/
Official blog of the Mémorial de la Déportation Homosexuelle (in French) http://deportation-homosexuelle.blogspot.co.uk/
Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Seel
French Wikipedia article: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Seel

secrethistoriesproject:

SHP Reblogs: earlier posts from the vault! New posts coming late May 2014.

Content note: Please be aware that today’s Secret History contains a graphic account of torture and death.

8. Pierre Seel

In 1939, Pierre Seel was the handsome youngest son of a rich Catholic family in the town of Mulhouse, Alsace. He was also member of the ‘zazou' subculture, a group of stylishly-dressed and generally wealthy young people who enjoyed clubbing, 'decadent' jazz music and shocking their elders. At the time, Mulhouse had a small but reasonably active gay scene — and by the age of 16, Seel was already visiting its bars and cruising grounds. At around this time, he also developed a steady relationship with a young man identified as 'Jo' in his autobiography. 

What teenage Pierre Seel didn’t realise was that the German officers occupying the city, and the French police who were collaborating with them, had already taken his name as a suspected homosexual — possibly after he reported the theft of his watch while attending a known gay venue in 1939. In 1941, Seel was seized by the Gestapo. He was tortured and raped, then taken to the Schirmeck-Vorbrück concentration camp, outside Strasbourg. While his prison uniform was tagged with a blue bar, meaning ‘Catholic’, Seel later discovered that at this particular camp, the symbol was also used to identify homosexual prisoners. Here’s how he describes the events in his autobiography (from http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/seel.asp)

"Stripped of our torn filthy clothing, we were handed camp uniforms: ill-fitting shirts and trousers made of hard linen. I noticed a small, enigmatic blue bar on my shirt and on my cap. It was part of an indecipherable prison code that was known only to our jailers. According to documents I eventually checked ‘blue’ meant ‘Catholic’ or ‘asocial’. In this camp blue also meant homosexuals."

While in the camp, something happened that would haunt Seel for the rest of his life:

"One day the loudspeakers order us to report immediately to the roll-call. Shouts and yells urged us to get there without delay. Surrounded by SS men, we had to form a square and stand at attention, as we did for the morning roll call. The commandant appeared with his entire general staff. I assumed he was going to bludgeon us once again with his blind faith in the Reich, together with a list of orders, insults and threats - emulating the infamous outpourings of his master, Adolf Hitler. But the actual ordeal was worse: an execution. Two SS men brought a young man to the centre of our square. Horrified, I recognized Jo, my loving friend, who was only eighteen years old. I hadn’t previously spotted him in the camp. Had he arrived before or after me? We hadn’t seen each other during the days before I was summoned by the Gestapo.

(I’m going to quibble slightly with the translation here — the original French gives ‘Horrifié, je reconnus Jo, mon tendre ami de dix-huit ans...’, but I think the sense here should really be something closer to ‘boyfriend’ rather than ‘loving friend’.) 

"Now I froze in terror. I had prayed that he would escape their lists, their roundups, their humiliations. And there he was before my powerless eyes, which filled with tears. Unlike me, he had not carried dangerous letters, torn down posters, or signed any statements. And yet he had been caught and was about to die. What had happened? What had the monsters accused him of? Because of my anguish I have completely forgotten the wording of the death sentence. 

"The the loudspeakers broadcast some noisy classical music while the SS stripped him naked and shoved a tin pail over his head. Next they sicced their ferocious German Shepherds on him: the guard dogs first bit into his groin and thighs, then devoured him right in front of us. His shrieks of pain were distorted and amplified by the pail in which his head was trapped. My rigid body reeled, my eyes gaped at so much horror, tears poured down my cheeks, I fervently prayed that he would black out quickly. 

"Since then I sometimes wake up howling in the middle of the night. For fifty years now that scene has kept ceaselessly passing and re-passing through my mind. I will never forget the barbaric murder of my love - before my very eyes, before our eyes, for there were hundreds of witnesses. Why are they still silent today? Have they all died? It’s true that we were among the youngest in the camp and that a lot of time has gone by. But I suspect that some people prefer to remain silent forever, afraid to stir up memories, like that one among so many others.”

Later that year, in November 1941, Seel was summoned before the commandant of the camp. He expected to be sent to a fate similar to that to which Jo had been condemned — but instead, he was given release papers and drafted into the German army. He was eighteen years old. Seel spent the remainder of the war fighting half-heartedly for the German army, and was on a train from Poland to France when the end of the war was announced in 1945.

Understandably traumatised by his experiences, Seel returned to Mulhouse, where no-one in his family knew the real reason that he had been captured and deported in 1941. He spoke of his experiences in the war to nobody besides his mother (shortly before her death in 1949), and refused to claim the pension to which he was entitled, in case the reason for his deportation was revealed. He married a woman, and the couple moved to Paris and later Tolouse. In the late 1970s, Seel suffered from alcoholism and severe depression. His marriage broke up in 1978, and he spent time in a psychiatric institution.

Before World War II, French law had been remarkably liberal on the issue of homosexuality – it had been decriminalised during the French Revolution (c.1787-99), and France had provided a haven for many queer men from the UK during the nineteenth century. However, this had changed markedly during the Occupation and afterwards. In 1981 the Bishop of Strasbourg, Léon-Arthur Elchinger, made a number of public anti-gay remarks, suggesting that homosexuality should be regarded as a ‘sickness’.

Seel, recovering from his period of illness, decided that it was time to speak out. First he wrote an anonymous open letter to the Bishop, then he began to appear publicly, writing newspaper articles and giving TV appearances to speak about his experiences. He became an active supporter of the Mémorial de la Déportation Homosexuelle, an organisation founded to preserve the memory of the LGBT+ victims of the Nazis, and in 1994 he published his autobiography, Moi, Pierre Seel, déporté homosexuel (I, Pierre Seel, Deported Homosexual). In the early 90s, he also began a relationship with Eric Feliu, who would remain his partner for the final twelve years of his life.

Persecution wasn’t necessarily over for Seel, though – he received death threats and hateful letters after appearing on television. However, by the time of his death in 2005, Seel’s decision to speak out, together with the actions of other survivors and supporters, had changed the way that people in France and beyond thought about the LGBTQ+ victims of the Holocaust. He is now honoured by a street named after him in Toulouse, the Rue Pierre Seel, and in 2010 a partially-fictionalised version of his story was filmed as for L’Arbre et la Forêt (‘Family Tree’ in English).

Pierre Seel had every reason in the world to stay silent about who he was and what he suffered. His decision to speak out instead played a massively important role in changing things for those who came after him, and in helping to make a world where what happened in 1941 will – I hope with every part of me – never be allowed to happen again.

In his own words:

"When I am overcome with rage, I take my hat and coat and defiantly walk the streets. I picture myself strolling through cemeteries that do not exist, the resting places of all the dead who barely ruffle the consciences of the living. And I feel like screaming. When will I succeed in having the overall Nazi deportation of homosexuals recognized? In my apartment house and throughout my neighborhood, many people greet me, politely listen to my news, and inquire about the progress of my case. I’m grateful to them and appreciate their support. But what can I say to them?

"When I have finish wandering, I go home. Then I light the candle that burns permanently in my kitchen when I am alone. That frail flame is my memory of Jo."

More:

Seel’s obituary in the Independent newspaper: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/pierre-seel-518692.html

Profile and short video at LGBT History Month website: http://www.lgbthistorymonth.com/pierre-seel?tab=biography

Extracts from Moi, Pierre Seel at the Fordham University History Sourcebook: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/pwh/seel.asp

Amazon link for English-language version of I, Pierre Seel: http://www.amazon.co.uk/I-Pierre-Seel-Deported-Homosexual/dp/0465018483/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352717082&sr=8-1

IMDB page for L’Arbre et la Forêt: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt1345444/plotsummary

Trailer for for L’Arbre et la Forêt:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcmqltJ7Gj0

Book review of Moi, Pierre Seel: http://artwednesday.com/2010/12/02/moi-pierre-seel-deporte-homosexuel/

Official blog of the Mémorial de la Déportation Homosexuelle (in French) http://deportation-homosexuelle.blogspot.co.uk/

Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Seel

French Wikipedia article: http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Seel

Tuesday, April 8, 2014
beautone:

 
Colonizability of Africa (1899)
A map by cartographer John George Bartholomew (1860-1920)



I’m going to take the time to type this out, because, you know, holy shit.

The pink: Healthy colonizable Africa, where European races may be expected to become in time the prevailing type, where essentially European states may be formed.
The yellow: Fairly healthy Africa: but where unfavorable conditions of soil or water supply, or the prior establishment of warlike or enlightened native races or other causes, may effectually prevent European colonization.
The gray: Unhealthy but exploitable Africa: impossible for European colonization but for the most part of the great commercial value and inhabited by fairly docile, governable races; the Africa of the trader and planter and of despotic European control
The brown: Extremely unhealthy Africa

I have no words to describe any of this, except to note that this was a genocide that these bastards planned, and carried out, in many many parts.
Next time someone tells you to “just get over it”, it being the European colonization of the world…. show them this. Some things…. you just don’t ever get over. 

It makes me SICK to think we’re supposed to pick up pieces of ourselves and somehow be not-broken, just because there isn’t *visible* presence of the colonizers anymore.

Enlighten yourselves, we are the change it can only come from us.

via fyeahblackhistory, jaded16india, hidingincanada, spatiotemporalcookies

beautone:

Colonizability of Africa (1899)

A map by cartographer John George Bartholomew (1860-1920)

I’m going to take the time to type this out, because, you know, holy shit.

The pink: Healthy colonizable Africa, where European races may be expected to become in time the prevailing type, where essentially European states may be formed.

The yellow: Fairly healthy Africa: but where unfavorable conditions of soil or water supply, or the prior establishment of warlike or enlightened native races or other causes, may effectually prevent European colonization.

The gray: Unhealthy but exploitable Africa: impossible for European colonization but for the most part of the great commercial value and inhabited by fairly docile, governable races; the Africa of the trader and planter and of despotic European control

The brown: Extremely unhealthy Africa

I have no words to describe any of this, except to note that this was a genocide that these bastards planned, and carried out, in many many parts.

Next time someone tells you to “just get over it”, it being the European colonization of the world…. show them this. Some things…. you just don’t ever get over. 

It makes me SICK to think we’re supposed to pick up pieces of ourselves and somehow be not-broken, just because there isn’t *visible* presence of the colonizers anymore.

Enlighten yourselves, we are the change it can only come from us.

via fyeahblackhistoryjaded16indiahidingincanadaspatiotemporalcookies

Monday, March 31, 2014
everythingsbetterwithbisexuals:

lucymontero:

lexkixass:

mooglemisbehaving:

gogogadgetgoatkins:

Mary Bowser, former slave of the Van Lew family, infiltrated the Confederacy by working as a servant in the household of Jefferson Davis. Bowser was assumed to be illiterate, and as a black woman was below suspicion. Practically invisible, she was able to listen to conversations between Confederate officials and read sensitive documents, gathering information that she handed over to the Union.
(From National Woman’s History Museum Facebook Page)

This needs to be a movie. Like, now.

I’d watch this movie.

How is this not a movie?


*throws money at Hollywood*

everythingsbetterwithbisexuals:

lucymontero:

lexkixass:

mooglemisbehaving:

gogogadgetgoatkins:

Mary Bowser, former slave of the Van Lew family, infiltrated the Confederacy by working as a servant in the household of Jefferson Davis. Bowser was assumed to be illiterate, and as a black woman was below suspicion. Practically invisible, she was able to listen to conversations between Confederate officials and read sensitive documents, gathering information that she handed over to the Union.

(From National Woman’s History Museum Facebook Page)

This needs to be a movie. Like, now.

I’d watch this movie.

How is this not a movie?

*throws money at Hollywood*

(Source: gogogadgetgoat)

Sunday, March 30, 2014
The lessons of my father were not unique to him, nor will this be the last we hear of his words, which are echoed from pulpits as close as other churches in Topeka, Kansas, where WBC headquarters remain, and as far away as Uganda. Let’s end the support of hateful and divisive teachings describing the LGBT community as “less than,” “sinful,” or “abnormal.” Embrace the LGBT community as our equals, our true brothers and sisters, by promoting equal rights for everyone, without exception. My father was a man of action, and I implore us all to embrace that small portion of his faulty legacy by doing the same. Nate Phelps, estranged son of Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, in a public statement on his father’s death. Well said, sir. (via Friendly Atheist)  (via gaywrites)

6. Margaret Clap

SHP Reblogs: earlier posts from the vault! New posts coming late May 2014.

secrethistoriesproject:

image

OK, OK, I know perfectly well that Margaret Clap looked nothing like Helen Atkinson-Wood playing the character of ‘Mrs Miggins’ in Blackadder III – she lived about eighty years too early, for starters! Nevertheless, there are no surviving images of her and I’m apparently physically incapable of thinking about Margaret Clap without picturing Mrs Miggins, so that’s where today’s image comes from.

From 1724 until 1726, Clap – ‘Mother Clap’ to you, if you were exceptionally lucky – ran a coffee house in Holborn, London. This coffee shop was in fact a ‘molly house’, and a major focal point for the city’s underground queer community – a fact that only became public knowledge when it was raided and around 40 people arrested in 1726.

This is, of course, one of the most upsetting things about trying to do queer history – the fact that often the clearest and most easily-interpreted records we have about LGBTQ people and their behaviour are the records of their arrests and punishments. On the other hand, the tiny glimpses that the trial records give us into the secret lives of ‘mollies’* in early eighteenth-century London are fascinating. Historian Rictor Norton hosts a number of the transcripts at his website: here’s a short extract from a report by an undercover constable:

I found between 40 and 50 Men making Love to one another, as they call’d it. Sometimes they would sit on one another’s Laps, kissing in a lewd Manner, and using their Hands indecently. Then they would get up, Dance and make Curtsies, and mimick the voices of Women. O, Fie, Sir! – Pray, Sir. – Dear Sir. Lord, how can you serve me so? – I swear I’ll cry out. – You’re a wicked Devil. – And you’re a bold Face. – Eh ye little dear Toad! Come, buss! – Then they’d hug, and play, and toy, and go out by Couples into another Room on the same Floor, to be marry’d, as they call’d it.

* For those who were in charge of writing the records (ie not the ‘mollies’ themselves!), the identity of ‘molly’ seems to have been just as much about gendered behaviour markers (see the quotation above re: speech patterns, curtsies, dances) as it is about sexuality (kissing, sex, ‘lewdness’). If the people who hung out at Mother Clap’s could be magically zapped to the 21st century, I don’t know if they would identify themselves as gay, bi, trans*, genderqueer or all of the above – but I do suspect they’d probably be ecstatically happy at being given the choice.  

Norton suggests that it seems likely that Clap ran her business partly for her own pleasure and because she enjoyed the company – the place wasn’t run as a brothel: rather she rented rooms out to individual tenants, provided cooked meals and brought in drink to serve from a nearby tavern, probably garnering an additional profit on this. One man, Thomas Wright, rented a room from her for two solid years. There is something really appealing about the image of her hanging out and having fun with her customers, and about the idea that there was a friendly place for queer people to  meet up with each other all those years ago.

Clap’s certainly wasn’t the first ‘Molly house’ in London, either. The sensationalist journalist Ned Ward visited one in 1709, and wrote up a lurid version of his experiences. This account (also from Rictor’s sourcebook) includes his observations of a particularly interesting ceremony in which one of the members of the group ‘gave birth’:

Not long since, upon one of their Festival Nights, they had cusheon’d up the Belly of one of their Sodomitical Brethren, or rather Sisters, as they commonly call’d themselves, disguising him in a Womans Night-Gown, Sarsnet-Hood, and Nightrale, who, when the Company were met, was to mimick the wry Faces of a groaning Woman, to be deliver’d of a joynted Babie they had provided for that Purpose, and to undergo all the Formalities of a Lying in. The Wooden Off-spring to be afterwards Christen’d, and the holy Sacrament of Baptism to be impudently Prophan’d, for the Diversion of the Profligates, who, when their infamous Society were assembl’d in a Body, put their wicked Contrivance accordingly into practice.

Although it’s likely that Ward is exaggerating somewhat for sensational effect, this account is corroborated by later arrests in the 1810s where ‘mollies’ were caught carrying out similar activities. I genuinely have no idea what to make of this record in terms of modern gender and identity – was this a folk ritual? A drag show? A comic parody? The acting-out of an unfulfilled desire? I really don’t know, and I’m not sure anybody else does either.

After the raid in 1726, Clap herself was charged with running a house of ill-repute, and sentenced to pay a heavy fine, to stand in the pillories at Smithfield market to be pelted with stray objects and rotting food by passers-by, and then to be imprisoned for two years. The records show that she fainted twice while being pilloried: we don’t know whether she survived the prison term, as she was never heard from again. Meanwhile, three of her customers were hanged at Tyburn for sodomy – Gabriel Lawrence, William Griffin, and her long-term tenant, Thomas Wright. Let’s remember them, and the woman who made a safe space for them for as long as she could.

It would be a long time before London’s queer scene would be as safe and friendly as it is in 2012. However, there’s quite a large part of me that’s very pleased to know that nearly three hundred years ago, it was every bit as colourful as it is today… and apparently, every bit as weird.

More!

Resources from Rictor Norton’s Homosexuality in Eighteenth Century England sourcebook: Rictor Norton (Ed.), Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook. Updated 24 June 2012 <http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/>.

The Raid on Mother Clap’s Molly House: http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/mother.htm

Ned Ward’s account of ‘The Mollies House’: http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/nedward.htm

The Trial of Margaret Clap: http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/clap.htm

The Trial of Thomas Wright: http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1726wrig.htm

The Trial of Gabriel Lawrence: http://rictornorton.co.uk/eighteen/1726lawr.htm

Article at GLBTQ.com:  http://www.glbtq.com/social-sciences/clap_m.html

Blurb for Norton’s book – buy it if you can, it’s amazing! http://rictornorton.co.uk/molly.htm

Tuesday, March 25, 2014
simperingcreatures:

"Toronto Bus Terminal Still Male Sex Mart!" Flash. 10 March 1956. Newspaper excerpt.

simperingcreatures:

"Toronto Bus Terminal Still Male Sex Mart!" Flash. 10 March 1956. Newspaper excerpt.

Sunday, March 23, 2014
SHP Reblogs: earlier posts from the vault! New posts coming late May 2014.
secrethistoriesproject:

20. Ten Interesting Facts About Alfred Kinsey
OK, so you’ve probably heard of Alfred Kinsey: zoologist and social scientist, 1894-1956 (there he is on the cover of TIME magazine, August 1953 with humorously positioned birds and bees)… but have you met Alfred Kinsey: bi poly man, author of a secondary-school science textbook and enthusiastic collector of gall wasps?
If nothing else, many people will probably have heard of the Kinsey Scale — that much-misused metric that has now generated its own minor tat industry. But did you know that: 
Despite the fact that his father was an academic, Kinsey survived some reasonably serious poverty in his childhood — this led to him contracting rickets, rheumatic fever and an inadequately-treated case of typhoid. This in turn caused him to have health problems for the rest of his life. I don’t know whether he identified as a person with a disability, but he was deemed unacceptable for service in WWI as a result of damage to his spine during his childhood illnesses. 
He was a well-respected zoologist before beginning his work on human sexuality — in 1937, he was listed as a ‘starred scientist’ by American Men of Science.
In fact, the American Museum of Natural History in New York still owns about 7.5 million specimens of gall wasps collected by him in the 1910s…
As a young scientist, he also wrote a secondary-school textbook, An Introduction to Biology, which was one of the first texts to present the natural world as a landscape to explore, rather than a set of resources to be exploited — he stated that it was ’a mistake to test the importance of knowledge by its known, dollars-and-cents application’. However, the textbook also dealt somewhat problematically with the issue of eugenics. You can read more about it at the amazing Textbook History blog here.
Kinsey was bi and poly. He married Clara McMillen in 1921, but the couple had an open relationship (I love the fact that Kinsey’s Wikipedia page says 'He allowed his wife to sleep with other men…' — understanding how open relationships work: yr doin it wrong). Kinsey’s male partners included Clyde Martin, one of his graduate students, who appears at some points to have had a triad-style relationship with both Kinsey and McMillen.
In the 1930s, Kinsey became interested in doing academic work on human sexuality — including teaching a class on ‘Married Sexuality’ in which only students who were married or engaged were permitted to enrol! He interviewed thousands of subjects to gather data, and in 1948 and 1953 he published his findings as Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male and Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female. You can read more about his findings here and here: many of the statistics in the ‘Kinsey Reports’ are still being thrown around today (the infamous '10% of the population' figure, ,  for example, is based on Kinsey data, even though Kinsey didn’t believe that most people actually were ‘exclusively homosexual’ or ‘exclusively heterosexual’).
That in response to allegations that his samples had been biased (for example, some of his original research subjects were drawn from prison populations, and the original studies severely under-represented people of colour), in 1979 Kinsey’s facts and data were re-checked by his successor Paul Gebhard… who found that they in fact mostly held up: where Kinsey had found 37% of men had had at least one ‘homosexual experience’, Gebhard found 36.4%. 
That in the 1980s and 1990s, questions were raised about the possibility that Kinsey and the Kinsey Institute had encouraged child abuse among Kinsey’s research subjects. Some of these allegations went to civil court, and were eventually dismissed in 1994. 
That the Kinsey scale also has a classification of ‘X’ for ‘asexual’, which was later added by Kinsey’s research associates — as far as I know there has yet to be an 'I'm A Kinsey X' button printed, but I think it would be a great addition to the collection!
And finally, that Kinsey’s work is carried on at the University of Indiana today by the Kinsey Institute! You can watch a short documentary video about it here. There’s even a sex-ed arm of the Institute, found at http://kinseyconfidential.org/, which provides free information for the general public.
I particularly like reading about Alfred Kinsey because I think it’s so common nowadays to have a mental image of the 1940s and 1950s as a time when sex was incredibly tightly repressed, and when any kind of non-normative behaviour was somehow less possible than it is today, even behind closed doors (interestingly, that’s certainly the image perpetuated by the trailer for the 2004 biographical film Kinsey (link is to video). However, Kinsey’s own life indicates that this really wasn’t the case — he started doing serious research and publicising people’s sexual behaviour, but he certainly didn’t invent it! One of the links below is to an exhibition of vintage sex toys that demonstrates exactly how filthy underground culture in the first half of the twentieth century could be — stereotypes very much to the contrary. As Kinsey himself said:
The history of medicine proves that in so far as man seeks to know himself and face his whole nature, he has become free from bewildered fear, despondent shame, or arrant hypocrisy. As long as sex is dealt with in the current confusion of ignorance and sophistication, denial and indulgence, suppression and stimulation, punishment and exploitation, secrecy and display, it will be associated with a duplicity and indecency that lead neither to intellectual honesty nor human dignity. (from Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male, 1948). 
To the extent that we are able to talk about sex with ‘intellectual honesty’ and ‘human dignity’ today, I think we owe a lot to Kinsey and his work. 
More: 
Biographical materials at the Kinsey Institute: http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/about/kinseybio.html
Collection of vintage sex toys from an exhibit held by the Kinsey Institute: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SMoPplInb4
Discussion of Kinsey’s Introduction to Biology at the Textbook History blog: http://www.textbookhistory.com/?p=21#more-21
The ‘Kinsey Confidential’ sex ed site: http://kinseyconfidential.org/
Trailer for the 2004 film Kinsey: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppZwSABxeYE
Wikipedia bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Kinsey
Wikipedia articles on ‘The Kinsey Reports’: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_Behavior_in_the_Human_Female
Google Books link: Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pfMKrY3VvigC&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=sexual+behaviour+in+the+human+male&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=i0nXUK6pH43M0AWNuIHABw&amp;ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA
Google Books link: Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9GpBB61LV14C&amp;printsec=frontcover&amp;dq=sexual+behaviour+in+the+human+male&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=i0nXUK6pH43M0AWNuIHABw&amp;ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ
Google Books link: David Leys’ Insatiable Wives contains a chapter on Kinsey, McMillen and Martin: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=tctxQzAKdJgC&amp;lpg=PA59&amp;dq=ley%20kinsey&amp;pg=PA59#v=onepage&amp;q=ley%20kinsey&amp;f=false

SHP Reblogs: earlier posts from the vault! New posts coming late May 2014.

secrethistoriesproject:

20. Ten Interesting Facts About Alfred Kinsey


OK, so you’ve probably heard of Alfred Kinsey: zoologist and social scientist, 1894-1956 (there he is on the cover of TIME magazine, August 1953 with humorously positioned birds and bees)… but have you met Alfred Kinsey: bi poly man, author of a secondary-school science textbook and enthusiastic collector of gall wasps?

If nothing else, many people will probably have heard of the Kinsey Scale — that much-misused metric that has now generated its own minor tat industry. But did you know that: 

  1. Despite the fact that his father was an academic, Kinsey survived some reasonably serious poverty in his childhood — this led to him contracting rickets, rheumatic fever and an inadequately-treated case of typhoid. This in turn caused him to have health problems for the rest of his life. I don’t know whether he identified as a person with a disability, but he was deemed unacceptable for service in WWI as a result of damage to his spine during his childhood illnesses. 
  2. He was a well-respected zoologist before beginning his work on human sexuality — in 1937, he was listed as a ‘starred scientist’ by American Men of Science.
  3. In fact, the American Museum of Natural History in New York still owns about 7.5 million specimens of gall wasps collected by him in the 1910s…
  4. As a young scientist, he also wrote a secondary-school textbook, An Introduction to Biology, which was one of the first texts to present the natural world as a landscape to explore, rather than a set of resources to be exploited — he stated that it was ’a mistake to test the importance of knowledge by its known, dollars-and-cents application’. However, the textbook also dealt somewhat problematically with the issue of eugenics. You can read more about it at the amazing Textbook History blog here.
  5. Kinsey was bi and poly. He married Clara McMillen in 1921, but the couple had an open relationship (I love the fact that Kinsey’s Wikipedia page says 'He allowed his wife to sleep with other men…' — understanding how open relationships work: yr doin it wrong). Kinsey’s male partners included Clyde Martin, one of his graduate students, who appears at some points to have had a triad-style relationship with both Kinsey and McMillen.
  6. In the 1930s, Kinsey became interested in doing academic work on human sexuality — including teaching a class on ‘Married Sexuality’ in which only students who were married or engaged were permitted to enrol! He interviewed thousands of subjects to gather data, and in 1948 and 1953 he published his findings as Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male and Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female. You can read more about his findings here and here: many of the statistics in the ‘Kinsey Reports’ are still being thrown around today (the infamous '10% of the population' figure,  for example, is based on Kinsey data, even though Kinsey didn’t believe that most people actually were ‘exclusively homosexual’ or ‘exclusively heterosexual’).
  7. That in response to allegations that his samples had been biased (for example, some of his original research subjects were drawn from prison populations, and the original studies severely under-represented people of colour), in 1979 Kinsey’s facts and data were re-checked by his successor Paul Gebhard… who found that they in fact mostly held up: where Kinsey had found 37% of men had had at least one ‘homosexual experience’, Gebhard found 36.4%. 
  8. That in the 1980s and 1990s, questions were raised about the possibility that Kinsey and the Kinsey Institute had encouraged child abuse among Kinsey’s research subjects. Some of these allegations went to civil court, and were eventually dismissed in 1994. 
  9. That the Kinsey scale also has a classification of ‘X’ for ‘asexual’, which was later added by Kinsey’s research associates — as far as I know there has yet to be an 'I'm A Kinsey X' button printed, but I think it would be a great addition to the collection!
  10. And finally, that Kinsey’s work is carried on at the University of Indiana today by the Kinsey Institute! You can watch a short documentary video about it here. There’s even a sex-ed arm of the Institute, found at http://kinseyconfidential.org/, which provides free information for the general public.

I particularly like reading about Alfred Kinsey because I think it’s so common nowadays to have a mental image of the 1940s and 1950s as a time when sex was incredibly tightly repressed, and when any kind of non-normative behaviour was somehow less possible than it is today, even behind closed doors (interestingly, that’s certainly the image perpetuated by the trailer for the 2004 biographical film Kinsey (link is to video). However, Kinsey’s own life indicates that this really wasn’t the case — he started doing serious research and publicising people’s sexual behaviour, but he certainly didn’t invent it! One of the links below is to an exhibition of vintage sex toys that demonstrates exactly how filthy underground culture in the first half of the twentieth century could be — stereotypes very much to the contrary. As Kinsey himself said:

The history of medicine proves that in so far as man seeks to know himself and face his whole nature, he has become free from bewildered fear, despondent shame, or arrant hypocrisy. As long as sex is dealt with in the current confusion of ignorance and sophistication, denial and indulgence, suppression and stimulation, punishment and exploitation, secrecy and display, it will be associated with a duplicity and indecency that lead neither to intellectual honesty nor human dignity. (from Sexual Behaviour in the Human Male, 1948). 

To the extent that we are able to talk about sex with ‘intellectual honesty’ and ‘human dignity’ today, I think we owe a lot to Kinsey and his work. 

More: 

Biographical materials at the Kinsey Institute: http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/about/kinseybio.html

Collection of vintage sex toys from an exhibit held by the Kinsey Institute: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SMoPplInb4

Discussion of Kinsey’s Introduction to Biology at the Textbook History blog: http://www.textbookhistory.com/?p=21#more-21

The ‘Kinsey Confidential’ sex ed site: http://kinseyconfidential.org/

Trailer for the 2004 film Kinseyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppZwSABxeYE

Wikipedia bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Kinsey

Wikipedia articles on ‘The Kinsey Reports’: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_Behavior_in_the_Human_Female

Google Books link: Sexual Behaviour in the Human Malehttp://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pfMKrY3VvigC&printsec=frontcover&dq=sexual+behaviour+in+the+human+male&hl=en&sa=X&ei=i0nXUK6pH43M0AWNuIHABw&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAA

Google Books link: Sexual Behaviour in the Human Femalehttp://books.google.co.uk/books?id=9GpBB61LV14C&printsec=frontcover&dq=sexual+behaviour+in+the+human+male&hl=en&sa=X&ei=i0nXUK6pH43M0AWNuIHABw&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ

Google Books link: David Leys’ Insatiable Wives contains a chapter on Kinsey, McMillen and Martin: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=tctxQzAKdJgC&lpg=PA59&dq=ley%20kinsey&pg=PA59#v=onepage&q=ley%20kinsey&f=false