This post is part of a series of nine posts. Please click here to start with the series Introduction.
I had always been under the impression that LGBTQ people were a new phenomenon. That the population of gay and transgender people had really taken off during the modern age those “godless” sixties. And that before it had become “cool” to be gay, virtually no one was. But that wasn’t making sense anymore. Even today, being queer continues to unleash considerable bias and discrimination. Kids are still routinely getting kicked out of their homes for admitting they are gay or trans. I couldn’t see any benefit to coming out as LGBTQ unless that really was who that person was.
In my research I had begun to uncover stories of gay people throughout history, and not only that, transgender people were around too. Throughout history is a whole list of people who upon their deaths were discovered to have anatomy which did not conform with the gender they had publicly lived as. Some of these persons were quite famous such as Chevalier d’Eon, a French diplomat during the 18th century; but most of them were ordinary people who knew that the gender assigned at birth did not match them. Growing up I had read some stories about women who disguised themselves as men to serve in the military such as during the Civil War, but what I hadn’t picked up on then but discovered later is how many of them continued to live as men after the war ended. Without the help of any of the medical advances of today, these people transitioned to living authentic lives in the gender that they felt fit them. My research was starting to point towards gender variant people as being a part of the diversity of the human family whose source was from antiquity. The myth of transgender persons being new or a radical experiment of the psychological community didn’t add up.