Monday, October 12, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: Who's Gay? Who's OUT? History, Herstory, Our story... Gay people Past and Present

One of the really fun things to do as a GSA (or heck, just as an individual) is to find out about historical figures who were Gay, or Bi, or Lesbian, or Transgender, or Questioning. And yeah, I know that these words for same-gender and same-sex love are new, but there is a lot of history (and herstory) that tells us that a guy falling in love with another guy, and a girl falling in love with another girl, is NOT so new.

So I encourage you to take some time this week and challenge your GSA members (and yourself) to find and share info about historical figures - and current day figures - who are part of our GLBTQ community.

And since it's a game of sorts, allow me to play first. My category: MUSIC.

Famous Gay Historical Figure from the Past:

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
(Here he is as a Teenager)

Tchaikovsky composed the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, and the 1812 Overture... One of the world's greatest classical composers, he was gay.
And check out this quick look at the Gay version of "Swan Lake," by Matthew Bourne - it's set to Tchaikovsky's famous music, and the entire ballet was amazing! (The swans in it are MEN - not a group of ballerinas in tutus!)

(You can also check out this summary of Tchaikovsky's male loves and his disastrous "friendship" marriage to a woman of only a few months here.)

Famous Gay Historical Figure From the Present:

an international Pop star, who recently came out as Bisexual.

Check out Mika's video "Blame It On The Girls." The next line is "Blame it on the boys," but the best (or is it just the "gayest" line in it - is when he sings "he has a face that makes you fall on your knees."

History. OUR history. What a fun way to celebrate yesterday's "National Coming Out Day", and of course, October being GLBT History Month.

Another way to celebrate is to check out this cool website with a new Historical GLBT Figure every day for the whole Month of October!

Enjoy, and Namaste,

ps: My thanks to loyal reader Adrienne for the Tchaikovsky info!


Hayden Thorne said...

Here's another fantastic resource on anything GLBT. For history geeks like me, you can check out Rictor Norton's site on GLBT history as well as the Androphile Gay History Project. And a book on letters written between gay male lovers through history is Dear Boy: Gay Love Letters through the Centuries. I love that book. Letters are so private and revelatory, and a lot of the letters published in that book are so beautiful.

ivanova said...

Aw, I'm so glad you picked Tschaikovsky! I love Tsaichovsky!

Kaia said...

Okay, so, I'm Swedish, and in school we learned a lot about queen Kristina (1626-1689). Which is to say that we learned that she was raised as a boy, became a "girl king" (that is, she was actually sworn in as a king, according to Wiki), and that she abdicated to be able to practice her religion - she was Catholic, and Sweden is Protestant - and that was that. I think I was 22 or so when I came across a biography which talked about her being a lesbian and actually abdicating to be able to be with the love of her life. Biggest surprise of my life, seriously. And one that makes me ridiculously happy, at that!

So, she's my contribution to your post.

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

Hayden, those are some great links - and yeah, before emails and telephones, love letters RULED!

ivanova - honestly seeing the Matthew Bourne version of Swan Lake transformed my entire take on Tchaikovsky! Loved it!

Kaia, isn't it amazing how history is mis-told to make the tellers' point? I'm glad you (and we all) got the real scoop on Queen Kristina, though I still don't think "word" is out and known about her story... Would love to read a good historical that got into it in depth, actually!

Thanks everyone for joining in!

Hayden Thorne said...

Forgot to note that your Tchaikovsky link went to Rictor Norton's site. Whoopsie. Well, he gets even more traffic that way, I suppose. :)

Adrienne said...

thanks for reading my comments and doing a post on him! ^_^

Lee Wind, M.Ed. said...

I love suggestions - keep them coming!