Monday, July 29, 2019

Crowdsourcing Amazing LGBTQ History - The Baburnama, Kuan Yin, and...? #QueerHistoryIsEverywhere

As I speak about LGBTQ history, and how it didn't all start with Stonewall, I've had this amazing thing happen again and again.

I'll be talking about how the facade of history, as it is taught in our culture, would have us believe that everyone important in history was a rich, white, able-bodied, cis-gendered, hetero man from Europe—and that's just not true.

How there were poor people, and people of color, and disabled people, and gender non-conforming people, and Queer people from all over the world and as far back as we can go in history, who changed our world!

How every example we find of men who loved men, and women who loved women, and people who lived outside gender boundaries cracks that false facade and lets some rainbow light through.

And afterwards, while signing my Queer as a Five-Dollar Bill novel for them, or in an excited conversation, or in an email, they'll tell me about a piece of hidden LGBTQ history that they know.

Have I heard about Babur, the Prince and Emperor, who wrote in his autobiography (the first autobiography ever in Islamic literature) about his teenage love for another boy?

I hadn't, and I got the Baburnama from the library - it's amazing and true and romantic... and that story is going to be in my upcoming book, coming out from Zest/Lerner publishing, The Queer History Project: No Way, They Were Gay? LGBTQ People Across Time and Around Our World.

Have I heard about Kuan Yin, the Chinese bodhisattva (someone who delays their own ascension to be a Buddah to work to relieve the suffering of others), who is a Trans icon?

I hadn't, but I'm reading up on them now!

In short, I'm collecting these stories - about people, and cultures, and legends - and I'd love to hear from you. Whether you think I've heard of them or not, please reach out and tell me about the LGBTQAI+ history you know. About the men who loved men, women who loved women, people who lived outside gender boundaries, cultures that saw—and see—gender differently than we do today, and myths and legends and gods and goddesses that are part of our Queer heritage.

So let me know - in comments, via email, or on social media - and if you have a source to share, that's even better! I'll share it all, and if it ends up in a book, I will of course thank you!

You can also use the hashtag #QueerHistoryIsEverywhere
Because it is.

And together, we can tear down that wall - that false facade of history - and let all the amazing rainbow light of history shine through!

The light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you,

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