Anna Freud Part I

Anna Freud is not the most well-known name in the Freud family. Intentional or not, there is a heavy shadow hanging over her story. Sigmund Freud is a well-known man, but he is not well-loved in the queer community. His homophobic and transphobic ideas taint his already largely disproven theories. Worship him or despise him, he is remembered and still discussed in most psychology circles. The same cannot be said for his youngest daughter. One of the founders of child psychology and an open lesbian, Anna Freud was not always in line with her father’s teachings. Despite all of the conflict one would expect between them, one fact is clear: Anna Freud loved her father.

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Queer Mythology in the Philippines

The Philippines is one of the most LGBT friendly countries in Asia. A 2014 poll found that 73% of Filipinos said that gay and lesbian people should be accepted by society—a shockingly different opinion from other nearby Asian countries with Malaysia coming in at 9% and Indonesia at 3%. This is surprising in a majority Roman Catholic country like the Philippines. There is a long history of acceptance for queer people in the Philippines, dating all the way back to pre-Spanish colonization and conversion to Catholicism. In Filipino mythology, there was always a queer presence.

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Jane Addams

Historians erasing queerness from the narrative isn’t new. Jane Addams’ story has gone another way; her queerness is known, and cannot be erased. Without it, her legacy would not exist in the same way. Instead, scholars and historians have attempted to use her work to overshadow her queerness while claiming the opposite was happening. Acknowledging one part of her life does not erase another; we must look at all the parts of her life to understand who she is and why she lived the life she did.

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Bajazid Doda

It is not uncommon within our research to find someone as deeply unappreciated as Bajazid Doda, but we find a first in that Doda's murderer overwhelms any story about his life. Doda was an Albanian ethnographer and photographer who watched the destruction of his culture and took action against it, recording the landscape and identity of the Upper Reka Valley within Albania. His work has served as a touchstone within academia surrounding the Upper Reka Valley. Still, he is most well-known for his relationship with the man who would ultimately take his life.

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Ljuba Prenner

The study of queer history is frequently stalled by one debate: is it fair and reasonable to label a historical figure with language that they did not exist for them? Our project has long answered yes to this question, and we still do. We acknowledge that there is complexity in that task, and Ljuba Prenner, a Slovenian lawyer and author, is one of the clearest examples. There are layers of societal understanding, cultural differences, and personal experiences that all tie directly into how not only we see queer people but how queer people see themselves. The question we ask now is this: how many layers can be removed before you begin to erase a person's right to self-identify?

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Making Queer History Now

October is LGBTQ+ History Month, and we took this opportunity to explore some of the great queer creators, thinkers, and movers making history now. We’ve previously explored what it means to make queer history; from living openly and authentically, to fighting for policy change, to creating work that inspires others. The ways people can connect queerness and their experiences are endless and wonderful. This month we were able to speak with several folks, including Lindsay Amer of Queer Kid Stuff, Kyle Fairall of Queerflex, Georgia Mannion-Krase of Queer Book Box, Sophie Labelle of Assigned Male Comics, Eli and Krista Coughlin-Galbraith of Shapeshifters, and Ash Hardell.

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Amrita Sher-Gil

Since our last article was about an art forger, it only makes sense to move on to an artist. Amrita Sher-Gil remains one of the most revered women in the Indian art world, with her paintings among the most expensive in the country. Born into luxury in Hungary, she chose to go to India to share the lives of those who were most often ignored, painting women and people living in poverty. She worked to showcase the complexity of their lives through her work. For most of her short career, she sought the stories of those who had been overlooked. To honour that path, we will follow behind her, and try our best to tell her story.

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Elmyr de Hory Part II

He spoke of his life [in Ibiza], saying:

“It was my kind of place. People seemed to live on terribly small incomes in those days. Anyone who had two hundred dollars a month was considered rich. I became friendly with some of the up-and-coming artists like Edith Sommer, Clifford Smith, and David Walsh. They had great talent, and I had a little more money at my disposal than they did-I wanted to help them, so I bought their work. That’s why I called myself an art collector. I myself, when I first arrived, kept working on my own paintings. I still had hopes that one day I would be a success. I made a series of watercolors of the port and some views of the Old City. But as I got more and more involved with Fernand and Réal, I more and more hid the fact that I was an artist. They were furious when I told them I’d spoken to Ivan Spence, the Englishman who ran the local art gallery, about having a show of my own. Finally, I stopped doing my own work altogether.”

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Elmyr de Hory Part I

This article contains mentions of the Holocaust and suicide.

When discussing queer people and the law, it isn't rare for the two to conflict. Not only because of the many queer identities that are or have been illegal throughout the world, but also because once you question the morality of one law, it is not a large leap to wonder at the morality of others. As we look at the life of one of the most famous art forgers in the world, that conflict becomes particularly relevant.

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Algernon Charles Swinburne

There is a demand of queer people to be respectable; to please the dominant society, to conform, to hide that which is seen as other. They draw contempt from inside and outside of the community. However, it is those queer people who abandon respectability who provoke change. Algernon Charles Swinburne was not one to hide who he was, nor was he quiet about his beliefs. Oscar Wilde called Swinburne “a braggart in matters of vice, who had done everything he could to convince his fellow citizens of his homosexuality and bestiality without being in the slightest degree a homosexual or a bestialiser.” While it’s true Swinburne often encouraged and even started rumours about himself, sometimes to draw attention and other times for humour, his sexuality was anything but.

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Victor Barker

Any time we look at the life of a transgender man throughout history, there are a number of hurdles we must first overcome. There are many reasons for a person assigned female at birth to wear clothes associated outside of that assigned gender. Historically, there is a precedent for women to dress as men to gain economic status or to more comfortably live in a relationship with another woman. It's important to untangle these threads in order to find the motivation. Victor Baker is a clear example of how these threads can weave a complete life story. If given access to our modern labels, we can see how he might have identified.

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Nils Asther

"Like Garbo, I have been given many labels by the newspapers, ‘Very nearly as handsome as Valentino' . . . 'the masculine version of that mysterious fascination with Garbo's.' [But] I am tired of being just a screen lover, and I hope someday to get a chance to be myself. I am rather like Greta in that I like to be alone. I love peace and quiet. Hollywood is really no place for me. I stagnate here . . . I only feel awake when the air is fresh and crisp as in my native Scandinavia.” — Nils Asther

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