Bayard Rustin: At the intersection of black and queer


Black. Gay. Activist. During an era when segregation and severe homophobia began rearing its ugly head in the U.S, an era when the AIDS crisis was just beginning to shake the world at its core Bayard Rustin was in the trenches fighting first for the civil rights of his fellow African American brothers and sisters, and later: the lesbian and gay community. Although Rustin faced harsh criticisms and scrutiny for his identity, his [queer] intervention concerned more than just the iconic mass march on Washington as he was an advocate and often silent leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence and gay rights. A man at the intersection of black and queer, devoted his life with purpose unlike any I’ve ever seen.

Read More

Jeanette Schmid


We have covered a number of different professions throughout this project: writers, activists, actors, business owners, singers. There is more than enough proof that queer people can (and will) fill any role. So when we approach the subject of this article we aren’t confused by the fact a queer person held the role; we are surprised that this is a role that is held at all. Jeanette Schmid began as a female impersonator and ended up as a professional whistler.

Read More

Lou Sullivan


To make a community is to come together. For queer folks, we often have to fight for that community. But what of those who are a part of multiple communities; those who do the work to bring communities together? For Lou Sullivan, pioneer of the grassroots FTM movement, it meant paving the way for himself and other gay trans men.

Read More

Cássia Eller

To talk about an artist is all too often to talk about their work. An artist’s creations can say much more about the person creating than was ever intended and can give us insight into their minds that we would never have had access to otherwise. It becomes difficult when there is a language barrier between the artist and oneself. There are translations of course, but so many translations are robotic at best, literally so if google translate is the only option. Instead, we can look to the impact of their work, and the effect their art had on their community. This is what we will be doing as we look at Cássia Eller, a Brazilian rock and MPB musician.

Read More

Frieda Belinfante Part 1


In a world like ours, women like Frieda Belinfante are dearly needed. The first woman in Europe to be artistic director, conductor of an ongoing professional orchestral ensemble, and cellist, she was a woman who put her passions to the side when it became evident that the world around her needed something more. Let us look together at Frieda Belinfante, a queer woman who shaped the world and protected those around her.

Read More

Eleanor Rykener

There is a fine line historians must walk between being thoughtful in using contemporary language for historical figures and erasing queer people from history. While someone from ancient Sumer wouldn’t have used the word “bisexual”, for example, we can discuss how their sexuality and experiences fit this modern term. We walk that line with every article, and we try to do so respectfully. There are, however, those who act under the guise of historical accuracy only to deny queer persons our history, particularly those stories of trans women.

Read More

Redefining the Dandy: The Asexual Man of Fashion

Dandies appeared on the page, stage, and European streets beginning in the nineteenth century, reaching into the twentieth century. Although these men were slaves to fashion, they pioneered a new mode of queer expression still emulated today, both in gender expression and in lifestyle. Here we’re exploring the dandy lifestyle as queer––not solely homosexual––with a particular focus on the dandy as asexual, an often ignored historical possibility. We’ll also take a closer look at the similarities between the dandy lifestyle, nonbinary gender expression, and asexuality.

Read More

Lesbia Harford

In the course of this project, we’ve looked at dozens of stories, dozens of lives. The most excited and difficult part is often picking through all of the stories to find the truth. So often our stories are rewritten when we are no longer around the tell them. In uncovering our history, we must find the truth of the lives lived and not the truth we want.

Read More

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs

To discuss the beginning of the “queer movement” is to find yourself digging for roots that go far deeper than anyone can imagine. Many people define the start of the queer movement with the Stonewall Riots, a political act in 1969 that sparked a revolution in America, a moment that may more accurately be described as one that turned the tides. Another commonly choice is found in the life and work of Magnus Hirschfeld, who revolutionized research surrounding queerness in all its forms, bringing people together and building a base we all now stand on. Today though, we look earlier to Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, a man who inspired Magnus Hirschfeld, and pushed the queer movement into the spotlight.

Read More

Zimri-Lim, King of Mari

For this week’s article, we will be going farther back than we have in a while, which also means we will be working with less information and primary sources than we usually have access to. Information about this man only became available in 1933 when the ancient city of Mari was discovered in Syria. There they discovered 20,000 tablets filled with writings. More than 3000 of these tablets are letters, one of which reveals that the King of Mari, Zimri-Lim, had male lovers. And that is who we will be looking at this week: a man who ruled Mari from 1775 B.C. until 1761 B.C. and led Mari through what is regarded as it’s most prosperous and peaceful years.

Read More

Queer Crips: Reclaiming Language

There is something powerful in reclaiming language. There’s the shock value of it, but it’s also a way to take back some of the power. It’s a way to navigate a difficult experience; it’s not right for every person, but for many, it’s empowering. For queer crips, it’s a way to connect, to reject, and to describe the experience of feeling trapped between two communities.

Read More