Different from the Others, the Beginning

This week, we will begin our second series, in which we will discuss queer representation in film and television. For the first time in the history of this project, it will be in chronological order. To start this series, we find ourselves at the beginning, at the first film to portray queer people positively and explicitly: Different from the Others (Anders Als Die Andern) which was released in 1919. We want to clarify that this is not a media review, so we will not be discussing the quality of the film, but instead its existence and its contents.

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The Golden Orchid

After a long stretch of Grace stepping up and saving the day by writing the articles, Laura is back and excited to talk about Golden Orchid Society. The Golden Orchid Society was a collection of organizations in South China that began during the Qing dynasty and existed from approximately 1644 to 1949 when they were banned because they were associated with an attempt to overthrow the Manchu Emperor. Over the course of 300 years, however, they created an order of women who stood in solidarity with other women against heterosexual marriages that were oppressive at best and far too often abusive. While some of the women may have been heterosexual and avoiding marriage for reasons unrelated to their sexuality, it was common for members of the association to be lesbians or bisexual. They found the safety and family in the Golden Orchid Society that their biological relatives had never provided them.

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Sir Ewan Forbes, the Doctor

To begin our week of daily articles, we have decided to look into the life of the transgender doctor, Sir Ewan Forbes. Forbes was born into a noble family, and later in life gained the title of baronet. From a young age, Ewan was not interested in conforming to gender norms. Through most of his childhood, Ewan was able to avoid acting and dressing as Scottish society expected him to and was only seen in traditionally female clothing on special occasions. Most of his life, that easiness followed him as it did for most people who were born into a privileged family like his.

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Osh-Tisch, the Warrior

This week, we will be looking at the incredible warrior, Osh-Tisch. Before we start, we must clarify some important things. In this article, we will be referring to Osh-Tisch as baté, which is a Crow word referring to a person assigned male at birth who is a woman. We will be using this word, because it is the word she used for herself, and while we embrace giving new words to old experiences, we are not here to strip away the words people used to describe themselves.

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Josephine Baker: A Woman with Eclectic Talents

This week we move to Josephine Baker, a renowned dancer, singer, mother, spy, and bisexual woman of colour. It is rare for us to identify a historical figure so clearly, but with some help from her son, historian Jean-Claude Baker, we can. Born on June 3, 1906, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, Baker’s life was never without its share of obstacles. Josephine Baker, however, wasn’t familiar with the word “stop”; she worked as an entertainer, an activist, a military woman, and a mother, and did not rest. Summarizing her life in a brief, concise, and full manner is next to impossible, but we will do our best.

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Kristina: King of Sweden

We've so far looked at simple stories, in that their identities are clear. This is not the case with Kristina of Sweden. There is far more interpretation at play, as there are many labels Kristina may have fallen under. Without her to clarify, we do our best with the information at hand. What we know for certain is that she was not heterosexual, cisgender, and dyadic.

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Sappho: The Poetess

We thought it best to begin as close to the start as possible, though we're certain the project will jump throughout history. While there is no way to know who was the first human to experience same-gender romantic attraction, we will go back as far as recorded history allows. We begin with the origin of the word Sapphic and one of the most recognizable figures in history: Sappho.

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