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LGBT legal history

It’s incredible to think that LGBT activism is so recent, and that legal provision against discrimination is generally even younger, and still non-existent in many areas, and this when LGBTers have been propping up world culture from Plato, through Leonardo da Vinci to Oscar Wilde.

If the history of activism and legal provision against discrimination is short, then depressingly, the history of persecution is as long as human history.  Although ancient attitudes were vastly different from ours, discrimination has always been indiscriminate and unpredictable, and as much a product of popular or governmental whim, as anything else.  Consider for example that although Brazil decriminalised homosexual acts in 1830, Russia criminalised the same thing in 1832.

These vastly differing attitudes only serve to demonstrate the enormous muddle that has been made of the subject over history – that and society’s patent inability to deal with the subject.  One thing is consistent however, and that is the presence of LGBT in human culture, from as early as 10,000BC, as shown in artefacts such as carved double dildos which have been found in France.

We think this is another key time in LGBT history, and that LGBT people have never before had such a chance to become equal status citizens wherever they may be, and whatever they may do. The first country to legalise same-sex marriages was the Netherlands, in 2001, and until the same rights are felt and acted upon in every country in the world, there’s a lot to do.  If history shows us one thing, it is human resilience in the face of such persecution.

The late 18th and 19th centuries saw the beginning of activism as we know it, and those involved were frankly nothing less than heroes, when we think what so many of them had to put up with. 

But we’re concerned that although rights have advanced in some areas, other areas, such as transgendered rights are still far behind, and that there’s still a huge amount of heroism, as well as plain old day to day activism, to come.

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