Note: This is the first post in the blog’s new LGBTime Machine series. Stay tuned for future posts about genderqueer folks through history!
By Sabeau Rea, Communications Intern
I’m here, genderqueer, and ready to embark with you on a journey to discover the truly astounding history of the community my grandmother likes to refer to as, “The Gays.”
To make sure we’re all up to speed before we head off on a quest that could make even Princess Leia (R.I.P. the legendary Carrie Fisher) jealous, this is how my good friends over at Merriam Webster superbly define genderqueer, “…a person whose gender identity cannot be categorized as solely male or female.” Now that we all have a relatively solid comprehension of how overwhelmingly genderqueer I am, let’s get started.
My experience of “Life” (the kind where you exist and then die, not the wildly successful board game kind) as a genderqueer person is spectacular. With the never ending opulent confetti party that is my existence… there are still some downsides. Namely— transphobia. For instance, : people frequently explain to me that addressing me by the correct pronouns, or letting me use the bathroom I feel most safe entering, are things that will take some getting used to. These comments are frequently followed with “because these transgender, intersex, and genderqueer people are a new thing to which everyone needs time to acclimate.”
If I got a nickel every time I had someone tell me my gender is “newfangled,” I wouldn’t be out here looking to acquire “a small loan of a million dollars from my father,” too. (And we almost made it through a whole article without a Trump allusion. So close!) However, there are also upsides to even these downsides. Namely, being able to educate people.
A wise transgender person (read: me) once said, “if we do not learn from history, we are destined to make super ignorant remarks at a food-related function–maybe brunch–and ruin Sabeau’s dream of enjoying 11am waffles unfettered by your nonsense.”
With this waffle-centric truism in mind, what better way to dismantle this misconception of newfangledness–one of the gnarliest of transphobic misconceptions I experience–than through history?
Over the course of eight installments, you, oh curious reader, can join me as we learn about ancient LGBTQIA+ histories, and together we’ll discover how to shut this uninformed brunch bigotry down. We will be whisked off to faraway places, flown through time and space, and maybe even learn an important thing or two along the way. If Ms. Frizzle (Feminist hero, and School Bus aficionado) has taught me anything, it’s that all spectacular adventures teach you something important.
Now for some semantics. How will we do this? With snacks in my knapsack, and adventure sneakers on my feet, I’ve logically thought, “What better way to disprove this wildly inaccurate argument, than to disprove this wildly inaccurate argument… with time travel.” Which is exactly what we’re going to do….
With that, I swoop my arms towards the rustiest, gayest spaceship you’ve ever seen. The LGBTime Machine.
I invite you to join us here next time as we embark on the maiden voyage of this beautiful machine (a vehicle clearly banned in 32 countries for egregious safety violations, and the only time machine we could afford because we bought it on an NGO’s budget) to discover an ancient society home to an intersex god, a group of transgender priestesses, and even–transgender royalty.