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Favorite Edit of the Year (FEOTY) Nominations for 2020 are now open! Submit your entries here.
In the USA it's Black History Month, but in the UK that is in October.
Right now it's LGBT+ History Month! And as the new resident openly queer faneditor, I'd be remiss not to talk about a few subjects I'd discovered during my research.
The earliest recorded evidence of homosexuality among humans came around 10,000 years ago, when the San people of Zimbabwe depicted it in their rock art. This makes the former dictator Robert Mugabe's "We Are Not Gays" speech at the UN, all the more ironic, and sad.
One of Rome's emperors was (most likely) Transgender. Empress Elagabalus reigned for just 4 years, during which time she took on a feminine role, ordered people refer to her with female pronouns and titles, and even offered Roman surgeons vast amounts of wealth to attempt Gender Confirmation Surgery on her.
Her "eccentricities" were eventually too much for many in Rome, as she was assassinated and deposed by her cousin, Severus Alexander (a student of early Christianity), who initiated a crackdown on LGBT rights, deporting homosexual people from the empire. Emperor Constantine converted the Empire to Christianity, 100 years later, and kick-started 2 millennia of global LGBT repression. His children and successors, Constans and Constantius, both engaged in same sex relationships and were succeeded by the newly Christianized Roman elite.
The first state sanctioned death penalty of a homosexual man was imposed following the Book of Leviticus' inscription into Israeli law under Darius I's Achaemeneid Empire. Leviticus was co-opted by the Zoroastrian Vendidad, 200 years later, and homosexuality became punishable by death throughout the empire. During this time, Plato was arguing that same-sex relationships were the highest form of love, in Persia's main rival of Greece.
Homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan, Northern Nigeria, Mauritania and the Islamist controlled portions of Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Somalia.
Lithuania is the only European country, except Russia, to have laws restricting LGBT expression. South Africa is the sole African country to have legislated equal marriage. The majority of Southern Asia have laws punishing homosexuality with life imprisonment.