Sunday, October 12, 2008

National Coming Out Week

Yesterday (Saturday, October 11th) was National Coming Out day, so I thought I would share some fun gay history and facts.

The rainbow flag that we all associate with gays started to have significance with the LGBT community in 1978. The colors are used to represent diversity within the community, and is normally flown with red on top. Red signifies life, orange is healing, yellow is sunlight, green is nature, blue is harmony and purple is spirit.

Purple is another gay community symbol, with a very different meaning. Normally seen as a pink upside down triangle, this was a symbol used to identify homosexual men in Nazi concentration camps. The Holocaust was not just about jews, but many gays were deported as well. An upside down black triangle was used specifically for women who were lesbians, or not the ideal image of a woman. Many times these two are combined to form the color purple and purple triangles.

There are references of homo eroticism dating back to 12,000 BC! The first gay couple was thought to be Khumhotep and Niankhknum in Egypt during the 25th century BC, with the first Lesbian being from Lesbos in the 6th century BC. Looking at the current debate of gay marriage, the first recorded and legal gay marriages were performed in the 1st century BC. One marriage was even gave one man the same honors as Julius Caesar's wife. In fact, it is believed that Caesar himself was involved in a gay love affair!

Some other quick facts:

It was not until the 1920's that the term gay was actually used to refer to homosexuals.

In 1973, the APA removed homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

Did you know... in many countries in Africa and the middle East, homosexuality is illegal which is punishable by large penalties, life in prison, and sometimes even the death penalty.

Here on Michigan's campus, there are very open and liberal gay and straight communities.


Tyler said...

Very informative article! Go Blue!

p.s. Free t-shirt?

Anonymous said...

Very informative article