Wednesday, June 26, 2013

the overt west the covert east

While the West coast had San Francisco with it's outlaws and wild west tolerance of LGBT"s going on, what was going on in the East? Well, it turns out the East was not a complete tundra when it came to LGBT expression. There you had transcendentalist intellectual writers who used literature to subtly weave they're pro LGBT sentiments into the public consciousness. If one wants to argue that these intellectuals were not covertly advocating LGBT equality they certainly were questioning they're societies stringent rules, regulations and social norms regarding gender roles and monolithic sexual relationships and behaviors.
    References to classical literature was a common way for these intellectuals to discuss sexuality and sexual behavior. These nineteenth century thinkers also had a strong awareness of America's need for racial and women's equality. This is important because you can't have true equality for anyone unless everyone is treated equally, and LGBT's are found in all races and both sexes. So, it appears that these nineteenth century intellectuals had all they're ducks in a row when it came to they're vision for America.
    The intellectual thinkers/writers I'm talking about are; Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Emily Dickinson and Julia Ward Howe who, along with The Battle Hymn of the Republic, authored an unfinished novel called The Hermaphrodite. The novel  is believed to have been composed sometime between 1846 and 1847 but it was not published until 2004. I wonder what kind of discussion the title alone would have provoked in the mid nineteenth century.  

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