I talked to my friend Greg again and I was wrong when I said he was leaving for Southeast Asia on Saturday, it's today. He should be in the air typing my pages as I write this post. With that said, I'd like to get back to A Queer History of the United States. The last section of Chapter four is called Politics and Poetics and it is very insightful. I'm going to split it up into two post.
So, when was the official start of the LGBT rights movement? As I study our history more and more I'm setting the official start back further and further, at least from my perspective. Anyhow, I'm now going to argue that it started in the mid 19th century, 1860's to be more precise. Walt Whitman was using words like ''manly attachment'' and ''adhesive'' in his writings to describe same-sex desire. His work was well known and having a big impact on the other side of the pond, I like using ''pond'' when talking about across the Atlantic in Europe. Over there activist, influenced by American style ''freedom,'' began arguing in the German courts to repeal laws that illegalized same-sex behavior. ''Homosexual,'' the new word used to describe Whitman's ''manly attachment'' and ''adhesive,'' gave a non-derogatory kind of energy to same-sex attraction. Legal, medical and cultural communities quickly began using the new word, not necessarily in a positive way but at least the ''love that dare not speak it's name'' now had a name!
The term ''sexology'' was coined around his time also to aid in the legal reform of same-sex desire laws. It made a kind of non judgemental science of sexuality and classified different forms of sexuality scientifically. It argued that homosexuality between two consenting adults was inborn and therefore should be decriminalized.
In the 1870's Araxes: A Call to Free the Nature of the Urning[Urning is a derivative of Uranian, which was a common word for Homosexual or ''third sex'' used in the mid/late 19th century coined around 1864]From Penal Law was published. It was one of many pamphlet sized booklets using Magna Carta style natural rights of man language to basically say the state had no business in our bedrooms. These pamphlets were written in German but, I'm sure, were translated into English and read on this side of ''the pond,'' too.