LGBTQ history dates back to the first recorded instances of same-sex love and sexuality in ancient civilizations. Ancient Egyptian royal servants Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, who lived c. 2400 BCE, are believed to be the first recorded same-sex couple in history, so you get the perspective.
But many oblivious people refuse to believe that being homosexual, bisexual, queer, and transgender are as old as history itself. In fact, some delusional people would go as far as to think they've spotted actual mistakes in movies, books, and media that speak of LGBTQ existence in the past.
And thanks to the wonderfully colorful corner of reddit “Sappho And Her Friend,” “a sub dedicated to historical and other LGBTQ erasure from academia and other spaces,” we have the cringiest collection of such delusional examples.
The subreddit that, according to its description, is “Mostly humorous but open to serious discussion as well,” was created a year ago and has since gained a 266k-solid fanbase who waste no time to cut the crap.
On Thursday, February 25, The House of Representatives voted to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also substantially expand the areas to which those discrimination protections apply. The Equality Act would enable protections within education, particularly on how teachers implement LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum.
But when it comes to education from an early age, LGBTQ curriculum is still widely underrepresented in classrooms. Only five states announced in 2019 that LGBTQ history must be taught in public schools, with California being the first. Here, it’s been required from schools to teach kids LGBTQ History since 2011, and the first K-8 textbooks should be approved to meet new state standards in six years.
On the other hand, enforcement, funding, and teacher preparation are often ambiguous. This has partly to do with the fact that even though the history of LGBTQ people is as old as history itself, the history of its curriculum is relatively short. From the creation of LGBT History Month in 1994 to the National Park Service’s first report on LGBTQ historic sites in 2016, the last decades showed a promising increase in mainstream teaching of LGBTQ history.
According to historian Eliza Byard, Executive Director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), “A lot of us grew up with history taught to reinforce the idea that only certain ways of being are natural. It is hugely important that every child understand the complexity of human history in all different dimensions in order to have a full understanding of the past, present and possible futures, and that’s what this is ultimately about.”
With LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, there’s hope of a higher level of education from people about same-sex love and gender inclusivity. It’s a much-needed mark of progress which, if anything, came a little too late. Moreover, teaching LGBTQ history in schools will have a tremendously positive impact on the members of the LGBTQ community who will feel less unsafe for their sexual orientation.
GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey backs it up. It showed that LGBTQ students in schools with an LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum—compared to their counterparts in schools without that curriculum—were “less likely to feel unsafe because of their sexual orientation (41.8% vs. 63.3%) and gender expression (34.6% vs. 47%).”