Posted in Contextual Studies

Magazine Article – Research

As part of our magazine article task, our group have decided to investigate the changing views on gender and sexual representation. As my part of the research I have looked in to the past views of these subjects and the things that have happened over the years. These are just the few key points I found out that I think are essential to include within the article.

  • LGBT goes back to before the 1600’s
  • 1102 The Council of London (Roman Catholic church council of the church in England) took measures to ensure that the English public knew that homosexuality was sinful”
  • 1395 John Rykener, known also as Johannes Richer and Eleanor, a transvestite prostitute working mainly in London (near Cheapside), but also active in Oxford, was arrested for cross-dressing and interrogated.
  • Workshop_of_Hans_Holbein_the_Younger_-_Portrait_of_Henry_VIII_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg1533 King Henry VIII passes the Buggery Act 1533 making all male-male sexual activity punishable by death and extended this into Wales in 1543
  • 1680 – same-sex marriage was annulled. Arabella Hunt married “James Howard”; in 1682 the marriage was annulled on the ground that Howard was in fact Amy Poulter, a ‘perfect woman in all her parts’, and two women could not validly marry.
  • 1810 The nineteenth century began with a wave of prosecutions against homosexual men.
  • 1835 The last two men to be executed in Britain for buggery, James Pratt and John Smith, were arrested on 29 August in London after being spied upon while having sex in a private room; they were hanged on 27 November
  • 1861 The death penalty for buggery was abolished. A total of 8921 men had been prosecuted since 1806 for sodomy with 404 sentenced to death and 56 executed
  • 1885 – Criminal Law Act was passed in the UK, which made all homosexual behaviour illegal.
  • When homosexuality was made illegal, those suspected of it could face imprisonment and hard labour for up to two years.
  • People who cross-dressed became easy targets of the law because they were associated with homosexual subculture.
  • Fanny-and-Stella-011.jpgOne of the first public trials for transvestite behaviour was that of Ernest (Stella) Boulton, and Fred (Fanny) Park, arrested in 1870 for indecent behaviour. The authorities based the prosecution on their transvestism and their soliciting of men as women – No conviction could be obtained on these grounds and they were acquitted of the charge of conspiracy to commit a felony by cross-dressing. One of the largest organisations for transvestite men in the US today is the Boulton and Park Society
  • Older generations don’t believe in LGBT, and you could have been arrested for it if the public knew it
  • It would have gone unnoticed if LGBT people were abused
  • The excuse used to cover this was that the transgender was done for fun and just for stage productions – almost like drag
  • In the 60/70s women tried to fight for their rights of how they were represented – wasn’t until 1980 that they managed to get some changes
  • Many transgender people are murdered
  • It was not until the late 1980s and 1990s that scholars recognized a need for study in the field of sexuality – due to the increasing interest in lesbian and gay rights, scholars found that most individuals would associate sexuality and gender together, rather than as separate entities
  • Between 1848-1899 multiple states in America passed anti-cross-dressing laws
  • 1940-50s – transgender communities started to rise fighting for their rights
  • Dora Ritchter – first documented male – female genital transformation in 1931 – arranged by Hirschfeld
  • Untitled1910 – Magnus Hirschfeld a Jew, wrote a book called the transvestites – he worked for the police to try and stop transgender harassment – was called “the most dangerous Jew in Germany” by Hitler – during 1930-33 he visited several states in America to preach vision on sexual science – 1933 Nazis destroyed his institute, most famous Nazi book burning
  • 1920/30’s – medical provision was very sparse, but still transsexual people managed to find doctors who would help them.
  • In the UK, Michael (formerly Laura) Dillon managed to obtain gender reassignment treatment during the war. In the late 1940s he even had a penis constructed by the plastic surgeon Sir Harold Gilles, who later became famous for his work with burns victims.
  • Harry Benjamin set up the first clinical practice in New York
  • The former head of research at the UK Gender Identity Clinic at Charing Cross hospital, Professor Richard Green, trained with Harry Benjamin.
  • When Benjamin published the first major textbook on the subject, The Transsexual Phenomenon, in 1966, gender reassignment was still the subject of extensive social stigma both publicly and in the medical world.
  • Over 40 years later, some of that stigma remains, but it is widely accepted that the only successful treatment for transsexual people is hormone therapy and surgical reassignment.
  • A 1999 appeal court decision in the UK has confirmed this view, and it is an area of medicine that is gradually gaining respectability
    Transsexual people have also become much more visible.
  • 1895 Oscar Wilde tried for gross indecency over a relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas, was sentenced to two years in prison with hard labour
  • 1897 George Cecil Ives organizes the first homosexual rights group in England, the Order of Chaeronea.
  • 1906 Dr. Louisa Martindale set up a private practice in Brighton and became the first woman GP.
  • 1910 London homosexuals began to gather openly in public places such as pubs, coffee houses and teashops for the first time. Waitresses ensured that a section of Lyons Corner House in Piccadilly Circus was reserved for homosexuals. The section became known as the Lily Pond. In 1912 London’s first gay pub The Cave of the Golden Calf opened in Heddon Street
  • 1958 The Homosexual Law Reform Society is founded in the United Kingdom to begin a campaign to make homosexuality legal in the UK
  • 1963 The Minorities Research Group became the UK’s first lesbian social and political organisation. They went on to publish their own lesbian magazine called Arena Three
  • 1965 In the House of Lords, Lord Arran proposed the decriminalisation of male homosexual acts (lesbian acts had never been illegal). A UK opinion poll finds that 93% of respondents see homosexuality as a form of illness requiring medical treatment
  • 1969 Campaign for Homosexual Equality formed as the first British gay activist group.
  • 1972 The First British Gay Pride Rally was held in London with 1000 people marching from Trafalgar Square to Hyde Park. Gay News, Britain’s first gay newspaper was founded
  • 1979 At the end of the decade, trans individuals still had neither identity rights nor legal protection.
  • 1980’s saw the increase in aids
  • BIGBIG_gianni_A35D17.jpg1988 Section 28 – stated that a local authority “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”. The act was introduced by Margaret Thatcher.
  • 1996 A breakthrough is made in the area of AIDS treatment;
  • 2000 The Labour government scraps the policy of barring homosexuals from the armed forces
  • 2002 Same-sex couples are granted equal rights to adopt.
  • 2003 Section 28, which banned councils and schools from intentionally promoting homosexuality, is repealed in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. Employment Equality Regulations made it illegal to discriminate against lesbians, gays or bisexuals at work
  • 2004 The Civil Partnership Act 2004 is passed by the Labour Government, giving same-sex couples the same rights and responsibilities as married heterosexual couples in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales
  • 2014 Same-sex marriage becomes legal in England and Wales

In conclusion to my research it is evident that the views on LGBT have over the years become more positive. I think the reactions to LGBT in past centuries have been way too over the top – everyone should be entitled to be who they are and to be happy. No one should be able to tell them it’s wrong. It is a relief that the more modern society have allowed LGBT to become equal, and are continuing to fight for their rights.


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