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bi history


kabaka mwanga ii buganda

The bisexual Kabaka Mwanga II of Buganda

Buganda, the traditional kingdom on which modern Uganda is based, happily lived under the rule of bisexual Kabaka Mwanga II before the imposition of colonial rule by the British. The Kingdom of Buganda dated from the 13th century and comprised much of central and southern modern-day Uganda including the capital Kampala. The Kabakas (kings) enjoyed …

ma rainey mother of the blues siddy blues prove it on me blues

Not-so-straight Ma Rainey: ‘Folks say I’m crooked’

The 100+ recordings of the not-so-straight Ma Rainey include the explicitly lesbian ‘Prove It On Me Blues’ and ‘Sissy Blues’ about her boyfriend sleeping with a man named Miss Kate. Ma Rainey made it clear she wasn’t straight in ‘Prove It On Me Blues’ when she sang “Folks say I’m crooked”. Born in the 1880s, …

caligula january 24

Caligula, Roman Emperor and allegedly a thirsty bottom

Officers of the Praetorian Guard assassinated Caligula on January 24 41 CE, stabbing him thirty times, the same number of wounds as his murdered relative Julius Caesar. True or not, Caligula enjoys modern renown as the most perverse of Rome’s emperors. In modern times, the image of Rome’s third Emperor is informed mainly by various …

cry boy Johnnie Ray january 10

Johnnie Ray, bi cry boy: ‘A Sinner Am I’

The man Tony Bennett called ‘the father of rock and roll’, singer/songwriter Johnnie Ray was born January 10, 1927. Billed as the Cry Boy singer, the partially deaf pop star required police escorts during the fifties to stop riotous teenyboppers tearing his clothes off. At the age of 12, the Oregon farm boy lost fifty …

Mehmed II radu the beautiful ottoman vlad

What Netflix omits: Mehmed II & Radu the Beautiful

The Turkish docuseries Rise of Empires: Ottoman (Netflix) details the blood feud between Vlad Dracula and Sultan Mehmed II while carefully avoiding an explanation of why the Impaler’s younger brother, Radu the Beautiful, sided with the Ottoman Emperor. Rise of Empires: Ottoman was made in Turkey, where Mehmed II, 7th sultan of the Ottoman Empire, …

Julius Caesar January 1

On this day January 1: the divine Julius Caesar

On January 1 42 BCE, the Roman Senate deified former dictator Julius Caesar. Quite an elevation for a man previously mocked as bisexual and relentlessly bottom-shamed. However, the new god was already dead. Members of that same Senate stabbed him to death two years before. But typically, the politicians deified the warrior/politician for their own …

Chevalière d'Éon Lani Kaʻahumanu John Addington Symonds

B’days: Chevalière d’Éon, Lani Kaʻahumanu, J A Symonds

Born on October 5: the enigmatic diplomat, spy, and soldier Chevalière d’Éon (1728), writer and activist Lani Kaʻahumanu (1943), and poet John Addington Symonds (1840). Chevalière d’Éon It must indeed be acknowledged that she is the most extraordinary person of the age. We have seen no one who has united so many military, political, and …

Gloria Anzaldua By K. Kendall - originally posted to Flickr as Gloria Anzaldua, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7891727

On this day: Gloria Anzaldúa, tag each piece with a label

Scholar, author and poet Gloria Anzaldúa, born September 26, 1942, grew up on the Mexico-Texas border. Living in what she called the borderlands, Gloria invested in her own conflicting and interwoven identities to address intersections of race, heritage, religion, sexuality, and language. Gloria’s father worked as a sharecropper after the loss of family land. Because, …

dickie lord louis mountbatten

On this day: 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma – Dickie

Lord Louis Mountbatten, Dickie, the bisexual 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, died on August 27, 1979. The Provisional IRA killed the royal favourite by placing a bomb on his fishing boat. No one exercised as much influence over the British royal family during the twentieth century as their beloved Uncle Dickie. Although only a minor …

Eugen Sandow nude male pinup

Eugen Sandow: Was the OG nude male pinup bisexual?

In an era famous for prudery, Eugen Sandow became a wealthy and respected international celebrity for his all-but-nude stage performances and as a nude male pinup with only a figleaf to protect his modesty. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest the renowned bodybuilder was also bisexual. Yes, there is a full-frontal nude photograph. But you’ll …

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