Misrepresentation of the past, present, and future

As long as we are pushing for gay/lesbian/transgender representation in the present and future, we should be pushing for it in the past.

Emily Richardson, Editorial Board

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This is a call-out. A call-out to my United States history textbook and its utter lack of inclusionary history. You have a lot of nerve to produce a 1000 page textbook and only mention gay and lesbian individuals once, in passing and in reference to the apparently sexually devious lives they led in the cities of late industrialized America. You declare the ‘exuberant’ culture of homesexuals a ‘dramatic challenge to Victorian ideals’. You tried, I have to say. But try harder. Being gay is not a rage against the machine. Being gay does not and should not have anything to do with ‘standing out’ or ‘sticking it to the man’; a belief in that rhetoric plays into the painfully heteronormative culture that plagues our popular media and belief.

You also talk an uncomfortable amount about sex clubs— two sentences worth. You only mention the adversity faced by these people in one. Thank you for contributing towards the common viewpoint that sexual orientation does not extend beyond the bedroom. There’s a type of dehumanization in this mindset; the strong association between homosexuality and sex. Rejection by society has turned being gay into an identity— although it shouldn’t be, gays and lesbians are ostracized for their nonconformity to what is perceived as the ‘standard identity’— that clings to these people for their entire lives. Write about the struggles this demographic has experienced, in more detail, please. Then, talk about the leaders of representation and acceptance, which historical figures strongly supported or strongly opposed individuality in this sense, and about the rise of transgender as an identity. Be more specific. If you can churn out three entire chapters about Thomas Jefferson, you can write a heading or two about our history. It really is the least you can do. Try harder.

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