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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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Transgender – How far back?
by Darren Marples | @Mattersofpride
I overheard someone make a statement that as a budding historian I knew to be false, yet it is a common belief; “Transgender persons didn’t exist much before Stonewall and it’s more of a twentieth century thing.” I just smiled and replied “How far back would you like me to go?”
Transgender Examples from History
In the Czech Republic there have been graves excavated where males have been dressed in burial outfits that are usually reserved for women dating back as far as 2900BC. Although there is much speculation on why this is so, it is thought that it corresponds to the acceptance of transgender females, also known as the ‘third sex’. Additionally, there are cave paintings depicting male and female organs on the same person, even some that clearly show homosexual activity.
Anglo Saxon Transgender
The Anglo Saxons of Britain are known to have also buried some of their dead with items that were associated with the opposite gender. Some historians have argued why this is so, but it appears possible that some ancient civilizations accepted that some people identified themselves differently to what they appear. It is known that among the warriors we associate with their culture, there were women who took on such roles.
Native American Transgender
When looking for cultures that accepted ‘cross-gender’ you don’t have to go that far back. Nicholas Biddle, an early American pioneer, found that in 1806 the Minitaress (a Native American tribe) had the cultural law that “if a boy shows any symptom of effeminacy or girlish inclinations, he is put among the girls, dressed in their way, brought up with them and sometimes married men.”
The first Europeans to Africa were the Portuguese, who noted the range of genders, unfortunately because of their religious beliefs when the Europeans colonised Africa, the practice was slowly eradicated making way for Christian values. Transvestism occurred in many different places within the continent, including Madagascar and Ethiopia. Transphobia and homophobia seems to be what was imported into Africa.
There is a lot of evidence that suggests many societies not only accepted a third or even fourth sex, some actually still accept them today right under our noses.
South Asian Transgender
The Hijra are arguably more well-known for those that fall into the ‘third sex’ category. The Hijra are of India, and there is evidence to suggest they have been there for up to six million years. In different parts of India they are known by other names such as Aravani or Jogappa. They are often born ‘intersex’, or male that dress in female clothes, but identify themselves as neither male nor female.
The Hijra are not interested in sex change, but simply accept they are a third sex. It is commonly accepted in India that it is the Western countries that have the issue with only recognising two sexes. Even though homosexuality is illegal in India, in 2014 the Supreme Court of India recognised the Hijra as a third gender. India is only one of a handful of countries that recognise a third sex at this present time.
Look Back, Move Forward
It appears that past civilizations have accepted that some people feel they do not fall into the class of simply male or female. Throughout history, many accepted that sexuality and gender is far more complex than a simple black and white reasoning. Perhaps it is time we caught up with the past.