Erasure of LGBTQ figures throughout history – Georgina L

Many iconic figures all throughout history that you may have learned about in lessons or just from common knowledge, where actually LGBTQ. The reason many where painted as heterosexual (straight) is because of the extreme homophobia throughout history. The homophobia was so extreme that it was illegal to have a same sex relationship and it was considered a mental illness. 

One of these significant figures was Alan Turing. You may or may not know who he is, but he was the creator of the ‘bombe’ machine. A description machine used to decrypt German messages at a record breaking speed. Although initially invented by Polish cryptologist Marian Rejewski. Alan Turing built the improved British version in march of 1940. However his ‘illness’, homosexuality was discovered and as he was a war hero played a significant role in the war effort, he was not arrested but forced to take chemical castration, specifically ‘organo-therapy’. The intended effect was to lower man’s sex-drive, and in turn ‘cure’ his homosexuality. And obviously this didn’t work, but what it did affect was his mind, this caused much distress as Alan’s mind was very important to him. This took such a toll on him and eventually lead to committing suicide by bitting in a cyanide laced Apple (poison). Although this is not confirmed it is the strong belief of many.

It was not just Alan Turing though. There are many well known people who you will probably know of who had many sexual encounters with those of the same sex. These include, Leonado da Vinci, Florence Nightingale, King James VI, William Shakespeare, Richard I, Julius Caesar, Tchaikovsky, and so many more. LGBTQ people have been around as long as humans have but because of the more modern concept of homophobia, many of these lovers have been written of as ‘best friends’

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