Here is your quick lesson on homosexuality throughout History
This is the second part of this series. To see the first part please click here.
Tribal Africa, Pre-Colonialization
Many present-day African nations have strict anti-homosexuality laws in place. However, contrary to assertions by the former President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe, homosexuality is not “anti-African”. And far from it. Before Christian ideas of morality were introduced to tribal African cultures in the late 1800s, there was little to no stigma attached to homosexuality. Most tribes had unique words for different LGBTQ+ individuals and practices. Many tribes shared the belief homosexuality was just something adolescents engaged in as natural part of the development process.
Additionally, there are records of long-term sensual relationships between women in Lesotho called motsoalle that were celebrated alongside heterosexual pairings — up until the missionaries came in. Colonialism brought not just slavery, disease, and environmental exploitation, but also homophobia as well.
Pharaonic Egypt, 330 BCE-30 CE
The ancient Egyptians were anything but uptight about same-gender and queer relationships. In a society that was known for their sacred concubines, condoning inter-familial relationships, and believing in afterlife intercourse, homosexuality was seen as nothing out of the ordinary. The Egyptians didn’t view sexuality in binary terms and male-male relationships were accepted under a number of circumstances.
History is often left up to depiction because of the stark contrasts in the telling of every event that has happened in the past. This has been the case for homosexuality as in Ancient Egypt as well. While Egyptian society at large viewed the perfect relationships as those that involved a man, his wife, and a son who would succeed the man, the fictional and sometimes other physical evidence points to not only the prevalence of same-sex relationships but also a hushed acceptance of them.