September 16, 2020
Places With LGBTQ+ Pride
From monuments that are spread across mankind’s history to memorials that honor popular figures from the LGBTQ+ community, there are a lot of places that display LGBTQ+ pride unabashedly. Let’s take a closer look at 5 such monuments that you need to visit and know more about.
Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli, Italy
We start our travels off in Italy where we explore Emperor Hadrian’s villa. Emporer Hadrian was either bi-sexual or gay but his legacy is not limited to just that. Hadrian was an immensely popular Roman Emperor and was very just. His rule was a peaceful one and he is also renowned for rebuilding the Pantheon. He also constructed the vast Temple of Venus and Roma. Though a lot of people do know about the above achievements, people do not really have much information regarding his sexuality.
Hadrian, supposedly, had one male lover called Antinous. Antinous was a young man from Bithynia, in the north of Turkey and he apparently drowned when both Hadrian and Antinous were sailing across the Nile in 130AD. After this incident, Hadrian was grief-stricken. But, he decided to instead mourn for Antinous in a glorious manner and decided to build a city in his name and declared Antinous a god.
The villa is more of a palace than just a home and it spans 300 acres. It included places for entertainment and luxury and was also a business hub for the Roman Empire. Sculptures of clean-shaven youth also exist alongside the bearded Hadrian in the villa.
Stonewall Inn, New York, USA
The Stonewall Inn in New York is widely considered the birthplace of modern gay and the LGBTQ+ pride rights movement. There is a small story attached to this place that is presented across in hazy terms. The original Stonewall Inn was not a gay bar and was on Seventh Avenue South. It then moved to 51 to 53 Christopher Street in 1934 where it burnt down 30 years later. In 1966, the Mafia invested in it and this is when it became a gay bar. The LGBT people paid a premium for drinks in exchange for protection. The Mafia also allowed same-sex couples to dance together. However, police raids were still common and one such raid changed history. There was a street fight that broke out during the raid and this gave rise to a huge LGBTQ+ pride rights movement.
The bar stopped operating soon after and became a bagel shop. With the increased interest in the LGBT+ movement, there now exists a Stonewall bar on the same site.
The Legacy Walk, Chicago, USA
The Legacy Walk is an outdoor public display that shows the LGBTQ+ community’s contribution to world culture and history. The website states that it is “the world’s only outdoor museum walk and youth education program dedicated to combating anti-gay bullying by celebrating LGBT contributions to history.” It also has the world’s largest collection of bronze biographical memorials. There are 20 memorial columns. Each of these columns features two memorial plaques that commemorate the life and work of LGBTQ individuals. Victor Salvo is the founder and executive director of the Legacy Project. He describes the Legacy Walk as a dynamic, outdoor history exhibit tied to the importance of National Coming Out Day.
Alan Turing Memorial, Manchester, England
“Father of computer science, mathematician, logician, wartime codebreaker, victim of prejudice.” is on a plaque near a statue of Alan Turing in Sackville Park in Manchester. The Englishman brought to life by Benedict Cumberbatch in the movie The Imitation Game, was prosecuted and chemically castrated for homosexual acts. The memorial is located near the Gay Village district in Manchester. The statue gained fame after Queen Elizabeth II pardoned Turing in 2013. The statue is also a part of Manchester’s LGBTQ Heritage Trail. This event features small rainbow mosaics. These mosaics are then set into the pavement to mark 18 key historic sites.
Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh, India
The Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh, are a group of Hindu monuments that feature homosexual stone carvings and more. When the whole world was trying to censor any evidence of Gay sex, India was carving it onto temples. These temples, built by the Chandelas, have existed for over 1000 years. While there were once 85 temples spread out across 20 square kilometers, today only 25 remain.
The Khajuraho temples are a UNESCO World Heritage site. They feature same-sex and bisexual activities that are pretty explicit. On the southern wall of the Kandariya Mahadeva temple, an orgy including three women and one man is seen. One of the women is tenderly caressing another and there’s another orgy on the Lakshmana temple with a seated man giving oral sex to another male. Though, the site contains erotic sculpture, that is just 10% of the total.