Episode 25: Chrysanthemums and Golden Bums: Male Love in Pre-Modern Japan

That’s right, Leigh and Gretchen are back with another delightful look at the history of homosexuality in East Asian history! Episode 3 explored homosexuality in Ancient China but this time, they’re heading over to Japan to take a closer look at Buddhism, samurai tradition, and the economy-shaped homosexuality in the Tokugawa shogunate. But it’s not all context, you’ll laugh along with us at some of the monks’ exploits, swoon over romantic queer poetry, and peer into the delights of the floating world. So strap in for an exciting look at the rich history of male and female homosexuality in Japan!

0:00 – Introduction
6:37 – Main Topic: Male/Male Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan
6:52 – Socio-Historical and Religious Context
15:47 – Fun Segment: Word of the Week
25:25 – Earliest References to Male Love in Japan
28:47 – The Monastic Tradition
42:40 – The Samurai Tradition and Undying Devotion
48:44 – The Rise of Kabuki and Commercialized Nanshoku
1:03:00 – Male Love in Popular Tokugawa Literature and Art
1:17:57 – Female/Female Homosexuality in Japan
1:23:43 – Main Takeaways/Conclusions
1:25:29 – How Gay were They?
1:26:40 – Closing and Where to Find us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

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Episode 7: F is for Friend Who Did Not Have Gender

R is for Revolutionary War, which is where hosts Leigh & Gretchen are headed in this, the very first episode dedicated to a single person from history: the Publick Universal Friend. The Friend presented as something entirely new: a genderless spirit from God who eschewed gendered pronouns and dressed and spoke in ways that purposefully blurred the lines between male and female in early American society. So come join us as we talk about this most special of Friends; to make things even more interesting, turns out one of our hosts is related to the Friend!


0:00 – Introduction
2:30 – Corrections Corner: On Egyptian Lettuce
5:22 – Main Topic: Jemima Wilkinson, The Publick Universal Friend
7:54 – Socio-Historical and Religious Context
27:48 – Who were they? Bio Time. 
48:42 – Why do we think they're gay?
1:05:08 – Analysis from Queer Historians
1:17:15 – Fun Fact: One of our Hosts is Related!
1:20:40 – How Gay were They?
1:27:10 – Closing and Where to Find us Online

For a full list of sources and bonus content, visit our Notes page! 

Apple Podcasts  |    Google Play    |    Stitcher    |    Download

Episode 1: Were Some Pirates Poofters?

In our first episode, your hosts Leigh & Gretchen begin their series examining the overlooked and underappreciated queer ladies, gents, and gentle-enbies from the unexplored corners of history with a discussion of the high seas. Meet Anne Bonny, Mary Read, Calico Jack Rackham, and Pierre “the pansy pirate” Bouspet, a quartet of pirates from the golden age of piracy with a flair for the dramatic and some very interesting lifestyle choices.

Get at us on twitter @historyisgaypod, tumblr at historyisgaypodcast, and subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts! Up Next: Cloistered Queers. 


0:00 – Introduction
2:55 – The Golden Age of Piracy
5:33 – Brief Bio: Anne Bonny, Calico Jack Rackham, Pierre Bouspet, and Mary Read
28:09 – What Do You Mean They're Not Straight?
28:52  – Evidence from Historical/Cultural Context: Gender Code Switching, Situational Gayness, and Piracy vs. the British Royal Navy
43:08 – Evidence from Their Personal Lives
53:52 – How Gay Were They?
1:02:34  – Closing and Where to Find Us Online

For a full list sources and bonus content for this episode, visit our Notes page!

Apple Podcasts  |    Google Play    |    Stitcher    |    Download