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History of Homosexuality – Europe


History of Homosexuality in Europe got its real freedom and awareness of Homosexuality and other Queer Movements started after the First World War. A New World with strong beliefs and freedom has reached an apogee after the collapse of the First World War in 1920. Europe after the First World War started to see things in the most optimistic way to take over the pain, suffering of people facing major discrimination in society. After several sufferings and privations, people wanted to laugh and have a good time and even they were ready to tolerate sexual peccadilloes. The homosexual emancipation of 1920 was led by several incidents that followed in the timeline was based on historical movements, Medical concept Theories, and some cultural subversions which prepared its own codes, standards, and Principles.


Europe has its own Timelines in making the entire continent aware of Homosexual theories and Homosexual relationships among people. There may be many incidents but the most important part of the movement was the “Stonewall Movement” that took place on June 27th, 1969. Similar to this movement there are many incidents at several parts of the world made to understand Queer or LGBTQA+ emancipation. Here are such events that took place in Europe and the UK before or after 1920.

1869: Hungary Writer – Journalist Karoly Maria Kerbeny used the term “Homosexual” for the first time in his anonymous report calling for the abolition of criminal laws on “unnatural acts” addressed to Dr.Leonhardt, Minister of Justice. Many historians say that this was the major turning point in society to have clearly distinguished between Sodomy & Homosexuals. This major event built a strong core for homosexual liberation in 1920.


Europe and the UK faced a series of transformations among people understanding about themselves, this certainty broke out as paradoxical context. Urbanization, Industrial Evolution, Medical advancement everything was the start of a new movement. These movements were openly seen in England and Germany whereas France was facing another reaction. In England, the sexual liberation group was formed by Neo-Pagans. These are a group of intellectuals linked with World War. They had their own set of codes and ethics as they escaped modernization by recreating rural myth and developed their original lifestyle like ancient culture. These group has worked a new paradigm for the relationship between men and women but this led to social injustice among several societies in England. Rupert Brooke who had already had homosexual adventures during his school days found it easy to bring in his idea about sexuality and homosexuality by understanding himself. But his idealogy of understanding homosexuality as a form of sexuality among others and it was not a crime or disorder, Many English Societies did not accept his idealogy of Neo-Pagans but Rupert Brooks’ thought was the turning point in understanding homosexuality with newer perception.

In France, Paris was mainly the paradise land for many foreigners as it is the land of capital pleasures and haven of tolerance. The society had known about the homosexual relationship between high profile and high society people. Paris had its own homosexual centers referred as “Salon Winaretta Singer, princess de Polignac, she herself was a lesbian married a Prince and quickly got a divorce as she was a lesbian and wanted to be independent, Many writers wrote the book on her and her ideologies to understand the best about homosexual people. These places and high society people in Paris created a new tolerance among the French people. Later after this many books, theoretical play all portrayed the life of homosexual people and homosexuality. France was able to symbolize brilliant ideas on homosexuality with political and social concerns, even though the law was not framed but the homosexual context got well integrated into the society but it was hidden to avoid misleading conditions to others.

Germany faced a serious issues aganist homosexuality as the political and socitel acceptance was bit harder eventhough Germany had its own bar and night clubs and several organizaton for homosexual people. The political influences in Germany and their harsh rules and punishment made people to hide in the closet. It was a fashinoable topic that one daily newspaper has commeted on homosexuality in the terms of Modern census.

Among all these three major countries Oscar Wilde’s trial and condemnation took a considerable change and symbolic importance. Victorian England faced a major set back in this case even though Oscar Wild lost the case and sent it to jail for 2 yrs but there was a continuous outburst among the people in England against the government. Oscar Wild was the catalyst for many movements to take place in and around Europe and England.

These major incidents before the First World War paved a major outbreak among various people to form an organization for homosexuals and started their new journey towards the next part of life after World War I. As all the three incidents brought an end to victorian rule. The society after the war started understanding the movement but at the same time of the rise of Liberalism, pacifism, and militarism, feminity was born from a certain confusion of homosexuality or homoerotism, itself a consequence of the war. In the later part of the 19th Century many researchers, organization members, politicians, and society bought in many ideas to eliminate the confusion. This led a proper way in the 20th century to accept homosexuality in many countries

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