Gay people have existed for as long as the rainbow

There+have+been+many+gay+people+throughout+history+who+have+helped+to+make+it.+The+problem%3A+we+weren%27t+told+they+were+gay.

There have been many gay people throughout history who have helped to make it. The problem: we weren’t told they were gay.

Kaitlyn McClearen, Opinion Writer

Growing up, I didn’t even know that liking women was an option, and when the day came that I realized it was, there was one thing that never stopped bothering me. Were there gay people in the past? I was exposed to people all around me saying it was “a chemical imbalance” or “I wasn’t wired right” and that it was something of the new generation because it wasn’t a problem with the previous generations. And it was incredibly damaging to me mentally. It is incredibly harmful to erase gay people from history. It needs to be known that we have been here for as long as every straight person.

Just like having representation in the media, it is equally important to know we didn’t just pop up from chemicals in tap water. And it wouldn’t be hard to teach that. To name a very small list of people who were a little (or majorly) fruity, Alexander the Great, Leonardo Di Vinci, Michelangelo, Barbara Gittings, Sally Ride, James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin,according to 20 LGBTQ People who changed the world. All these people have pretty significant roles in history, like being the first woman in space and their queerness should be acknowledged, so that questioning people can know that there are others like them, who also did pretty important things and were important.

It’s time to start making it clear that we aren’t some new phenomenon-we have been here the entirety of history. It is important to know people were gay — to know that people like you existed — but it is something everyone can benefit from knowing so that everyone can understand it is normal and not something that is going to go away. I am bisexual, and growing up and being told I was wired wrong and not that I was normal was extremely damaging. Showing that people throughout history were part of the LGBTQ+ community in some shape or form is crucial because it can help people understand we aren’t a problem, and we aren’t going away.