Monday, May 14, 2012
MAGNUS HIRSCHFELD, SAINT OF ANTINOUS
ON MAY 14th, the Religion of Antinous honors the life of the Father of Gay Liberation, Doctor Magnus Hirschfeld, who died on this day in 1935 (which was his 67th birthday) while in exile form his native Germany in Nice, France. He died a broken and embittered man.
A life that had started out with such lofty ambitions ended in disillusionment. He was of Jewish ancestry and began his career as a medical doctor but very soon devoted his life to the study of homosexuality.
In 1897 he founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, an organization whose publication, called The Yearbook of Intermediate Sexual Types, was devoted to the repeal of "Paragraph 175", a law passed by the Reichstag in 1869.
The work of the committee included ongoing lobbying supported by the scientific studies of Dr. Hirschfeld into human sexuality. This study culminated in the formation of the Institute for Sexual Science in 1919.
Dr. Hirschfeld spent the majority of his career writing and lecturing around the world on the nature of homosexuality and other "intermediate" sexual types, including cross dressers. The word "transsexual" was coined by Dr. Hirschfeld to describe the phenomenon that he argued was a natural extension of human sexuality.
His philosophy centered on the contention that there was a third sex, called the Uranian, which was neither male nor female, but a combination of both that was manifested in homosexuality, which was not to be considered an impure deviation, or even as an illness, but as a natural and phenomenal component of human nature.
For his work, the Nazis targeted Dr. Hirschfeld as an example of decadent Bolshevistic/Jewish influence infecting the purity of the German people, luring the Aryan race into impure and destructive perversity. He was ultimately driven into exile and burned in effigy as an emblem of evil. His institute was ransacked May 6th and his books were publicly burned in a bonfire on May 10th, 1933.
The slogan with which he began his speeches, "Uranians of the World, Unite!" was not to be realized until our own time. For his courage and his career of some 30 years, tirelessly devoted to the cause of Gay Liberation, we venerate SAINT MAGNUS HIRSCHFELD.