Powerful LGBTQ Figures From History that Nobody Ever Talks About
Powerful LGBTQ Figures From History that Nobody Ever Talks About

Powerful LGBTQ Figures From History that Nobody Ever Talks About

Khalid Elhassan - July 5, 2022

Powerful LGBTQ Figures From History that Nobody Ever Talks About
The deposition of King Edward II. Shutterstock

1. Edward II’s Gruesome End

Unfortunately for Edward II, his public displays of affection for his new male lover, Hugh Despenser, humiliated and alienated his wife, Queen Isabella. While on a diplomatic mission to Paris in 1325, she became the mistress of Roger Mortimer, an exiled baronial opponent of the king. In 1326, the couple invaded England, executed the Despensers and deposed Edward II. He was replaced with his fourteen-year-old son, who was crowned Edward III in January 1327, with Mortimer as regent. That April, Mortimer heard of plots to rescue the deposed monarch. So he had him relocated to a more secure site. Reports of fresh plots to free Edward caused Mortimer to order him to move to various locations in the spring and summer of 1327.

Powerful LGBTQ Figures From History that Nobody Ever Talks About
Effigy of Edward II. Medieval Histories

Eventually, the fear that one of the numerous plots might finally succeed led Mortimer to decide to end the problem once and for all. He would put the deposed monarch beyond the possibility of rescue by having him disposed of. The perpetrators did not wish to leave marks of violence on the body. Contemptuous of Edward and his perceived effeminacy and gay reputation, they held him down and shoved a red hot poker up his rectum to burn his bowels from the inside. Another version has it that a tube was first inserted in his rectum, then a red hot metal bolt was dropped down the tube into his bowels. Either way, it was reported that his death screams were heard for miles around.

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Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading

American Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 85, No. 1 (Jan., 1981) – The Annihilation of the Sacred Band at Chaeronea

Biography – Philip of Macedon

Blunt, Wilifrid – The Dream King: Ludwig II of Bavaria (1970)

Cassius Dio – Roman History, Books 79-80

Daily Beast – The Victorious Gay Greek Army That Got Cancelled by History

Dodd, Gwilym – The Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives (1966)

Ehrenberg, Victor – From Solon to Socrates: Greek History and Civilization During the 6th and 5th Centuries BC (2010)

Encyclopedia Britannica – Alfred Redl, Austrian Military Officer

Encyclopedia Britannica – Edward II

Encyclopedia Britannica – Peisistratos

Encyclopedia Dot Com – Paul II

Faulkner, Neil – Lawrence of Arabia’s War (2017)

Goldsworthy, Adrian – How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower (2009)

Goldsworthy, Adrian – Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors (2020)

Gonick, Larry – The Cartoon History of the Universe (1990)

Historia Augusta – The Life of Elagabalus

History Collection – How Emperor Hadrian’s Homosexual Lover Became a God

History of Macedonia – Philip II of Macedonia

History Today, Volume 44, Issue 11, November 1994 – An Army of Lovers: The Sacred Band of Thebes

Jones, Dan – The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (2012)

King, Greg – The Mad King: The Life and Times of Ludwig II of Bavaria (1996)

Lawrence, T.E. – Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922)

O’Neil, James L. – The Origins and Development of Ancient Greek Democracy (1995)

Open Tabernacle – The Unfortunate Death of Pope Paul II

PBS – Lawrence of Arabia

Plutarch – Parallel Lives: Alcibiades

Plutarch – Parallel Lives: Pelopidas

Sadler, John – Spy of the Century: Alfred Redl and the Betrayal of Austria-Hungary (2016)

Suetonius – Lives of the Caesars: Life of Nero

Tacitus – The Annals

Thucydides – History of the Peloponnesian War

Worthington, Ian – Philip II of Macedonia (2008)

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