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William Dorsey Swann: The First LGBTQ Activist In History. - Crime - Nairaland

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William Dorsey Swann: The First LGBTQ Activist In History. by Tgnnews247: 10:35am On Aug 23, 2023
The LGBTQ movement is one of the most popular movements in history advocating for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. The movement has gained numerous major strides over the years such as the decriminalization of homosexuality or enactment of the legal status of same-sex marriage in numerous countries across the world. The strides of the movement have achieved cannot be attributed to one person but the momentum which brought about the establishment of the movement is none other than William Dorsey Swann, the first recorded LGBTQ activist in history.

During the 1880s and 1890s, Swann who is also the first person known to describe himself as a drag queen organized a series of drag balls in Washington, D.C. He was arrested in police raids numerous times, including in the first documented case of arrests for female impersonation in the United States, on April 12, 1888. He then pursued legal and political action to defend the LGBTQ community’s right to assemble. His legal efforts sparked a conversation about the LGBTQ+ community and may have even been one of the first instances of LGBTQ+ activism in the United States.

Biography Of William Dorsey Swann
William Dorsey Swann was born in March 1860 into slavery. He was the fifth oldest child in a Protestant family with 13 children. He was enslaved in Hancock, Maryland, property of Ann Murray. After the Civil War, his parents were able to buy a farm. Swann’s first job was working as a hotel waiter.

Swann worked in hypermasculinity clothing at the Spencerian Business College in Washington, DC. However, in 1882, he was found guilty of stealing books and party gadgets from the Washington Library Company and taking unknown objects from the home of Henry and Sara Spencer and was dismissed from the job. He pled guilty to petty larceny and was sentenced to six months in jail.
Read more: https://tgnnews247.com/william-dorsey-swann-the-first-lgbtq-activist-in-history/

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