Being transgender is not a trend— it is human history

There is undoubtedly more light on the subject of transgender individuals and how the current generation is “coming out,” but accounts transgender identities have existed for hundreds of years.

The alternative cover page to Susan Stryker’s book, “Transgender History.”

The alternative cover page to Susan Stryker’s book, “Transgender History.”

Anakin Morales-Jimenez, Reporter

When you look at headlines for other news websites, or even for regular newspapers on occasion, it will of course bring the most recent updates on legislation for transgender individuals and other related issues surrounding those individuals.

Years prior to our recent day, there was hardly any coverage on the transgender community, specifically in the United States. It seems to a generous amount of people in the population that the concept has only recently formed within this century, or even this decade.

So because of the consistent increase and awareness about the transgender community being spread by the most popular news outlets, social media, and fairly new and unpopular organizations that specifically focus on LGBT+ information and issues, it would possibly mislead the public. Sure, the news and backed data can indeed be informative and helpful to dispelling stereotypes in modern society, but rarely is there a historical overview to clarify that being transgender is new.

Although there is thankfully that increase in news coverage, it does not mean that being transgender is not a trend and it is not meant to be indoctrinated by the mass majority that does not experience gender dysphoria.

To put this into perspective, here is the Google Trends analytics chart for the interest in the keyword “transgender” in the United States.

The worldwide chart appears in similar spikes given since the United States is one of the countries in which the keyword is most searched.

Of course, the chart is inconclusive because people may not have access to the Internet, but on a generalized basis, groups of people are bound to assume that the rise in transgender identities and that the overall existence is all due to the production of media covering the topic.

As hard as it might be to believe, accounts of transgender or transgender-esque individuals and groups have existed for several millenniums, even as early as the B.C.E. ages.

A YouTube channel by the name of King Colby compiled a video containing a list of transgender individuals from history mainly within the 1900s, and all the information is backed by sources, yet it does not mention the oldest accounts of being transgender.

Civilizations in ancient times held tribes that identified with an intersex deity known as the “Great Mother.” Ceremonies were held by priests who had undergone castration (the removal of testicles) in order to honor the Great Mother, usually in cultures where women were held to a high status. Records lead to the indication that a number of the priests identified as transgender, and the records go far back to the Paleolithic era, which began over 2.6 million years ago and ended a little over 12,000 years ago.

Priests who identified as male-to-female transgender individuals were also common in the Middle East even though the Muslim population merely separated transsexual/transgender individuals as worshippers or prostitutes rather than people in power.

In Africa, there were also accounts of intersex deities that still live in small numbers today. The Heviosso people are an example of those who have kept the concept of being transgender as a general awareness. Within Angola, a country stationed near southern Africa, Nzinga was a leader that kept over 50 Chibados in her royal court. They are third-gender men that assumed their roles as women, and Nzinga not only became a symbol of freedom for Angola in combat against the Portuguese, but also as an advocate for transgender individuals.

There are several other accounts around the world of transgender identities and communities that strived together. What caused great recession and unfamiliarity with the concept? The emergence into the Middle Ages.

The drastic changes in society led to the expelling and downfall of transgender people, including those in power mainly because society had moved from matriarchal and general distribution among genders to patriarchal attitudes and leaderships. Transgender individuals were not tolerated, and much of the history regarding those individuals who identified differently from their birth sex was either hidden, or was tried to be destroyed.

Why the history is not covered so often in the modern days? That is a discussion for later, but being transgender in this age is not anything new unless you peer into credible sources. All about human history.