Scientific literature covers homosexuality (1924 - 1931)

Author: Queer Memory — 16.3. 2021 — Share on Facebook / Copy link

1924. The first publication written by a person publicly declaring his homosexuality is being published under the name František Jelínek: Homosexuality. In the light of science.

Jelinek's ambition was to provide systematic information on various aspects of homosexuality - from a historical overview to descriptions of conditions faced by homosexuals. He touched on the topic of education, and also analysed attempts to treat homosexuality, the church's views on homosexuality, and the problem of blackmailing. He clearly stated that the intention of the publication was to achieve decriminalisation.

"The problem of same-sex love requires that we stop turning a blind eye, but rather that we look it straight in the eye. People have finally realised that a man has the right to self-determination, and that the state and the society are not entitled to take away his most sacred human right - the right to love according to his own inner nature, ..."

František Jelínek

1926. Homosexuality is a "hot topic" in György Pál's publication: The Homosexual Problem in Modern Light.

Pál described Budapest as a city with a large influx of homosexual people, resulting from global urbanisation. Many people were able to start an active love and sex life in Budapest and no longer had to hide in the countryside or in smaller cities. The anonymity of the metropolis provided them with opportunities to meet people of the same sexual orientation. This was palpable mainly in the spa and in the city center: Kálvin tér (Kalvín square), Erzsébet tér (Elisabeth Square), Emke caféház (Café Emke) or Margit híd (Margit’s bridge).

1931. The voice of Sexual Minority - the first Czechoslovak homosexual magazine that fights for "equality of homosexual people with heterosexuals, with regard to both law and society", is published.

The magazine was published thanks to the initiative of the brothers František and Vojtěch Černý. It voiced the main arguments in favour of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, but in addition to political and socially engaged articles, it also shed a light on literary works, short stories and poems, which were carefully selected by its editors. It also ran a section of personal advertisements, where "same-sex" people could meet.

It was thanks to the existence of Voice that many people from the homosexual community started reflecting on their unfair conditions and place in the society. The homosexual magazine Kamarád, founded by the Slovak ornamentalist and painter Štefan Kostelníček, was also published in Brno in 1932. At that time, homosexual magazines played an important role in terms of community support. Thanks to their work, people throughout Czechoslovakia could gain access to adequate legal and other assistance.

1932. The state finally allowed the establishment of a homosexual organisation. The Czechoslovak League for Sexual Reform is established.

During the 1920s and 1930s, the “emancipation circles” cooperated mainly with partner organisations and individuals in Germany. Germany was a pioneering country in the field of sexual liberalisation until Hitler came to power. Its aim was to achieve the repeal of paragraphs punishing homosexuality, as well as to raise awareness to homosexuality and thus contribute to the elimination of prejudices.

The members of the League who did not belong to the homosexual community also advocated a broader focus of the organisation's activities, such as creating a reform in the field of abortions, sexual and reproductive health, etc.

Author: Queer Memory
Published at: 16.3. 2021

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