A British museum will recognize the Roman emperor Heliogabalus as a trans woman
The English Museum of North Hertfordshire will refer to the Roman emperor Heliogábalo as trans woman hereinafter. This decision is based on historical references that mention their behaviors “effeminate” for Roman society: according to classical historians Heliogábalo wore women's clothing, makeup and wigs; and at times he referred to himself as “a lady".
The decision, according to a museum spokeswoman, seeks to “be polite and respectful of the way people of the past identified themselves”. However, not all historians agree with redefining the gender identity of Heliogábalo, since no first-person source survives that could clarify how he felt about it.
Who was Elagabalus?
Heliogábalo He became emperor in 218 AD, at the age of 14, and held office until 222, when he was deposed and murdered. As he had experienced with previous emperors, he had behavior that for the Roman aristocracy was very eccentric. He is mainly known for his attempt to impose an Eastern god as the main deity of the Roman pantheon above Jupiter: El Gabal, from which he took his new name.
But more than that, what really scandalized the Roman nobility was his non-normative behavior and his alleged sexual promiscuity: according to the historian Dio Cassius, Heliogábalo he dressed as a woman, wore wigs and makeup and shaved his hair; She organized orgies in the palace and even disguised herself as a prostitute to go to the brothels. In a society that valued virility as something fundamental in men, this was unacceptable, especially when it came to the emperor. The same author also points out that she preferred to be called domina (ma'am), which is why her status has been debated for so long. gender identity.
The chronicles of Dio Cassius They claim that he was married five times. Four of them with women and the last with Hiercoles, former slave and charioteer. For this last marriage, 'the emperor'was given in marriage as “wife, lover and queen”. The Heliogábalo It has even been said that he offered astronomical amounts of money to the doctor who was able to replace his male genitalia for female ones. If this were true, we would be talking about the first documented case of transsexuality.
El North Hertfordshire Museum, located in the city of hitchin, about 60 kilometers from London, has announced that it will recognize the president as trans woman in the exhibition he is preparing about his figure. From now on it will be 'her' as they intend to “be sensitive when identifying pronouns of people from the past”. The decision was made after consultation with the charity LGTBIQ+ Stonewall with the aim that “exhibitions, advertising and talks are as current and inclusive as possible".
The main reason for this new name is because, after reviewing a classic text by the Roman historian Dio Cassius, from the XNUMXrd century AD, the emperor's own statement was found suggesting that he not be called lord, “because I am a lady".