Today, is Transgender Day of Visibility and I wanted to take my turn and give my support. I am not a trans person so, I could never understand what they go through, so by no means do I want to share their thoughts and feelings. However, I still want to support trans people in any kind of way possible. Thus, I wish to share with you a small history and mythology lesson from ancient Cyprus and Greece. With the help of mythology and history I would like to show to the world that trans people and in general LGBTQ+ people are not a new thing, they are not people who for whatever reason are trying to taint the world’s culture. They’ve always been part of humanity and the world.
Aphrodite is part of many great myths and stories of love and heartbreaks. She is the perfect woman that every man wants and every woman is jealous of. However, not many people know that Aphrodite also had a male form. And not only that, she also had an androgynous and intersex form.
Cypriots believed by her being both genders or an intersex she was complete and self-sufficient. Specifically, as the goddess of fertility having both genders meant she could create life on her own. For instance, in Amathus, an ancient kingdom in present-day Limassol, the second largest city in Cyprus, they found a statue of Aphrodite where she is wearing feminine clothes, yet she has male genitals. Perhaps, that was the ancient Cypriots way to represent transgender, non-binary or intersex people. in their religion. After all, Aphrodite was the goddess of everything thus it was obvious every gender should be represented by her.
Furthermore, Aphrodite’s male form was called Aphroditus and during his festival
women could act as men and men as women, exchanging clothes and roles. It is interesting to see how today many nations would describe this ritual as disgraceful when thousands of years ago it was a sacred act. And if you ask me this sounds very similar to a very popular act that we all know today as drag queens and drag kings.
Of course, this is only a fraction of transgender and non-binary representation in ancient times. If we search more there is historical evidence that transgender people have been around much longer than we think. For example, another ancient mother goddess of the Greeks, before Aphrodite was Cybele. She was the goddess of the Phrygians in Greece. It is documented that she was worshipped by priests that wore feminine clothes and referred to themselves as women. Often they also castrated themselves. They were known as the Galli priestesses. This is evidence of early transgender figures.
Ancient Cyprus was described as very open-minded regarding sex and gender. However, greed and power created other perceptions. Similarly, until today in most nations of the world trans people and queer people in general are victims of violence daily. There are a lot of misconceptions about trans people that need to change. First of all what we need to stop is the mere thought that transgender people do not exist. The purpose of my post is essentially to show you that transgender people have been part of humanity’s history for thousands of years. They exist and they are humans just like me and you who is reading right now. And if you are a human then don’t forget your humanity.
Trans Rights are Human Rights.
Thank you for reading:)