In 1629, in colonial Virginia, there came before the courts one Thomas Hall. Or was it Thomasine Hall? That was the question. This was the first recorded intersex person in America – that is, apart from Native American traditions, of course (which we DO cover in this episode). The colonists didn’t know what to do. Today, we’re taking a look at perceptions of intersex in early colonial America, and all of the centuries of tradition that went into them, from ancient Greece up to the present.
To read Hall’s case for yourself, see The Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia.
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DeVun, Leah. “Heavenly Hermaphrodites: Sexual Difference at the Beginning of Time.” Postmedieval, Vol. 9, 2018: pp. 132-146.
Movement Advancement Project. “Identity Document Laws and Policies.” Retreieved Apr 5, 2020, from: https://www.lgbtmap.org/equality-maps/identity_document_laws
Pliny the Elder. Natural History. Loeb Classical Library. Retrieved Apr 5, 2020, from: https://www.loebclassics.com/view/pliny_elder-natural_history/1938/pb_LCL352.529.xml?readMode=recto
Reis, Elizabeth. Bodies in Doubt: An American History of Intersex. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.
Tougher, Shaun. The Eunuch in Byzantine History and Society. New York: Routledge, 2008.
Treuer, Anton. The Assassination of Hole in the Day. St Paul, MN: Borealis Books, 2011.
Virginia, Council of. The Minutes of the Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia. McIlwaine, H. R., Ed. Richmond, VA, 1924.
Additional music and audio from: “Morning Sounds” from Free Sounds Library, “Angry Crowd Sound Effects” from Visual & Sound FX, “Sound Effect Gavel Hit Call to Order” from SoundEffects HD Indie Studios, “Crowd Gasp Sound Effect” from TurnerYoutubeSystem Cristopher Taylor, “English Country Dances – 17th Century Music – J. Playford, D. Douglass, P. O’Dette, A. Lawrence King” from Rocco Saviano, “Powhatan Renape Nation An American Indian Festival” from richerichusa1, “Heavenly Music Contact With Los Angels” from Transcending Sounds, “Ancient Roman Music – Synaulia I” from Aemilius Paulus, and “Minstrel Guild” by Kevin MacLeod.
“Starship Interprise” skit mixed from “Tos USS Enterprise NCC 1701 Bridge Background Ambience Sound” from Kingsirluke HD, “Star Trek: The Original Series Sound Effects” from MediaCollege.com, “Seagull Beach Sound Effect” from Free Sounds Library, and “Star Trek – Grabbing Women By the Shoulders” from Thomas McGregor.
Pilgrims image from Pinterest
Intersex pride flag from Wikipedia