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The concept of homosexuality did not exist prior to the nineteenth century. In literature, this made lesbians a rarity. With the absence of women writers and even fewer lesbian writers, the question for historians became how to find our queer ancestors. Defining anyone in the Medieval Age as homosexual is anachronistic at but modern lesbians could hardly be the first.
Saints Perpetua and Felicity are commonly regarded among the LGBTQ community and members of the Catholic Church as the Patron Saints of Same-Sex Relationships but in St. Perpetua’s self-penned diary and martyr story, the two women have only one direct interaction and it isn’t sexual. In this research, the “lesbian-like” behavior of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity is examined to prove the plausibility of their lesbianism.
Course: English 415 – Seminar in Literature
Grand Forks, ND
Antiquity, saints, Perpetua, Felicitas, homosexuality, lesbian, Christianity
Catholic Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies
Tonsfeldt, Mari, "Perpetua and Felicity: The Unofficial Lesbian Saints" (2018). Essential Studies UNDergraduate Showcase. 17.