A website supporting the switchingview youtube channel

The switchingview YouTube channel hosts my videos created to tell a postive story about LGBTQ+ history.

The videos describe how in many periods through history, and in many parts of the world, we LGBTQ+ people have been accepted and valued for the gifts and qualities we brought to the cultures we lived within. We have nothing to be ashamed of.

Sadly the Christian church has been very critical of such people in the past, often describing us as unnatural or disordered or sinful. Such teaching has distorted the histories that are being told. It is now time to challenge that distortion and develop a more complete and positive set of histories.

The Youtube channel can be found at switching view. My other personal website is at simondawson.com, and you can contact me via the Comment and Feedback page.

This website has been created to support the youtube channel and to host information about the videos. The videos are listed in the table below, both those already uploaded and the ones I plan to make over the next couple of years.

Each video is listed with a youtube link, a short description of the video contents, and links to a "Texts and Resources" document. These documents lists all the references I have used. There will also be guidance for further reading if you want to find out more for yourself. Wherever posible I have listed openly available books, newspapers and web resources, rather than academic articles hidden within university libraries.

Introduction to switchingview

Planned for Summer 2024 - The background to the switchingview project, and how to get the best out of it.

Edward Carpenter - A Video Biography

Watch Video (Uploaded April 2023)

Edward Carpenter was an English social reformer and writer who lived from 1844 to 1929. He wrote some of the earliest books on homosexual reform in the UK. I will be using many of his ideas in my videos.

Carpenter is well worth knowing about, and my inspiration, so here is my video biography of his life.

Carpenter Biography - Texts and Resources Document

Project 1 - Intermediate Types

In this "Intermediate Types" video series I explore the relationship between the Christian Church, homosexuality, and LGBTQ+ people across history.

The videos use the ideas contained in Edward Carpenter's book Intermediate Types. He described how if you study LGBTQ+ history within cultures dominated by Christianity you will get a distorted picture due to Christian anti-gay prejudice.

If you examine cultures across the world and across history before Christianity got there then you will find a different story. There are countless examples of cultures where "intermediate type" people (people who appear similar to what we might today label LGBTQ+) were accepted by the society they live within, and in many cases valued for what they offered.

These videos have been created to tell this more complete set of stories about our LGBTQ+ lives.

Int1 - Intermediate Types

Three introductory videos - Uploaded February 2024.

Int1.1. Edward Carpenter's Intermediate Types. How to uncover LGBTQ+ History - Exploring Edward Carpenter's theories on how to explore homosexual history, especially by looking outside the sphere of influence of Christianity to escape the distorting effects of prejudice.

Int1.2. Intermediate Types - The Evidence. Stories of Queer People in History - Following on from part 1, examples of many valued and accepted Intermediate Type people to be found across history if we follow Carpenter's method.

Int1.3. Suppression and Genocide. How Colonialism damaged LGBTQ+ History - Exploring how European Colonialism supressed and damaged many of the cultures in which these Intermediate Type people existed, to the extent that the memory of them has now been all but forgotten.

Intermediate Types - Texts and Resources Document

Int2 - Queer Ministry

Planned for April-June 2024

There are a huge number of reports across history, and across continents, of Intermediate Type people being valued for their involvement in religion and spirituality - as priests, shamen and many other vocations. In this video I discuss many examples of this phenomen, and explore how such people were viewed, and often valued, by the cultures they lived within.

Part 1 - Describing the many examples of Queer Ministry to be found aross history.

Part 2 - Exploring theories about how such a link between sexuality and religion may have developed.

Part 3 - Bible study, exploring examples of Queer Ministry to be found in the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testamant.

Int 3 - Warrior Love

Planned for Summer/Autumn 2024

This video explores the many reports of how, in many military cultures, the same-sex loving companionship beteen warriors was held to be a great virtue and the bedrock of military effectiveness.

Part 1 - Describing the many examples of Warrior Love to be found aross history.

Part 2 - Exploring theories about how a link between same-sex love and military effectiveness may have developed.

Part 3 - Bible study, exploring examples of Warrior Love to be found in the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testamant.

Int 4 - A Skeleton Argument

Planned for Late Summer 2024

The vast bulk of the evidence available about LGBTQIA+ issues comes to us in written and textual sources. But some interesting evidence is available from archaeology, and the study of skeletons and grave goods.

This video describes some examples of this, and explores how the modern ability to accurately determine skeletal gender is challenging old patriarchal, heteronormative assumptions about some of these ancient cultures.

Starred videos

Most of these Intermediate Type videos will be structured for a general audience. They will be accessable for anybody interested in the history of sexuality and religion. No specialist knowledge will be assumed.

However I will be creating a few videos which go into Bible Study and Bible history in greater detail. These videos are marked with a * sign.

Int 5* - Holy Servants and Holy Sex

Planned for Late Summer 2024

Part 1 - A more detailed look the treatment of Sex, Sexuality, and Same Sex love within the pages of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament)

Part 2 - Going on to explore how the Hebrew Scriptures came to be created, and how the apparent negativity towards Same Sex love might have entered the texts and teachings.

Int 5A* - Rehabilitating Shamed Women

No Planned Date Yet

Much of the scholarship challenging church issues around sexuality is as relevant to gender questions as it is to questions of sexual orientation. In the Int5* Holy Sex video I discuss how Christian scholarship has a tendency to label certain women as prostitutes or shamed women in some way.

This video explores the stories of Bathsheba, Saint Mary Magdalen, and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, to ask if those labels are still justified.

Int 6 - Colonial Repression

No Planned Date Yet.

Within Britain, much of the discussion about colonialism focusses on the slave trade. But a deeper analysis will show that there were many other equally damaging effects. Theft (of land, wealth, and cultural artifacts), Disease, and Genocide. Such genocide could be actual genocide in which the population was killed, or cultural genocide in which the population remained alive, but a new culture was forcibly imposed on them.

These videos contain three case studies which explore how the European colonial project damaged and supressed Intermediate Type people and communities across the world, through the forced imposition of European, often Christian inspired, laws, teaching and customs.

Part 1 - Spain, the Americas and the Conquistadores.

Part 2 - British Punishment expeditions in Africa; 19th Century CE

Part 3 - Forced assimilation within schools, often Church run Schools, in Canada, USA and the Pacific Islands.

Int 7 - Repression in the Late Roman Empire

No Planned Date Yet

Christianity became the official state religion in the Roman Empire after Constantine's "conversion". This video describes how church leaders used this power in the 4th to 6th Centuries CE to forcibly supress expressions of intermediate type and queer ministry behaviour.

Int 8 - Intersectionality

The word "intersectionality" is used to describe how the study of discrimination and oppression cannot be sectioned off into discrete subject areas - race, gender, sexuality, disability. It is necessary to understand how these issues overlap and inter-react.

In this video I explore how the study of homosexuality overlaps with other recent research on gender and patriarchy.

No Planned Date Yet

Int 9 - What Went Wrong - Carpenter's Reformation Theory

No Planned Date Yet

I think it is important to explore exactly why the church developed such virulent teaching against homosexuality in the first few centuries. Is it simply that God Hates Gays, or are there other systemic reasons arising out of how the early church developed.

This first video is inspired by Carpenter's "reformation" theory given in his book Intermediate Types. He wrote "Just as, according to Darwin, the sharpest rivalry occurs between a species and the closely allied species from which it has sprung, so in any religion there is the fiercest theological hatred against the form which has immediately preceded it. Early Christianity could never say enough against the Pagan cults of the old world."

Can it be argued that some Christian and Jewish teachings against homosexuality and other intermediate types arose simply out of the fact that such behaviour was widely accepted and integrated into the Pagan and Canaanite religious traditions that Christianity and Judaism regarded as anathema?

Int 10 - What Went Wrong - Sex, Celibacy and Homophobia?

No Planned Date Yet

A second "What Went Wrong" Video

There was a very strong emphasis on celibacy in the early church, and a distrust of the sexual and the erotioc. Whilst celibacy may have been been appropriate for many people, it is a difficult discipline. Can it be argued that some Christian anti-gay teaching is linked to an unconscious level of mysogyny and homophobia arising out of an unhelpful overemphasis on a celibate vocation?

Int 11* - The Nicodemites

No Planned Date Yet

In a fascinating book "Silence - a Christian History", Diarmaid MacCulloch uses the phrase Nicodemites for those people who had to keep themselves hidden and silent, for whatever reason. And being in the closet was one of those reasons.

In this video I discuss the many reports of those people in Christian history who may have been homosexual, and how those people contributed to our Christian tradition.

Finally, I put a lot of work into these videos, and it would be good if they can be seen by the largest number of people.

So if you have a friend or colleague who you think would benefit from knowing about them, please pass on the word.


Thank You