10 Famous People Who Were Punished Just Because They Were Gay

None of us can survive without love. But there have been incidents where people were punished just because they were homosexuals. Times are changing, yet there are many countries which still treat homosexuality as a crime.

Not just common people, but even some of the most famous people had to suffer because they fell in love with the so-called same sex.

Here are some of the most famous personalities who had to suffer because of their sexuality.

1. Oscar Wilde

The famous playwright was imprisoned on the grounds of sodomy and gross indecency.

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Oscar Wilde is one of the most loved English dramatists of all times. The famous playwright had to face a lot of trouble because of his sexuality.

His arrest prompted him to leave England and go to France, which he felt was a much safer place for him.

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2. Alan Turing

The famous scientist was harassed by the British government for being gay until he committed suicide in 1954.

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At one point in time, England was one of the most conservative countries in Europe. Sodomy was treated as a criminal offense and even great individuals like Alan Turning was not spared.

Thankfully, much later the government realized its mistake and issued a posthumous apology to the great man.

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3. Leonardo da Vinci

The famous painter was also imprisoned for his homosexual relationships.

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Often considered one of the greatest brains to ever walk on Earth, Da Vinci’s personal life was very controversial. Apparently, the painter had to face a lot of troubles because of his love for young men and boys.

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4. Harvey Milk

He received death threats throughout his career and was assassinated by a former friend who voted against his gay-rights ordinance.

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Today, Milk has become the face of LGBT protest and demonstrations. He was the first openly gay person to be elected to a public office. Milk’s fight for social equality was definitely not an easy one.

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5. Xulhaz Mannan

He was the most popular gay rights activist in Bangladesh. He and his partner were hacked to death by Islamic militants.

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He was the face of gay rights in Bangladesh. He was a brave man who did not fear the government’s conservative stand on LGBT rights. Ironically, it was the not the government but the Islamic militants who proved to be his real enemy. They thought his actions were anti-Islamic.

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6. Bill Tilden

He was one of America’s greatest sports icons. He was twice convicted for incidents involving teenage boys.

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Often rated as the best American tennis player of all time, Tilden has a record which very few can challenge. Sadly, his personal life was not as smooth as his professional life. He often had to face many difficulties because of his sexual orientation.

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7. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

He committed suicide in order to save his own honor.

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There have been many theories about his mysterious death. Many scholars believe that he did not die of any illness but committed suicide. The Tsar came to know about his sexuality and was furious. The Tsar gave him two options – either face humiliating public trial or commit suicide. The great composer chose the later.

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8. Matthew Shepard

His horrific death at the hands of two homophobes shocked America

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He was an ordinary 21-year-old kid, whose death changed America. He became the face of LGBT struggle in America. His death made politicians take notice and combat anti-gay hate crimes. His became a martyr for the entire community.

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9. Magnus Hirschfeld

He was one of the pioneers of the LGBT movement. Hitler forced him to leave the country and never come back.

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He was one of the first advocates of gay rights. He was a social reformer who was especially concerned for the sexual minorities. When the Nazis took control of Germany, they wanted to create a pure race and this made them treat the homosexuals the same way they treated the Jews.

Nazis burnt his books and destroyed his institute. He lived in exile as he knew that coming back to his homeland was a suicide.

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10. Edward II

His sexuality led to his humiliation and downfall. The barons revolted and murdered both him and his partner Galveston.

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His story is immortalized by famous playwright Christopher Marlowe. It was his intimate relationship with his boyfriend Gaveston led to his downfall. His own wife Isabella, played an important role in his exile and murder.

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I hope that soon a day would come when people will not have to hide whom they love. Love is pure and it remains pure irrespective of one’s sexuality.

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