Hunky queer historian quenches thirst for knowledge on Instagram

Dr. Eric Cervini (image via YouTube)

A hunky historian whose popular video series brought him Instagram fame and his
own YouTube Channel has now written a book about an important chapter in the
story of LGBTQ rights.

Dr. Eric Cervini, an “award-winning historian of LGBTQ+ politics and culture,”
first garnered attention when he started an account on Instagram to feature “Magic
Closet,” a series of one-minute videos about queer-centric topics from history,
including the sexuality of figures like Alexander Hamilton and Michelangelo, the intersex
goddess Ishtar, and even
the question, “Who Invented

The Harvard-and-Cambridge-educated PhD and Gates Scholar soon found himself
with over 13,600 followers, and decided to take things further. He began
producing longer videos and posting them on his
YouTube channel
, where they continue to gain him new followers and fans. He’s
also expanded his audience with a podcast, “The Deviant’s World,” which has
dropped two episodes to date.

As if he weren’t busy enough, he’s also written a book about Dr. Frank Kameny, the WWII veteran who was “radicalized” after being fired and blacklisted by the army for being gay and went on to become the co-founder of the Washington Mattachine Society. Titled “The Deviant’s War,” it’s set for release this summer.

One reason that Cervini draws a large audience of LGBTQ+ viewers – aside from
his influencer good looks – is that he identifies as part of the community

“I grew up in Central Texas, and was closeted until I was 18,”
the historian told LGBTQ

He went on to explain, “I didn’t have any knowledge of gay
history until my 20s. In retrospect, I wish I had had access to a fun,
accessible, and easily digestible resource that gave me a sense of the LGBTQ+
community’s long and rich history.”

“[T]hat’s what I’m trying to create with my Instagram page,”
he went on. “People can start at the beginning – Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt –
and move forward through time with my short posts or 1-minute videos. I try to
highlight individual stories that give a sense of their times: what does a
Roman emperor’s love affair with another man tell us about sexuality in ancient

As for his upcoming book, he said, “A lot of people think
that the gay rights movement began with Stonewall. And while Stonewall was
incredibly important, my book focuses on activism that began a generation
before the riots: how a small group of activists — led by Frank Kameny — fought
the federal government’s gay purges in the 1950s and 1960s.”

Cervini said that he regrets never having met Kameny, who
died in 2011.

“I wish I could thank him for everything he sacrificed for our
community,” he said. “He died in poverty, and now, we can only thank him by
remembering his name and telling his story.”

Published at Tue, 17 Mar 2020 02:36:06 +0000