LGBT Ancient Egypt

So, quite a big topic but I gather not a lot of literature on this from the AEs!

I know it’s not likely they had a concept like LGBTQ+ because it seems to be very much a modern movement.

However, I am impressed with how modern some of their attitudes were, such as women having more rights in AE than anywhere else in the ancient world (that I know of).

I gather like a lot of other societies, having male and female couple relationships were important and attached to populating the Earth. However, I wonder what the attitudes would have been towards other forms of relationships or genders?

Myself and my wife have children together and family life is very important to us. Other forms of relationships can still include/produce children, so another question is how the AEs may have viewed different types of families. I know there may not be literature on this.

Then again, perhaps the AEs didn’t care and let people get on with it! Perhaps it wasn’t a particularly big deal to them as long as the principles of Ma’at is upheld?

All fair points and a good question. There is some evidence of LGBTQ+ relationships existed. The subtle touches in the tombs of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum may suggest a homosexual relationship, however there is much debate in that.

Sure, the state preferred straight couples, perhaps due to the practicality of sustaining population levels (high infant mortality), there were plenty of people who didn’t conform and various bits of evidence come up reporting those with different views. In those cases people (and the state) it appears didn’t condemn them, just turned a blind eye.

I did write fair bit on this topic for my last book (which unfortunately hasn’t been published yet). I will make a note to dig out the references I used later.

But in short, as you say, so long as Ma’at is upheld they didn’t care and neither should we.

A little out of context for what they refer to (because its not published yet) but might give some ideas:

I would also point you to Dancing With Hathor which I didn’t have at the time of writing this book. Some good stuff in there I think.

Oh wow thanks!!! Plenty for me to be getting on with!

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Whilst I can understand the need to feel like the ancient Egyptians, or perhaps even the gods, aren’t judging us for how we lead our modern lives, I think it’s important to remember that we are modern. We don’t have to live our lives according to principles from thousands of years ago. Even Christian churches are becoming more open to LGBTQ+ people.

The gods themselves transcend race, sexuality, gender. Many gods have female variations even if they primarily present themselves as male. (Although there are those that see these female counterparts as goddesses in their own right).

On a personal note, I think it is wonderful that you have a happy family with your wife and children. I may be married to a cisgender man but I am a bisexual woman. I support all those in the LGBTQ+ family. I hope you feel you have a safe space here.


Thanks Senneferet. I do feel safe here. You made some good points :slightly_smiling_face: