As promised, I've posted a version of my lecture "Sex Between Women in the Middle Ages and Renaissance" here.
And the acknowledgement that transsexualism exists was also appreciated. (I know how ridiculously hard it is to separate orientation and gender identity when they were conflated for so long. I just always dislike it when I read historical works that don't even acknowledge the transsexual angle, but you did a good job of handling that.
I can never remember to update this signature.
Here's a weird analogy. Prepositions rarely translate exactly one-for-one between languages, even closely related languages. But that doesn't mean that the people speaking the languages live in worlds with entirely different types of spatial relationships -- only that they may find it easier to bundle certain sets of spatial characteristics together than other sets. A language doesn't need a one-word preposition to be able to describe one object as being "spread out and in close continuous contact with a vertical flat surface", but if the language does have a single word describing that relationship, then speakers are likely to be more aware of objects with that relationship.
Similarly, the cluster of characteristics that I'm exploring in these research papers may only intersect as a unified prototype in certain specific times and cultures, but that doesn't mean that a person of a different time and place couldn't have experienced that same cluster -- without viewing it as some sort of holistic concept.
I'm kind of getting away from a simple "thank you". Sorry.
(Posting the sex essay has prompted me to work on the expanded version of the cross-dressing essay.)
I keep trying to mentally compose a thoughtful comment to post there about the intersection between the sources you've examined, and the observed cultural phenomenon of lesbian invisibility (unless you step outside the box and usurp the rights/prerogatives of a man) -- but the whole train of thought keeps sort of slipping sideways out of my grasp.
What I'm amazed at is that once you start breaking the quest down into motifs rather than looking for "lesbians in history" there ends up being vastly more material than I'd have predicted. (And I'm not actually doing much of anything in the way of original research here -- just re-packaging the existing scholarship.)
Heh. Now I really do feel old. I had no idea that "Tearoom" had already passed out of the subcultural community parlance.
I am consoled only by the idea that it least it made Ben Panced snort his Postum up into his sinuses.
I'm not sure that the term has passed out of use. I am kind of late to the scene, so I don't think anyone should assume me not knowing something equals it no longer being relevant.
I will shortly be in receipt of a contract for my consideration from Bella Books for Daughter of Mystery. I was almost exactly one month from submission to hearing back, which I know is startlingly fast.
Still grinning madly.
That essay is awesome and fascinating, hrj. I shared it on Twitter. Thanks so much for writing it--and congrats on the deal!