This Roman Emperor Has Been Reclassified As A Trans Woman

"Call me not Lord, for I am a Lady".

The North Herefordshire Museum has announced that emperor Elagabalus will now be referred to with she/her pronouns throughout the museum and will be described as a woman.

This change has been introduced following classical texts reporting that the Roman ruler said, “call me not Lord, for I am a Lady”. Kevin Hoskins, a museum spokesperson said to the BBC of the change that it is “only polite and respectful to be sensitive to identifying pronouns of people in the past”.

The museum currently has one coin of Elagabulus which is displayed amongst other LGBTQ+ items in the museum collection. The museum consulted LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall to ensure that displays, publicity and talks are as up-to-date and inclusive as possible.

Who was Elagabalus?

Emperor Elagabalus, who was also known as Marcus Aurelius Antonius, ruled the Roman empire from 218AD to 222AD before she was assassinated at age 18.

According to an interview published on the University of Birmingham website, Elagabalus frequently wore wigs and makeup, preferred to be called ‘domina’ (lady) over ‘dominus’ (lord) and even offered vast sums of money to any physician who could give her a vagina.

According to Chronicles of her life, written by Roman historian Cassius Dio, Elagabalus was married five times, four times to women and once to a former slave and chariot driver named Hiercoles.

Speaking on these texts, Hoskins said, “We know that Elagabalus identified as a woman and was explicit about which pronouns to use, which shows that pronouns are not a new thing.”

And added, “In the past, inaccurate translations had referred to Elagabalus as ‘they’; however we now know this was the result of the classical Greek language making no distinction between gender when referring to people in the third person, making many translations inaccurate.”

However, the words from Dio’s texts have confirmed that the emporor “definitely preferred the ‘she’ pronoun” and as such, the museum respects and reflects this in their work.

New guidance on trans-inclusive practice in museums

New guidance on trans-inclusive practices in museums, galleries, archives and heritage sites was published last month by the University of Leicester’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) and was widely welcomed by trans rights advocates.

As Stonewall said back in 2020, “Trans people have always been here”.