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Here’s how Ancient Egyptian lesbians got down

Back in Ancient Egypt, things could get pretty darn gay. Not only does a 5th Dynasty Egyptian tomb contain depictions of what might be the first recorded gay love story in history, we’re now learning that among the Egyptians, being openly lesbian was not only tolerated, but possibly even celebrated.


According to TikToker Jen the Archaeologist (@the_jenc), being openly sapphic was just fine in Ancient Egyptian society, to the point where WLW couples show up in ancient texts and art. In fact, Jen explains, in the Talmud, “lesbianism is described as common in Egypt, and this became so accepted…that the term ‘the practices of Egypt’ became a euphemism for lesbianism.”

It’s a great euphemism, and I say we bring it back. As in: “Does she…you know…engage in the practices of Egypt?”

But not so fast—before you get too excited, this phrase was used as a “condemnation” of Egypt, rather than the saucy praise it should have been. Still, it didn’t stop Egyptians from celebrating same-sex love among themselves.

Last year, Jen went into detail about the Ancient Egyptian sapphic couple Idet and Ruiu, whose relationship was immortalized by a statue found in Egypt’s Theban necropolis. And while Jen points out that this statue could have symbolized a mother and a daughter, the fact that the statue was found in a tomb and depicting the two women holding each other “for all eternity” seems like the relationship was something more.

So as Pride month draws to a close, remember the practices of Egypt, and practice them proudly.

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Tags: Gay Sapphic WLW
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