Tag Archives: Homosexuality

Gay History - May 10, 320 BC: The Greek Author and Poet Theocritus Is Born

Gay History – May 10, 320 BC: The Greek Author and Poet Theocritus Is Born

May 10, 320 BC Theocritus is born in Syracuse and is credited with being the first and greatest pastoral poet.

In the heritage of homosexual literature, ancient Greece holds a unique place. Here was a society relatively hospitable to the love of boys and youths, and, on occasion, to love between older men, in which poetry and prose that celebrated. Such affections formed a significant part of its culture.  Theocritus developed the verse form known as the pastoral, a stylized and artful form usually about shepherds or cowherds who sing of love and friendship and were  highly homoerotic.

Thirty (nearly) complete poems and twenty-five epigrams have come down to us under the name “Theocritus.”

Seven of the thirty poems (idylls) completed by Theocritus are essentially homoerotic: in the fifth idyll two shepherds good- naturedly accuse each other of pederasty (one accusing the other of anal rape in the bushes), using colloquial expressions that are “obscene” enough to be printed in Latin in some modern English translations from the Greek (a notorious pedantic practice that makes merely vulgar passages seem especially wicked – and easier to locate); in the seventh idyll Aratus is passionately in love with a boy; in the twelfth idyll a lover addresses his absent beloved and describes a kissing contest amongst boys in honour of Diocles, lover of Philolaus; in the thirteenth idyll Hercules frantically searches for his beloved Hylas; in the twenty-third idyll a lover commits suicide and is revenged by a statue of Eros falling upon his faithless beloved; in the twenty-ninth idyll a lover speaks to his inconstant and immature beloved; and in the thirtieth idyll a rejected suitor reflects upon the heartbreak caused by the love of lads. Theocritus portrays the homosexual lover as one who experiences fleeting moments of gaiety ending in dejected frustration and pensive memory – the very same way in which he portrays heterosexual lovers.

Theocritus’ work was unavailable to most Renaissance writers, and their imitations are almost always secondhand, by way of Virgil and French pastoralists. But the very first English translation of selected pieces, the anonymous Sixe Idillia of 1588, contains an insightful comment about the paradoxical love-death relationship between the boy-surrogate (Adonis) and the sacred king wearing the totem skin (the boar). The boar pleads his case to Venus:

Venus, to thee I sweare,
. . .
Thy husband faire and tall
I minded not to kill;
But as an image still
I him beheld for love [i.e., Eros]Which made me forward shove,
His thigh that naked was
Thinking to kisse, alas!
. . .
Why beare I in my snowt
These needless teeth about?

200-Year-Old Diary Discovered in the UK Shows Surprising Acceptance of Homosexuality

200-Year-Old Diary Discovered in the UK Shows Surprising Acceptance of Homosexuality

The discovery of a 200 year old diary written by a Yorkshire farmer is surprising historians because of the tolerance it shows towards homosexuality in Britain at that time.

Via BBC News:

Historians from Oxford University have been taken aback to discover that Matthew Tomlinson’s diary from 1810 contains such open-minded views about same-sex attraction being a “natural” human tendency.

The diary challenges preconceptions about what “ordinary people” thought about homosexuality – showing there was a debate about whether someone really should be discriminated against for their sexuality.

In this exciting new discovery, we see a Yorkshire farmer arguing that homosexuality is innate and something that shouldn’t be punished by death,” says Oxford researcher Eamonn O’Keeffe.

Tomlinson argued, from a religious perspective, that punishing someone for how they were created was equivalent to saying that there was something wrong with the Creator.

“It must seem strange indeed that God Almighty should make a being with such a nature, or such a defect in nature; and at the same time make a decree that if that being whom he had formed, should at any time follow the dictates of that Nature, with which he was formed, he should be punished with death,” he wrote on January 14 1810.

If there was an “inclination and propensity” for someone to be homosexual from an early age, he wrote, “it must then be considered as natural, otherwise as a defect in nature – and if natural, or a defect in nature; it seems cruel to punish that defect with death”.

Matthew Tomlinson was a widower, in his 40s when he wrote his journal in 1810 – a man of a “middling” class, not a poor labourer but not rich enough to own his own land.

No-one knows how these private diaries, covering 1806 to 1839, ended up in Wakefield Library, but they were there by the 1950s and are presumed to be part of an earlier acquisition of old books and local documents.

5 Gay Men Tortured and Beheaded in Saudi Arabia

5 Gay Men Tortured and Beheaded in Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia, which carried out the gruesome mass execution of 37 people this week by beheading claimed the barbaric act was over terrorism crimes. But it is coming to light that many were minority Shi’ite Muslims who may not have had fair trials and 5 men were beheaded for being gay,

Homosexuality is punishable by death in the Gulf State, ruled over by King Salman.

A court document obtained by CNN states a man confessed to gay acts and hating the majority Sunni sect. It states: ‘He said that he did all this because he belonged to the Shia sect and because he was against the Sunni sect and because of his hate for the state and its men and its security forces.

The executions were carried out on Tuesday in the cities of Riyadh, Mecca and Medina. One of the prisoner’s had his body and severed head pinned to a pole in a public square. The deaths were said to act as a warning to others and also a political move to impress the USA.

Many of those executed said they were totally innocent, and that their confessions had been written by the same people who had tortured them.

Tuesday’s mass execution was “another gruesome indication of how the death penalty is being used as a political tool to crush dissent from within” the country’s Shi’ite minority, said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s group’s research director for the Middle East.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the executions heightened doubts about respect for the right to a fair trial in Saudi Arabia and could fuel sectarian violence.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said at least 33 of the 37 men put to death were Shi’ites and it was the largest set of executions in the kingdom since January 2016.


Gay History 1961 – WATCH: “The Rejected” The Long Lost First Aired Television Documentary About Homosexuality

While there were  a few previously produced television panel discussions about homosexuality  The Rejected was the first ever full-length televised  documentary about the then controversial subject.

Originally produced and broadcast  by KQED for National Educational Television (NET) – the predecessor of WNET – and first aired on September 11th 1961, on KQED Ch.9. it includes discussions about sexual orientation from: Margaret Mead (anthropologist, pictured aboved); Dr. Karl Bowman (former President of the American Psychiatric Association); Harold Call, Donald Lucas and Les Fisher of the Mattachine Society;

“We think the swish, or the queen, represents a small minority within the homosexual grouping,” Call states. “These people in most cases are not even liked by their homosexual brethren because they have perhaps rejected themselves and they feel society has rejected them.”

Call calls for a change in laws and restrictions that put the lives and livelihood of gay people in danger, while Lucas emphasized the number and ubiquity of homosexuals living in America, not just clustered within large cities.

But it’s  Call’s closing remarks that resonate most deeply:

The homosexual is no different than anyone else except perhaps in his choice of a love object. He desires the same kind of right to live his life freely and without interference, to pursue his happiness as a responsible citizen and to receive the benefits of constitutional rights, due process and protection of the law that all of us enjoy.”

The documentary also includes: San Francisco District Attorney Thomas Lynch; Dr. Erwin Braff (Director of San Francisco’s Bureau for Disease Control; Al Bendich; Mr J. Albert Hutchinson and Mr. Morris Lowenthal (who engage in debate); Bishop James Pike and Rabbi Alvin Fine.

This documentary was written by John Reavis Jr., produced by Reavis Jr. and Irving Saraf, directed by Dick Christian, with location photography by Philip Greene.

This copy of The Rejected was lost for many years and has been restored as much as it could.  The Library of Congress states that there were several problems with the edited 2-inch quad videotape master. Many different tape stocks were used to create this program and the quality of these was often poor. The base of the tape is slippery at times, which causes an unstable control track. The stock was also physically heavy, which causes tension during take up. The audio quality is consistent throughout but there are three extended sequences – noted onscreen by subtitles – which feature bad picture quality.  The Library’s Recording Laboratory remastered these 2-inch tapes onto digital.

You can watch The Rejected in its entirety here.

Dr. Robert Spitzer, Psychiatrist Credited With Removing “Gay” From List Of Mental Disorders, Dies at 83

Dr Robert Spitzer

Dr. Robert Spitzer — a psychiatrist who played a leading role in establishing agreed-upon standards to describe mental disorders and eliminating homosexuality’s designation as one — died Friday in Seattle. He was 83.

Spitzer’s work on several editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or the D.S.M., defined all of the major disorders . Spitzer came up with agreed-upon definitions of mental disorders by convening meetings of experts in each diagnostic category and taking notes on their observations.

Dr. Spitzer is credited with removing homosexuality from the list of mental disorders in the D.S.M. in 1973. He decided to push for the change after he met with a group of gay activists and determined that homosexuality could not be a disorder if gay people were comfortable with their sexuality.

Spitzer told the Washington Post: “A medical disorder either had to be associated with subjective distress — pain — or general impairment in social function.”

In 2012, Dr. Spitzer publicly apologized for a 2001 study that found so-called reparative therapy on gay people can turn them straight if they really want to do so. He told the  New York Times in 2012 that he concluded the study was flawed because it simply asked people who had gone through reparative therapy if they had changed their sexual orientation.

“As I read these commentaries (about the study,) I knew this was a problem, a big problem, and one I couldn’t answer. How do you know someone has really changed?”

Spitzer’s successful push to remove homosexuality from the list of disorders was a major advance for gay rights and the gay community owe him a debt of thanks for success we have had so far in achieving equality today.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni To President Obama: Don’t Tell Me How To Run My House

Uganda Prez

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has responded to President Obama’s denouncement of Uganda’s anti-homosexuality bill, saying, “You can’t tell me how to run my house.” While Museveni has not yet signed the bill, but some reports say he might do so over the next few days.

Museveni also issued a lengthy written response to Obama. Here’s how it begins:

I have seen the statement H.E President Obama of the USA made in reaction to my statement that I was going to sign the anti-homosexual Bill, which I made at Kyankwanzi. Before I react to H.E. Obama’s statement, let me, again, put on record my views on the issue of homo-sexuals (ebitiingwa, bisiyaga in some of our dialects). Right from the beginning of this debate, my views were as follows:

1. I agreed with the MPs and almost all Ugandans that promotion of homosexuality in Uganda must be criminalized or rather should continue to be criminalized because the British had already done that;

2. Those who agreed to become homosexuals for mercenary reasons (prostitutes) should be harshly punished as should those who paid them to be homosexual prostitutes; and

3. Exhibitionism of homosexual behavior must be punished because, in this part of the World, it is forbidden to publicly exhibit any sexual conduct (kissing, etc) even for heterosexuals; if I kissed my wife of 41 years in public, I would lose elections in Uganda.

As for President Obama not being able to tell Museveni  how to “run his house”.  Obama can tell our country to end the millions of dollars a year in aid to Uganda which has reported for years been absconded by its corrupt government and not going to those who need it.

SCIENCE: Northwestern University Researchers Have Found The Genetic Link To Homosexuality

Gay Jeans Genes

A study of gay men in the US has found fresh evidence that male sexual orientation is influenced by genes. Scientists tested the DNA of 400 gay men and found that genes on at least two chromosomes affected whether a man was gay or straight. A region of the X chromosome called Xq28 had some impact on men’s sexual behavior– though scientists have no idea which of the many genes in the region are involved, nor how many lie elsewhere in the genome. Another stretch of DNA on chromosome 8 also played a role in male sexual orientation – though again the precise mechanism is unclear. Researchers have speculated in the past that genes linked to homosexuality in men may have survived evolution because they happened to make women who carried them more fertile. This may be the case for genes in the Xq28 region, as the X chromosome is passed down to men exclusively from their mothers.”

Michael Bailey, a psychologist at Northwestern University in Illinois, set out the findings at a discussion event held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago on Thursday. “The study shows that there are genes involved in male sexual orientation,” he said. The work has yet to be published, but confirms the findings of a smaller study that sparked widespread controversy in 1993, when Dean Hamer, a scientist at the US National Cancer Institute, investigated the family histories of more than 100 gay men and found homosexuality tended to be inherited. More than 10% of brothers of gay men were gay themselves, compared to around 3% of the general population. Uncles and male cousins on the mother’s side had a greater than average chance of being gay, too. [snip]

Qazi Rahman, a psychologist at King’s College London, said the results were valuable for further understanding the biology of sexual orientation. “This is not controversial or surprising and is nothing people should worry about. All human psychological traits are heritable, that is, they have a genetic component,” he said. “Genetic factors explain 30 to 40% of the variation between people’s sexual orientation. However, we don’t know where these genetic factors are located in the genome. So we need to do ‘gene finding’ studies, like this one by Sanders, Bailey and others, to have a better idea where potential genes for sexual orientation may lie.”

Interestingly the findings of this study is big news in London and Europe but there has been nary a word of it in any American mainstream media outlets.

Activist gene researchers!

Source: The Guardian:

Pope Francis: The Catholic Church should not “interfere spiritually” with the lives of gay people

Pope Francis 2

BOOM! BOOM!

CNN reports:

When Francis was a bishop in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he received letters from gays and lesbians who said they were “socially wounded” by the church, he said. “But the church does not want to do this,” Francis said in the interview. The pope then recalled his comments in July, when he told the media aboard a flight to Rome, “Who am I to judge” gay people?” By saying this, I said what the catechism says,” the pope told Spadaro. The catechism, the Catholic Church’s book of official doctrine, condemns homosexual acts, but says gays and lesbians “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” 

“Religion has the right to express its opinion in the service of the people, but God in creation has set us free: it is not possible to interfere spiritually in the life of a person.” Francis said that someone once asked him if he “approved” of homosexuality. “I replied with another question,” he said. “`Tell me, when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person. Here we enter into the mystery of the human being.”

“We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods,” he told his Jesuit interviewer. “I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that.” But the pope said the church’s teachings on those issue are clear, and he clearly believes in those teachings, so what else is there to say? “It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” Francis said

Those explosions you are hearing are Bill Donohue from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights and Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage’s heads exploding.

Wish I had video.

NOT ONLY RUSSIA: 2 Men In Zambia Face 15 Years In Prison For “Acts Against The Order Of Nature”

Zambia gay persecution

Amnesty International reports that two gay men are being held in prison indefinitely while they are awaiting trail for being charged with “Acts Against The Order Of Nature”

Philip Mubiana, a hair dresser and James Mwape, a brick layer, were charged with committing acts “against the order of nature”. They have been in custody for more than four months after being denied bail. If convicted they face a minimum of 15 years in jail. Laws prohibiting consensual, private, same-sex sexual activity criminalise the legitimate exercise of the rights to freedom of expression, conscience, expression and privacy. These are protected in numerous treaties ratified by Zambia including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and People’s Right.

In a separate case, human rights activist Paul Kasonkomona also faces charges of “idle and disorderly conduct” after giving a television interview in April urging Zambia to recognize the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals.

U.S. assistance to Zambia has exceeded well over half a billion dollars in recent years.   USAID’s program in Zambia includes HIV/AIDS programs and monies to fight corruption and increase trade under the MCA Threshold Program.

Zambia which is part of the United Nations has been disregarding the U.N’.s Universal Declaration of Human Rights laws for years without suffering any ramifications.

From Summer Flings To Fond Memories Of People Places & Things; New Tales Of Growing Up Gay

gay fireworks

So it’s really late and today has been a really crappy no good soul crushing day from start to finish. As I was processing all that occurred I received a really sweet message about my first tale of growing up gay and it brought the first genuine smile to my face all day. It’s amazing how serendipitous life can be. And as a personal thank you to all that have shared your own stories with me because I have shared mine, I’ve decided to open my journals yet again and share more of my tales of growing up gay. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

The time of adolescence is always marred with confusion, doubt, and an immeasurable amount of angst. But during those times of our lives we are awakened to the innate desires that make us who we are. And at sixteen, I was the epitome of all those geeky, awkward moments indelibly etched in memories that at the time we hope we never remember but as we grow older we are so thankful for being a part of. Doesn’t hurt that there was a hot guy that was a part of it.

This was not a time of new discoveries, or at least that’s what I believed before all this happened.  For I had already began to discover who I was and having a good idea what I had always been, I still was not willing to accept that I was gay. Especially as the very introverted teenager I had become. Building toy models, holding down a job as cultivating and farming tropical fish from my aquariums in my bedroom. Always reading about different worlds and people but I somehow unwilling to interact with the people in the real world. And always writing in my journals trying to decipher why the world was the way it was and why people do the things they do that contradict their actions. But I learned it was a time of sweetness, and summertime flings.

I had not yet reached the level of confidence that I now have as a man that contrasts the meek adolescent I was back then. It wasn’t that I had a hard time being social, far from it. I’ve never had a problem of being able to talk and engage in meaningful conversations with people. It’s just that back then, I really had no desire to interact with my peers or forge new relationships. I know now that it was because of fear. Fear of someone noticing even more how different I was from all the other guys.

I knew that I had an attraction to other guys. My body had a bad habit of showing me how much I liked my own gender through involuntary dreams and involuntarily body movements. I knew it meant I was gay but was still deep in denial and wondering why God had made me this way. So I was experiencing the basic rules of attraction and the stages of coming out all the time. Thinking about it all the time because while at school I was constantly being reminded of it with no control over when these strong emotions happened.

That’s why I was so glad that summer break arrived to finally give me a reprieve. So I wasn’t constantly around guys that made me think about being gay or around girls that reminded how I was not attracted to them. So I spent the time reading and writing and selling the tropical fish I had farmed to support my hobbies of buying comics and building toy models or designing wood sculptures. And I loved taking long strolls through the country woods as the sun set and by the creek. Who knew that this daily walk would soon bring all the things I was running away from directly in front of me once again?

My childhood home was deep in the woods, the sparse neighborhood was surrounded by tall stoic trees were delicately woven in waves of green hills and farmland. The air was always fresh and a lingering sweet perfume that invigorated, even on the muggy, humid days in Tennessee. On a particular day in early June I took the daily route through the trees and down the path to the creek during sunset. Honeysuckles pilfered the air as the sky turned gold and rouge with splashes of fuchsia and magenta. As I was lost in the clouds I heard a branch crack and my eyes darted towards the source that had broken my daydreaming sequence. And there was this guy around my age staring back at me.

At first I tensed up because in the south you’re taught to always be ready for two things: a fight and for love because they both can happen at a moment’s notice. He was tall and lanky with olive tanned skin and stark black hair. Intense blue-green eyes and a chiseled smile that could crack rocks. I was in awe. Staring at him trying to take in what I was seeing while telling my brain to stop racing the thousand thoughts zooming at top speed making me unable to speak. He said hello and I kept staring, Repeated himself and I kept staring. He tilted his perfect head of curly hair and he turned to walk away when I began cursing at myself out loud because I hadn’t said anything. He turned back around and said it was cool. And I melted.

After the embarrassment wore off we introduced ourselves. “Sam” as I’ll refer to him here was athletic and charming. A year older than I and a running back for his old high school team. He had just moved into our widely spaced out neighborhood and hated how country everything was. We talked about TV, movies, videogames and just about everything else for three hours. We met up every day after that and did more of the same. I felt like I had a new friend but every time we were around each other those same racing thoughts and feelings came rushing back to me.

A few days before the 4th of July another neighbor who was my age showed up with her friends by the creek, no doubt seeing us cut up there every afternoon for several weeks. The ladies were all inquisitive to the magazines we were reading to spark conversation and I, as naively can be sometimes, and ignored all the signals that they were flirting with us. So I forgot to feign interest to mimic the way Sam was interacting with them. He flirted back and showed how strong he was while I rolled my eyes and continued reading. I was feeling jealous because I wanted him to flirt that way with me. Then I made snide passive aggressive comments, which is a clear departure of my subtle and docile nature.

When Sam asked what was wrong with me I panicked so I stormed off and he trailed for a few paces before placing his hand on my shoulder to turn me around to see I was on the brink of tears. Concerned, he asked what was wrong and my emotions were running wild so before I could process what generic answer to give I blurted out “why don’t you talk to me the way you talk to them” and I was mortified by what I had just said aloud. I hadn’t even accepted that I was gay so how the hell had I just exposed myself to someone relatively new? Sam was puzzled at first and then had the look of “Oh, he’s one of them” and I was even more upset because he knew, and obviously didn’t feel the same way. So I ran home and cried myself to sleep, worried he would tell someone else.

Days past but Sam didn’t show up at our usual meet up place. I was hoping that he’d just forgotten the prior events but that was most likely what kept him away. The next day Sam showed up at my house wanting to hang out like nothing happened and I was more than happy to oblige. we talked about our plans for the 4th that I worried were scrapped but Sam still wanted to continue on. Then while we were talking about bottle rockets Sam brought up how his uncle who was gay taught him how to light them and stared rather awkwardly back at me. I became angry and he said he didn’t mean anything by it (he did) so we tensely went back to going over the inventory of fireworks we collected. Sam then stopped and said “I’ve thought about it too” and ran out the door at what seemed like an actual rocket. Couldn’t process what it meant. Did it mean he was feeling the same way or was he just talking hypothetical. But I didn’t want to lose our friendship so the next night when we met up to pop fireworks I pretended he never said it. And so did he…

So we went on with normal conversations until interrupted by thunder. A storm was coming in and we had to hurry if we were going to do. We reached to the top of the hill we picked out and set up everything to get the fireworks going. We started setting off more than originally planned and as Sam lit up another round one went off unexpectedly and went past his head grazing him near his eye.

He fell down and I took a knife to cut off a part of my shirt to cover the wound. it spooked us both more than anything. But I just wanted him to be safe and okay so I was doing my best to tend to it and gingerly cleaning it. Then he looked at me I guess seeing the concern. Sam smiled at me in a way he never had before and I returned the expression. It all happened so fast but it began to rain with lightning flaring up the night sky. But instead of collecting the fireworks we both instinctively lit more up to match the sky. We were out in the middle of an open field lighting off firecrackers in the middle of a heavy thunderstorm which retrospectively was stupid but in that moment made us feel alive. Immortal.

So we lit the last one, a cannonball together and stepped back and it shot up so high it looked like it hit the lightning and we jumped and slid backwards with us falling over each other staring each other in the face. His eyes danced as he said what to do next. Time froze like it had when I was younger but this time the sensation and emotion I felt was not friendly as it was in third grade. It was romance. It was perfect. He touched my hand and the next thing I knew I instinctively wrapped my hand around his jaw and kissed him.

For a split second I panicked at what I had so impulsively done and was about to withdraw until I saw him close his eyes and kiss me back. I couldn’t believe this was happening but didn’t stop myself but at the same time I did not want to admit how right it felt. I didn’t want to think so I continued until the rain let up like a sign it was time for it to end. We walked back without saying a word and didn’t talk to each other for a month. The next time I did see Sam. he was holding the hand of the neighbor that had visited us before with her friends. They were a couple, and I retreated back into my world of toy models and exotic aquarium fish only this time a bit more confused and more grown up than I had left it.

Months later Sam randomly walked up to me when no one else was around asking if we were cool and I said we were. Then said what happened was just being curious and I quickly agreed to silence the tension building. He smiled and patted me on the shoulder like he had the first time and kept it there for a moment. Then he smiled and rejoined his girlfriend who was waiting for him.

We have kept in touch over the years and are still friends and when we talk about this story we refer to it as a nice moment between friends. He and his wife have been happy for over a decade and when the three of us do talk about that time openly we don’t spend hours on end debating if Sam may be gay or bisexual but rather that two people can share a moment like this and it is all it was. People experiment so I don’t want readers to think that there was more to it on his part.

The point of sharing this particular tale is to remind us of even when it doesn’t work out the way we planned that we can appreciate those moments that meant something special to us. Even when it ends abruptly for no reason. Even if the person you shared it with turned out to be someone completely different than you expected. Even if you find out that they don’t feel the same way that you felt. We can always appreciate how it made us feel and how for a little while we felt a dream coming to life. And if we can remember that lesson, we know that taking control and making those dreams is possible so long as we are open to them when the opportunity comes to you. To remember there is always something new when we least expect it.

After all, it was summer