Monday, August 5, 2013


The many manifestations of human sexuality can cause great anxiety so I have decided to write an essay, or at least put down my thoughts on the subject of homosexuality, something I have never previously attempted. Not being a woman I would not presume to speak for lesbianism but as far as males are concerned these are my thoughts with my experience at 82 years.
One of the arguments constantly put forward is that homosexuality is abnormal (whatever normality is deemed to be) and unnatural but, as Goethe said, “How can you call anything in nature unnatural?” and homosexuality has been observed in any number of species other than human. It has always been with us, it will always be with us and no amount of hatred, disgust, disapproval, religious hostility and worse is going to have the slightest effect. It never has. A few thousand years ago a series of Hebrew scrolls was to eventually become what we now know as the Bible. To call these Bronze Age sheep-herders ignorant is not an overstatement but according to Leviticus God considers homosexuality an abomination and on the basis of this all the horrors inflicted on gays over the years have been legitimised and mankind is not exactly slow in invention when it comes to torture. For example in the middle ages there was a device known as a pineapple which consists of an iron core surrounded by movable iron leaves. This was thrust into the rectum when closed and then, with the turn of a screw, the leaves expanded and opened out creating the most excruciating pain. Men convicted of sodomy by Holy Mother Church had their tongues cut out so that as they were dying they would not be able to mumble prayers and so would not enter heaven. Obviously homosexuality in ancient Israel was causing a great deal of alarm. If allowed to flourish what would happen to the tribe? And so God laid his injunction on it. But every society has had to deal with it in one or another, usually by inhumane methods. There are still countries today where prison can be the result, sometimes with lengthy term sentences, or the death sentence can be imposed, and no matter how young you might be, (See Iran.) yet it was in this country, then Persia, that the poets wrote the most exquisite poetry in favour of boys’ beauty. In Afghanistan today boys are dressed as girls and made to dance in front of an all male audience and later used sexually. In the Far East we have girlie-boys who make no bones about their occupation. China has dealt with homosexuality one way or another including incest for thousands of years before Europeans became worried by it. There have been societies where homosexuality was not stigmatised. Before the advent of the white man there were American tribes who believed a gay person was special and was treated as such and the Samurai of Japan believed in boy love as it was wrong to love someone weaker than your warrior self. Of course everyone knows about the Greeks; that an older man was suppose to take a youth under his wing and act as his mentor and the youth when a man did the same. Then of course there was the Sacred Band of Thebes that consisted of picked troops, 150 pairs of male lovers, an elite force of the Theban army. I can’t vouch for the veracity of what I am about to say but what I learned was the theory being that one of the pair would descend into battle and fight heroically while his lover watched. Then, if killed, the lover went into battle to avenge him.
There is no law against homosexuality in Greece today but Greek boys (like Italians) tend to be very secretive about their orientation, families being so important in Greece and homophobia never too far down the line. For example, it is a historical fact that Alexander the Great, despite ordering a mass straight marriage of his men, was bi-sexual, hardly unknown and perfectly acceptable in his world, but when this was more or less revealed in a film a group of Athenian lawyers took great exception to it, almost to the point of wanting to sue the film company. Just how ridiculous can you get?
There have been a number of films with a gay theme (it seems every actor who would once have shied away from it as it would have destroyed his career, now wants to play a gay part) but Hollywood can still be squeamish about the subject. For example Brad Pitt playing Achilles goes totally apeshit when his “cousin,” Patrokles is killed. You go apeshit over the death of a lover; you do not go apeshit for a “cousin” unless you are more than just cousins but this was never even hinted at.’
Greece has mythical gays like Zeus and his Ganymede, Achilles and Patrokles already mentioned, Apollo and Hyacinth and even Narcissus must be considered gay as he falls in love with his reflection, a not unknown complex.
So what other ant-gay arguments are promulgated? Well one of course is that homosexuals are notoriously promiscuous haunting the baths, bars, gay cinemas etcetera hence HIV and are addicted to pornography but in this are they any different from a great many straights? I hardly think so.
So what are we left with? A case of nature or nurture? As far a nature is concerned the jury is still out on this one but for nurture, well from the moment a lad can stand on his tubby little legs his compass is pointed in one direction and one direction only – heterosexuality. From the moment adults say things like “Have you got a nice girl-friend yet?’ he is encouraged to believe in it. Until recently he would never have seen a gay advertisement for example. Always ads featured either straight couples or mixed gatherings, or luscious sexy girls on their own. Thank goodness there are parts of the world, until recently violently homophobic, where acceptance and common sense are now becoming the norm. No more being beaten up with baseball bats or worse, called a fucking faggot, no more being jeered and scoffed at, made to feel ashamed of who you are. As an outcast from mainstream society why is it that there are people who still believe homosexuality is a choice? Does a straight choose to be straight? And who in their right mind would choose to grow up knowing you are different, knowing you are attracted romantically to boys rather than girls which is what you’re supposed to be doing to be “normal” to be like your peers, and wondering what is wrong with you, why you are such a mess, why your life is so painful? This is supposed to be a choice?
The homosexuality (a word invented in he nineteenth century, before then there was no single word for it) of the great and famous: Emperors, Kings Princes, Popes,  generals, philosophers, playwrights, novelists, poets, painters, sculptors, composers, musicians, entertainers, doctors, scientists is always a deep dark secret. The straight world was shocked to discover Rock Hudson; a figure of apparent hetero normality was gay, though the gay world had known about it for ages. For many a year the English schoolboy was supposed to admire the figure of Richard the Lionheart whose statue astride his horse stands outside the Houses of Parliament. But Richard, to use an expression, was as queer as a coot, and his lover was the Dauphin of France. That didn’t stop him playing the field however and members of the church begged him to give up sodomy and evil practices before he brought the wrath of God down on the kingdom. He was particularly partial to sailors evidently. But even the non famous, the ordinary, the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker are deserving of love and not have that love ridiculed. Do Christians ridicule David and Jonathan? The gay world is as full of variety as is the straight. To examine the gay with wife and family, whether or not the wife is aware of her husband’s proclivities and whether she accepts it or not, or to talk about the hellfire breathing pastors, prelates, and politicians with smoke coming out of their ears is yet another aspect that sometimes ends up with them being caught in flagrante delicto with a rent boy in some seedy hotel to everyone’s surprise. Another reason given for the hatred of gays is the fact that they can’t breed, but considering the population of the earth and the fact that it is forever expanding I wouldn’t have thought that much of an argument.
 The fact is the norm is bisexuality, though many gays hate this idea as they feel it is a cop-out. The hundred percent straight male is as abnormal, as the hundred percent gay. It is all a matter of degrees as to which way the scale tips and when one talks of homophobia what one is really talking about is fear; fear that some of what you are so against is also inside you. The Russian Duma recently passed a bill banning homosexual propaganda by 436 votes to 0. Do you honestly believe that in those 436 there was not a single gay who would have the courage to stand up and vote against it?
There are not that many males between the ages of seven and seventy who haven’t wanted it at sometime or other or who haven’t been attracted to another male; not necessarily resulting in sex, but a romantic liaison nevertheless and the emotions involved can be very beautiful.

“The soul of Jonathon was knit to the soul of David and Jonathon loved him as his own soul. I am distressed for you my brother Jonathon, very pleasant have you been to me, your love to me was extraordinary, surpassing the love of women.” There you have it. That’s what the Bible says.

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