Outing the Past: When did gay history begin?
There was this gym-teacher
Who took his chance while giving
A lesson to a smooth lad –
He whisked him over his knee and started
Doing his press-ups there right up him, hand
Working his balls. At which moment the father
Comes looking for his son; the gym-teacher
Throws the boy on his back,
Leaps on top and grips him tight round the neck.
Father knows a thing or two about wrestling
And says, ‘Easy, please! You’ll have it right off.’
Pick a date, pick a century, any date will do. The poem is from the second-century AD a long time before 1865 the date given by Gay Marxist as the time the modern homosexual appeared, the date chosen because it links up with the coinage of the word homosexual by Karl-Maria Benkert. The Gay Marxists go further by claiming that homosexuality is a social construct while male on male sex before 1865 was the practice of essentialists – I must have it so I will have it. Clearly the gym teacher above was an essentialist, but his actions reveal he was also a social construct, one who was conscious of the disapproval of Rome’s military civilisation which actively policed any sign of disruptive, deviant or feminine sexuality in men, and thus conscious of his own difference from other men. So it appears the Marxists are splitting hairs for the sake of a theory. I think they wish to give the notion a sense of intellectual respectability by linking Benkert with that prominent Victorian the genius Karl Marx and Havelock Ellis the sexologist.
Stuart Feather is presenting at OUTing the Past – Coventry on Saturday 4th February 2017. See Event & Venue information on this site for further details