But Were They Gay? The Mystery of Same-Sex Love in the 19th Century

Sep 8, 2012 Full story: The Atlantic 42

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz, an Atlantic senior editor, began her association with the magazine in 2002, shortly after graduating from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

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CHAS

Kennett, MO

#1 Sep 8, 2012
Of course they didn't do it in the 19th century, homosexuality was invented during WWI.

HA*5

Since: May 12

Livonia, MI

#2 Sep 8, 2012
CHAS wrote:
Of course they didn't do it in the 19th century, homosexuality was invented during WWI.
HA*5
Wow. Tell me that you don't have a driver's license or go out in public.
Pam

Grove City, PA

#3 Sep 8, 2012
We can never know what went on behind closed doors. However, we can know that there was a lot more decency, discretion, and morality then. Kinsey came along, and now we exhibit extremely bad manners about the human body and sexua activity. Our ancestors would be appalled. The innocence is gone, and it will never come back.
Rainbow Kid

Alpharetta, GA

#4 Sep 8, 2012
'homosexual' in clinical use dates to 1895 in English
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php...
.
Prior to 1895; it was not important enough to warrant a word of its own
.
'homosexual' was added to the NIV redneck bible on St. Jerome's Day; September 30, 1952
.
Throughout history and up to today; the words 'sex','sodomy', and 'homosexual' do not appear anywhere in the Authorized King James Bible
.
Its just part of everyday life and living
Dude

Newark, DE

#5 Sep 8, 2012
Pam wrote:
We can never know what went on behind closed doors. However, we can know that there was a lot more decency, discretion, and morality then. Kinsey came along, and now we exhibit extremely bad manners about the human body and sexua activity. Our ancestors would be appalled. The innocence is gone, and it will never come back.
Someone's never taken a history class.

Since: Dec 11

Location hidden

#6 Sep 8, 2012
A thread containing homosexuallity only means Robsan aka Robertita will be here in 5,4,3,2..,.

Faker.
david traversa

San Miguel De Tucuman, Argentina

#7 Sep 8, 2012
The important factor was love; just as it should be today.. Our ancestors were not only better educated but more genuinely human; this becomes even more marked as you go back into pagan times, when the sexual behaviour of others was not an issue; witness the behaviour of their gods and goddesses.. It's trying to separate man from his true nature and "sanctify" him that has caused this relatively modern phenomenon.. Nothing in nature follows.

Since: Dec 08

Toronto, ON, Canada

#8 Sep 8, 2012
Pam wrote:
We can never know what went on behind closed doors. However, we can know that there was a lot more decency, discretion, and morality then. Kinsey came along, and now we exhibit extremely bad manners about the human body and sexua activity. Our ancestors would be appalled. The innocence is gone, and it will never come back.
Hey dipshit, the nineteenth century and Victorianism were largely the exception, not the norm. Try reading "Tom Jones" from the eighteenth century or even Shakespeare. Even in the age of chivalry things got pretty racy - read the "The Canterbury Tales." Not only in literature but in eyewitness accounts as well. And other cultures such had long periods of accepting gay people - China under the T'ang dynasty and Japan during the Shogunate. Probably you never learned more than a little standard American history in school.

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#9 Sep 8, 2012
fr Pam:

>... However, we can know that there was a lot more decency, discretion, and morality then...<

Um, not true. Not at all. Not by a LONG shot, Pammy. Please sign up for a remedial US History class, because it's clear that you failed your lementary school history classes.

“Unconvinced”

Since: Nov 09

Seattle, WA

#10 Sep 8, 2012
Pam wrote:
We can never know what went on behind closed doors. However, we can know that there was a lot more decency, discretion, and morality then. Kinsey came along, and now we exhibit extremely bad manners about the human body and sexua activity. Our ancestors would be appalled. The innocence is gone, and it will never come back.
Don't be afraid of the human body, Pam, it isn't going to hurt you. The more educated we are on any subject, the better.
Yellow Lipstick

Pittsfield, MA

#11 Sep 8, 2012
EdmondWA wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't be afraid of the human body, Pam, it isn't going to hurt you. The more educated we are on any subject, the better.
Don't be afraid of the vagina Edmond, it isn't gonna hurt you.

“Child of the Universe”

Since: Aug 09

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

#12 Sep 8, 2012
Yellow Lipstick wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't be afraid of the vagina Edmond, it isn't gonna hurt you.
I doubt he's afraid of a vagina - I'm sure he came out of one.

He simply may not wish to return, however. Once may have been enough.

I suggest that YOU not be afraid of YOUR OWN body. It is capable of far more than you will ever allow it to know. Share it with whomever will share theirs with you, but don't judge others who are only doing the same.
Spotted Lipstick

Pittsfield, MA

#13 Sep 8, 2012
I'm afraid of anal sex and hiv/aids. It seems gay men are at nearly 50 times the risk than straight men. It's a good thing there aren't many gay men or we'd have a pandemic on our hands.
ravett

Brooklyn, NY

#14 Sep 8, 2012
One of the things that happens as a person, and a culture, matures and grows more sophisticated is that their experiences are richer, and that more distinctions are made. Take smiling, for example. A child smiles for very few reasons, mostly types of pleasure. An adult smile makes far more distinctions and can mean many more things. The word "engine", in Victorian times, had a very restricted meaning, nothing like today. And so forth. Sexuality, now, has been differentiated into multiple categories, as our experiences and outlook on it becomes richer. This is a natural process, and in fact a very good one, since the increase of richness in the concept allows much more variety and subtlety. Obviously, some of this will be negative, and some will be misused, just like smiling can be. It is a matter of our becoming aware of the distinctions and using and perhaps guiding them in useful and life-enhancing ways that is the problem and the goal.
Pam

Grove City, PA

#15 Sep 8, 2012
JohnInToronto wrote:
<quoted text>
Hey dipshit, the nineteenth century and Victorianism were largely the exception, not the norm. Try reading "Tom Jones" from the eighteenth century or even Shakespeare. Even in the age of chivalry things got pretty racy - read the "The Canterbury Tales." Not only in literature but in eyewitness accounts as well. And other cultures such had long periods of accepting gay people - China under the T'ang dynasty and Japan during the Shogunate. Probably you never learned more than a little standard American history in school.
You do realize that the word "gay" had a different meaning in those days, don't you? I've studied plenty of history and read literataure from many cultures and time periods. No matter how raunchy some stuff might be, it isn't same-gender sex. Not until we get into recent times. Yes, I know there is some obscure homosexual stuff, but that is part of homosexual culture and not standard culture. And believe the people mentioned and surmised about were from western civilization. While there may have been some barbarians in the Shogunate, etc., good manners are a part of western civlization. Now it is distintegrating, and looking what is happening to manners.
Pam

Grove City, PA

#16 Sep 8, 2012
EdmondWA wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't be afraid of the human body, Pam, it isn't going to hurt you. The more educated we are on any subject, the better.
That is quite wrong. It can be disease ridden. It can house a violent mind. It can lead one into degrading behavior. Seems like I'm more educated on the subject than you are.
Dude

Newark, DE

#17 Sep 8, 2012
Pam wrote:
<quoted text>
You do realize that the word "gay" had a different meaning in those days, don't you? I've studied plenty of history and read literataure from many cultures and time periods. No matter how raunchy some stuff might be, it isn't same-gender sex. Not until we get into recent times. Yes, I know there is some obscure homosexual stuff, but that is part of homosexual culture and not standard culture. And believe the people mentioned and surmised about were from western civilization. While there may have been some barbarians in the Shogunate, etc., good manners are a part of western civlization. Now it is distintegrating, and looking what is happening to manners.
Total horsesh*t.

Since: Mar 07

The entire US of A

#18 Sep 9, 2012
Pam wrote:
We can never know what went on behind closed doors. However, we can know that there was a lot more decency, discretion, and morality then. Kinsey came along, and now we exhibit extremely bad manners about the human body and sexua activity. Our ancestors would be appalled. The innocence is gone, and it will never come back.
It never existed.

Refraining from public discussion is hardly the same thing as innocence.

Ask anyone who has read the Kama Sutra, seen the extremely naughty ancient Asian paintings, or the touched upon the truckloads of Victorian porn out there.

Since: Mar 07

The entire US of A

#19 Sep 9, 2012
Pam wrote:
<quoted text>
You do realize that the word "gay" had a different meaning in those days, don't you? I've studied plenty of history and read literataure from many cultures and time periods.........
Being homosexual meant the exact same thing throughout history that it does now, regardless of the term used.

A gay person (or whatever term you would like to apply) is someone who can ONLY be attracted to the same gender. That's not a new concept.

In the past it was more likely that a gay person simply kept their mouths shut and conformed for fear of a quick stoning. And, if they fell in love, or had sex in a way that was natural to them, they hid it.

Orientation has never been different, only the way gay folks lived.

And ALL straight folks today should be happy that it is so much more unlikely to unsuspectingly marry a closeted gay person today, than it was even 100 years ago.

In another 20 years, it the practice will likely be eradicated, as gay people start forming healthy relationships with other gay people, and stop making a heterosexual spouse miserable.

Since: Mar 07

The entire US of A

#20 Sep 9, 2012
Pam wrote:
<quoted text>
That is quite wrong. It can be disease ridden. It can house a violent mind. It can lead one into degrading behavior. Seems like I'm more educated on the subject than you are.
No one should EVER fear any human body, only the thoughts and the soul of the one wearing it. And if that person is riddled with ignorance, fear, and hatred, then, YES, that is something to fear.

Educate yourself.

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