history lessons

The Last Time Homos Could Proudly Serve Their Country In Kicking Ass? Ancient Greece

Just like the idea that marriage is about procreation — or even love — the idea that gays should be barred from serving openly in the military is actually a new phenomenon in human history. As recently as Ancient Greece (which, to be fair, was around the 8th century B.C.E.), the homos were donning armor, shields and swords with the breeders. Then everything came crashing down.

“For the ancient Greeks, gays serving in the military were no big deal,” Kayla Webley reminds us. “Indeed, Plato wrote in his Symposium that a small army composed of lovers and those they loved would be more than a match for much larger armies: ‘For love will convert the veriest coward into an inspired hero.’ But for the most part, that’s where support of gays in the military ended. Following the Crusades, the Knights Templar were persecuted and many members burned at the stake for their same-sex affairs in the early 14th century. In the Napoleonic wars, four men aboard the British ship H.M.S. Africaine were hanged in 1816 for ‘buggery’; two other crewmen were whipped for ‘uncleanness’ (a term used to describe deviant sexual behavior). Even General George Washington discharged an American soldier in 1778 for participating in homosexual acts.”

And then along came World War II, with screenings for effeminate characteristics among the enlisted, and some 4,000 troops kicked out by the time we pulled out of Germany.

And now, a mere three thousand years later, the world’s militaries are finally working on fixing things. But bring back those shorty shorts, won’t you?

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