Homosexuality in Greece and Rome: A Sourcebook of Basic Documents
ed. by Thomas K. Hubbard

1.1: Archilochus, fragment 25.1-5 W
The following fragment comes from a tattered papyrus, first published in 1954.
. . . man's nature is not the same,
But each man delights his heart in something different.
. . . cock pleases Melesander,
. . . pleases the shepherd Phalangius.
No other prophet than I tells this to you. 1.2

Archilochus, fragment 117 W
Sing of Glaucus the horn-molder.

1.3: Archilochus, fragment 294 W
The following are not the actual words of Archilochus, but a quotation from the late oracle-critic Oenomaus, invoking Archilochus' familiar subject matter.
What do you bid us to do, if we are to appear worthy of your hospitality? Are we in the style of Archilochus, in metrical form, to revile women who don't wish to marry us and grab hold of perverts (kinaidoi), since they are by far the basest among all other base men?

1.4: Alcman, First Maidens' Song 34-101
This song was probably performed in Sparta by a female chorus (or two semichoruses) led by Hagesichora and Agido. Some commentators consider it to be a female initiation rite, perhaps even a betrothal of the two girls. The poem is preserved on a papyrus which breaks off abruptly after v. 101. The first 33 lines are very fragmentary: they seem to narrate a story from Spartan mythology, the killing of the ten sons of King Hippocoon by their cousins Castor and Polydeuces, who were rival suitors for the same pair of maidens. V.34 begins by justifying the act.
. . . they suffered unforgettably
After contriving evil deeds --
There is a vengeance of the gods --
But he is blessed, who with wisdom
Weaves his day to the end
Without tears. And I sing
Of Agido's radiance: I see
Her as the sun, which Agido
Calls as witness to shine
For us. Yet for me either to praise
Or blame her, the glorious chorus leader
In no way allows, but she herself
Stands out just as if someone
Should set among the herds a horse,
Sturdy, prize-winning, thunderhoofed,
From dreams beneath the rock.
Don't you see? The racer I
s Enetic, but the hair
Of my cousin Hagesichora blooms
Like pure gold,
And her silver face --
Why should I tell you clearly?
Here is Hagesichora,
But the second after Agido in beauty
Will run as a Kolaxian horse with an Ibenian:
For these Peleiades, rising through ambrosia
Night like the star Sirius,
While we bring the robe to Orthria,
Fight with us.
Neither could such an abundance
Of purple exist as to defend us,
Nor an intricate snake
All gold, nor Lydian
Headband, the delight
Of dark-eyed girls,
Not Nanno's hair,
Nor even divine Areta,
Not Sylacis and Clesisera;
Nor once at Aenesimbrota's will you say:
"Oh that Astaphis be mine,
May Philylla look over
And Damareta and desired Ianthemis" --
But Hagesichora overwhelms me.
For isn't lovely-ankled Hagesichora here?
She remains beside Agido
And praises our feasts.
O gods, receive their prayers:
From gods come success
And fulfillment. Chorus leader,
I would speak -- myself a girl
Screeching in vain, an owl
From a rafter -- still I want most
To please Aotis, since she has been
The healer of our toils;
But through Hagesichora young women
Enter into desired peace.
For . . . by the trace-horse . . .
And on a ship one must
Listen above all to the navigator.
Yet she is not more musical
Than the Sirens:
They are goddesses, but instead of eleven
These ten girls sing;
She sings like a swan on the streams
Of Xanthus. The one with alluring golden hair . . .

1.5: Sappho, fragment 1 V
This text is probably a complete poem, in the genre of a "cletic hymn," summoning a god's presence, in this case, the love goddess Aphrodite.
On the throne of many hues, immortal Aphrodite,
Child of Zeus, weaving wiles -- I beg you
Not to subdue my spirit, Queen,
With pain or sorrow,
But come -- if ever before
Having heard my voice from far away
You listened, and leaving your father's
Golden home you came
In your chariot yoked with swift, lovely
Sparrows bringing you over the dark earth,
Thick-feathered wings swirling down
From the sky through mid-air,
Arriving quickly -- you, Blessed One,
With a smile on your unaging face
Asking again what I have suffered
And why I am calling again
And in my wild heart what did I most wish
To happen to me: "Again whom must I persuade
Back into the harness of your love?
Sappho, who wrongs you?
For if she flees, soon she'll pursue;
She doesn't accept gifts, but she'll give;
If not now loving, soon she'll love
Even against her will."
Come to me now again, release me from
This pain, everything my spirit longs
To have fulfilled, fulfill, and you
Be my ally.

1.6: Sappho, fragment 2 V
Come to me from Crete to this holy
Temple, to the apple grove,
The altars smoking With frankincense,
Cold water ripples through apple
Branches, the whole place shadowed
In roses, from the murmuring leaves
Deep sleep descends,
Where horses graze, the meadow blooms
Spring flowers, the winds
Breathe softly . . . . . .
Here, Cypris, after gathering . . .
Pour into golden cups
Nectar lavishly
Mingled with joys.

1.7: Sappho, fragment 16 V
Some say an army of horsemen, others
Say foot-soldiers, still others, a fleet,
Is the fairest thing on the dark earth.
I say it is whatever one loves.
Everyone can understand this --
Consider that Helen, far surpassing
The beauty of mortals, leaving behind
The best man of all,
Sailed away to Troy. She had no
Memory of her child or dear parents,
Since she was led astray
(two missing verses)
. . . lightly
. . . reminding me now of Anactoria being gone,
I would rather see her lovely step
And the radiant sparkle of her face
Than all the war-chariots in Lydia
And soldiers battling in shining bronze.

1.8: Sappho, fragment 30 V
The following fragment comes from a wedding hymn.
Night . . .
Virgins . . .
Celebrate all night . . .
May sing of your love and
The violet-robed bride.
But once roused, go call
The unwed men your age
So we may see less sleep
Than the clear-voiced bird.

1.9: Sappho, fragment 31 V
To me it seems
That man has the fortune of the gods,
Whoever sits beside you, and close,
Who listens to you sweetly speaking
And laughing temptingly;
My heart flutters in my breast,
Whenever I look quickly, for a moment --
I say nothing, my tongue broken,
A delicate fire runs under my skin,
My eyes see nothing, my ears roar,
Cold sweat rushes down me,
Trembling seizes me, I am greener than grass,
To myself I seem
Needing but little to die.
But all must be endured, since . . .

1.10: Sappho, fragment 34 V
The stars around the fair moon
Hide away their radiant form
Whenever in fullness she lights
The earth . . .

1.11: Sappho, fragment 36 V
I both desire and pursue . . .

1.12: Sappho, fragment 47 V
Love shook my senses,
Like wind crashing on mountain oaks.

1.13: Sappho, fragment 48 V
You came and did well; I felt for you
And you cooled my spirit burning with desire.

1.14: Sappho, fragment 49 V
I loved you, Atthis, once long ago . . .
You seemed to me a small child and without charm.

1.15: Sappho, fragment 55 V
Sappho addresses a female rival. It is unclear whether their dispute was poetic or amatory. When you die you'll lie dead; no memory of you,
No desire will survive, since you've no part
Of the Pierian roses. But once gone,
You'll flutter among the obscure,
Invisible still in the house of Hades.

1.16: Sappho, fragment 94 V
"I simply wish to die."
Weeping she left me
And said this too:
"We've suffered terribly.
Sappho, I leave you against my will."
I answered, "Go happily
And remember me,
You know how we cared for you;
If not, let me remind you
. . . the lovely times we shared.
Many crowns of violets,
Roses and crocuses
. . . together you set before me,
And many scented wreaths
Made from blossoms
Around your soft throat . . .
. . . with pure, sweet oil
. . . you anointed me,
And on a soft, gentle bed . . .
You quenched your desire . . .
. . . no holy site . . .
We left uncovered,
No grove . . . dance
. . . sound

1.17: Sappho, fragment 96 V
In this poem, Sappho consoles her friend Atthis for the loss of a girl who has gone to Sardis, presumably to be married.
. . . Sardis . . .
Often holding her thoughts here
. . .
You, like a goddess undisguised,
But she rejoiced especially in your song.
Now she stands out among
Lydian women as after sunset
The rose-fingered moon
Exceeds all stars; light
Reaches equally over the brine sea
And thick-flowering fields,
A beautiful dew has poured down,
Roses bloom, tender parsley
And blossoming honey clover.
Pacing far away, she remembers
Gentle Atthis with desire,
Perhaps . . . consumes her delicate soul;
To go there . . . this not
Knowing . . . much
She sings . . . in the middle.
It is not easy for us to rival
The beautiful form of goddesses,
. . . you might have . . .
(two lines are missing) A
nd . . . Aphrodite . . . poured nectar from
golden . . .
. . . with her hands Persuasion . . .

1.18: Sappho, fragment 105(a) V
The sweet apple reddens on a high branch,
High upon highest, missed by the applepickers:
No, they didn't miss, so much as couldn't touch.

1.19: Sappho, fragment 105(b) V
Herdsmen crush under their feet
A hyacinth in the mountains;
on the ground Purple blooms . . .

1.20: Sappho, fragment 107 V
Do I still desire virginity?

1.21: Sappho, fragment 111 V
Raise high the roof
-- Hymen! --
You carpenter men.
-- Hymen! --
The bridegroom approaches like Ares,
-- Hymen! --
Much bigger than a big man.

1.22: Sappho, fragment 112 V
Happy bridegroom, the marriage that you prayed for
Has been fulfilled -- you have the girl you prayed for.
Your form is graceful, eyes . . .
Gentle, and love flows over your alluring face . . .
Aphrodite has honored you above all.

1.23: Sappho, fragment 114 V
BRIDE: Virginity, virginity, where have you gone, leaving me behind?
VIRGINITY: Never again will I come to you, never again.

1.24: Sappho, fragment 115 V
With what, dear bridegroom, can I fairly compare you?
With a slender sapling I shall best compare you.

1.25: Sappho, fragment 130(b) V
Atthis, for you the thought of me has become hateful,
And you fly off to Andromeda.

1.26: Sappho, fragment 147 V
I say someone in another time will remember us.

1.27: Sappho, fragment 168(b) V The moon and Pleiades have set. Half the night is gone. Time passes. I sleep alone...

1.28: Solon, fragment 25 W
Solon was a prominent Athenian statesman and law-giver active in the first quarter of the sixth century BCE. He transmitted many of his moral and political precepts in verse, but the authenticity of short aphorisms like this one is uncertain; many are also found in the Theognid corpus.
. . . While one loves boys among the lovely flowers of youth,
Desiring their thighs and sweet mouth.

1.29: Anacreon, fragment 347 PMG
Athenaeus (12.540e) and Aelian (VH 9.4) record that Anacreon's praise of the boy Smerdis provoked the jealousy of the tyrant Polycrates, who ordered the boy's long hair cut off. The beginning of the fragment is missing.
. . . (you lack) the hair, which once shaded
Your neck in abundance.
But now you are smooth-browed,
And your hair, falling into rough hands,
Has tumbled down in a heap
Into the black dust.
Bravely did it meet the slash of steel.
But I am wasted away with sorrow.
For what can one do,
When one fails even for Thrace?

1.30: Anacreon, fragment 357 PMG
This text is probably a complete poem in the form of a cletic hymn (see 1:5 and 1:6) to Dionysus, the god of wine. But the poem functions as a riddle, since the god's identity and relevance are not revealed until the end. Drunkenness will make the boy more receptive.
Lord, with whom Eros the subduer
And the dark-eyed Nymphs
And rosy-skinned Aphrodite
Play, you roam about
The lofty mountain peaks.
I beseech you, please come to us
Well-disposed, and hear
Our prayer with favor.
Become a good advisor to Cleobulus,
That he accept my love, O Dionysus.

1.31: Anacreon, fragment 358 PMG
Once again golden-haired Eros,
Hitting me with a purple ball,
Calls me out to play
With a fancy-sandaled maid.
But she, haling from
Well-endowed Lesbos, finds fault
With my hair, for it's white.
She gapes open-mouthed at another girl.

1.32: Anacreon, fragment 359 PMG
Ilove Cleobulus,
I am mad for Cleobulus,
I gaze at Cleobulus.

1.33: Anacreon, fragment 360 PMG
Boy with a maiden's glance,
I seek you out, but you hear not,
Unknowing that you are the charioteer
Of my soul.

1.34: Anacreon, fragment 402(c) PMG
Boys would love me for my words,
For I sing graceful things,
and I know how to say graceful things.

1.35: Ibycus, fragment 287 PMG
Eros, melting me once more with his gaze
From under dark lids,
With all manner of charms throws me again
Into the boundless nets of the Love Goddess.
I tremble at him as he comes,
Like an old prize horse who knows the yoke
And unwilling goes into the swift chariot race
One more time.

1.36: Ibycus, fragment 288 PMG
Euryalus, offspring of the blue-eyed Graces
And care of the fair-haired Seasons,
The Love Goddess and tender-eyed Seduction
Nurtured you among rosebuds.



Porque os homossexuais são os mais odiados dentre todas as minorias?
Por Luiz Mott
Quando se fala em discriminação, via de regra, cada minoria procura puxar o quanto pode a brasa para mais perto de sua sardinha. Falar em brasa, porem, lembra fogueira e como por séculos seguidos os homossexuais foram queimados nas fogueiras da Santa Inquisição, prefiro não brincar com fogo e mostrarei, com dez argumentos, que de fato, mais do que as minorias raciais, étnicas e de gênero, são os gays, lésbicas, travestis e transexuais, as principais vítimas do preconceito e discriminação dentro de nossa sociedade. Considero que exatamente por esta situação de maior vulnerabilidade, carecem os homossexuais de maior e mais urgente atenção por parte do poder público e da sociedade em geral, na implementação de medidas efetivas que garantam a salvaguarda de seus direitos humanos e da plena cidadania.Em síntese, mostrarei que os homossexuais são os mais odiados dentre todas os grupos minoritários porque o amor entre pessoas do mesmo sexo foi secularmente considerado crime hediondo, condenado como pecado abominável, escondido através de um verdadeiro complô do silêncio, o que redundou na internalização da homofobia por parte dos membros da sociedade global, a iniciar pela repressão dentro da própria família, no interior das igrejas e da academia, inclusive dentro dos partidos políticos, das próprias entidades voltadas para a defesa dos direitos humanos e do poder governamental. Concluo mostrando que a homofobia internalizada devido à discriminação anti-homossexual contamina mesmo os principais interessados: gays, lésbicas e travestis, que em sua maior parte vivem numa espécie de vácuo identitário e sob o efeito perverso da alienação, com baixa autoestima, e incapazes de ações afirmativas em defesa da homossexualidade.
1. Crime Hediondo
Na nossa tradição ocidental, herdeira da moral judaico-cristã, o amor entre pessoas do mesmo sexo foi considerado e tratado como crime dos mais graves, equiparado ao regicídio e à traição nacional. O sexo entre dois homens era considerado tão horroroso, que os réus deste crime hediondo deviam ser punidos com a pena de morte: a pedradas entre os antigos judeus e até hoje nos países islâmicos fundamentalistas; decapitados, no tempo das primeiros imperadores cristãos; enforcados ou afogados na Idade Média; queimados pela Santa Inquisição; condenados à prisão com trabalhos forçados no tempo de Oscar Wilde e na Alemanha nazista.Ser negro, índio ou mulher jamais foi crime. Mesmo ser judeu ou protestante, nos reinos católicos, era tolerado dentro de certos limites e desde que não houvesse apostasia. Ser sodomita, porém, sempre foi crime gravíssimo, tanto que três alçadas, a justiça real, o tribunal do Santo Ofício e a justiça episcopal se articulavam para descobrir, perseguir, prender, seqüestrar os bens, açoitar, degredar e executar os réus deste crime abominável.Só em 1821 é abolida a Inquisição Portuguesa e em 1823, por influência modernizante do Código de Napoleão, a sodomia deixou de ser crime também no Brasil. Apesar de terem sido descriminalizados há quase dois séculos, gays, lésbicas e travestis continuam sendo tratados como criminosos: nas delegacias, nas batidas policiais, os homossexuais são sempre visto e tratados como delinqüentes. Mesmo quando vítimas, são tratados como réus.
2. Pecado Abominável
"De todos os pecados, o mais sujo, torpe e desonesto é a sodomia. Por causa dele, Deus envia à terra todas as calamidade: secas, inundações, terremotos. Só em ter seu nome pronunciado, o ar já fica poluído."Tal foi o ensinamento repetido por rabinos, felás, padres e pastores ao longo dos últimos quatro mil anos. O amor entre dois homens foi considerado pecado tão abominável que não deve sequer ser pronunciado: "nefando" ou "nefário" significa exatamente isso: impronunciável, o pecado cujo nome não se pode dizer.De acordo com a teologia moral cristã, um homem amar o outro, era pecado mais grave do que matar a própria mãe, escravizar outro ser humano, a violência sexual contra crianças. "Por causa da sodomia, Deus arrasou com Sodoma e Gomorra e destruiu a Ordem dos Templários num só dia!"Negros e índios eram pagãos que deviam ser convertidos à "verdadeira" fé, mas não havia pena de morte ipso facto contra os pagão, nem mesmo contra os judeus e protestantes nascidos nestas religiões. Contra os praticantes do abominável e nefando pecado de sodomia, a Igreja sempre foi e continua sendo absolutamente intolerante: "a homossexualidade é intrinsecamente má" ratificou o último catecismo de João Paulo II.Na tradição ocidental, cabe ao Judaísmo a culpa principal pela legitimação da intolerância anti-homossexual, posto ter sido a Bíblia que forneceu as mesmas premissas homofóbicas para o cristianismo e islamismo. Foi Javé quem primeiro mandou apedrejar "o homem que dormir com outro homem como se fosse mulher", cabendo ao apóstolo Paulo a argumentação teológica para excluir os sodomitas do Reino dos Céus.Ainda hoje vigora a pena de morte contra os amantes do mesmo sexo nos países fundamentalistas islâmicos. Malgrado a homossexualidade ser chamada durante a Idade Média, com justiça, de "vício dos clérigos", e ainda hoje gays e lésbicas representarem significativo papel quantitativo e qualitativo sobretudo dentro do catolicismo, o Papa polaco tem-se destacado pela intolerância anti-homossexual, e segundo o atual Catecismo Romano o homossexualismo é "intrinsecamente mau".Enquanto a Igreja vem pedindo perdão a todos os grupos sociais por ela perseguidos ou maltratados - judeus, negros, índios, protestantes, etc - a hierarquia católica e sobretudo as novas seitas protestantes fundamentalistas radicalizaram seus discursos e ações contra os direitos humanos e dignidade das minorias sexuais. Mesmo as religiões afro-brasileiras, cujo panteão é povoado por diversas divindades transexuais e cujos pais, mães e filhos de santo sano, em número significativo, são praticantes do homoerotismo, mesmo o candomblé e umbanda ainda não articularam um discurso politicamente coerente em defesa da visibilidade e afirmação das minorias sexuais.Assim, enquanto as igrejas cada vez mais defendem e abrem espaço para negros, índios, sem terra, oferecendo pastorais específicas até para mulheres prostituídas e portadores de HIV/Aids, as portas da igrejas continuam fechadas aos homossexuais.
3. Homofobia Internalizada
Durante centenas de gerações, nossos antepassados ouviram nos púlpitos e confessionários, que a homossexualidade era o pecado que mais provoca a ira divina. Ainda recentemente o Cardeal do Rio de Janeiro e muitos pastores proclamam que a Aids, por eles chamada de "peste gay", é um castigo divino contra os homossexuais. Durante séculos nossos antepassados reprimiram seus filhos homossexuais, pois toda a família perdia os direitos civis por três gerações seguidas, caso um seu membro fosse condenado pelo crime de sodomia. No tempo de nossos pais e avós os donos do saber médico proclamaram que os "pederastas" eram doentes, desviados, neuróticos, anormais, etc. submetendo-os a tratamento cruéis e inócuos.Desde Freud, contudo, comprovou-se que todos somos perversos polimorfos, com forte presença da bissexualidade em nossa libido. Kinsey descobriu já em l948 que 37% dos homens ocidentais tinham experimentado na idade adulta, ao menos dois orgasmos com o mesmo sexo. Quer dizer: uma sociedade tão fortemente marcada pela homofobia - o ódio à homossexualidade - onde ao mesmo tempo a quase totalidade das pessoas sentem desejos unissexuais e número significativo de indivíduos já experimentou secretamente as delícias do homoerotismo - tal contradição profunda provoca um ódio doentio contra o próprio desejo homoerótico, e sobretudo contra aqueles que ousam transgredir a ditadura heterossexista.A este ódio mórbido contra a homossexualidade a Psicologia chama de homofobia internalizada, provocando nestes doentes, sintomas diversos, (além de mau humor, espinhas e prisão de ventre), incluindo neurose de frustração sexual, suicídio e atos de violência, como agressões e assassinato sádico de homossexuais.
4. Opressão Familiar
Enquanto para os membros das demais minorias sociais, a família constitui a principal grupo de apoio no enfrentamento da discriminação praticada pela sociedade global, no caso dos homossexuais , é no próprio lar onde a opressão e a intolerância fazem-se sentir mais fortes.A mãe negra, o pai judeu, a família indígena reforçam a auto-estima étnica ou racial de seus filhos, estimulando a afirmação dos traços culturais diacríticos que auxiliarão vitalmente a estas crianças e adolescentes a desenvolverem sua auto-estima, identidade, orgulho e afirmação enquanto grupo étnico, racial ou religioso diferenciado.Com os jovens gays, lésbicas e transgêneros a realidade é tragicamente oposta: pais e mães repetem o refrão popular - "prefiro um filho morto do que viado!", ou "antes uma filha puta do que sapatão!". Muitos são os registros de jovens homossexuais que sofreram graves constrangimentos e violência psíquica e física dentro do próprio lar quando foram descobertos: insultos, agressões, tratamentos compulsórios destinados à "cura" da sua orientação sexual, expulsão de casa e até casos extremos de execução. Recentemente, num bairro periférico de Salvador, um avô espancou seu neto negro até à morte quando descobriu que era gay, e um pai baiano de classe média ao ser informado que seu filho era homossexual, deu-lhe um revólver determinando: "Se mate! Pois na nossa família nunca teve viado!"
5. Complô do Silêncio
Durante os últimos quatro mil anos, a homossexualidade foi chamada de "pecado nefando", o que não pode ser pronunciado. E de fato, as principais instituições donas do poder, da família às igrejas, da escola à polícia, se uniram para impedir que os praticantes do amor proibido divulgassem a verdade: que é bom ser gay, que é gostoso o erotismo entre pessoas do mesmo sexo, que duas mulheres podem perfeitamente se amar de forma tão intensa e romântica como os casais do sexo oposto, que a própria natureza humana pode ser alterada, e uma pessoa transexual tem o direito de adaptar sua anatomia e genitália à sua identidade de gênero .Esta ardilosa conspiração do silêncio incluiu também entre suas estratégias, não só a destruição das fontes documentais comprobatórias da homossexualidade de personagens célebres, como também a heterossexualização dos amores destas celebridades, numa tentativa maquiavélica de cumprir o mandato inquisitorial: "que os sodomitas sejam queimados e reduzidos a pó, para que deles não se tenha memória!"Contemporaneamente a mídia, a academia, os jornais diários, perpetuam este diabólico complô do silêncio, censurando artigos que abordam o amor homossexual de forma positiva, sonegando informação sobre a orientação sexual de gays e lésbicas destacados, ou ridicularizando e divulgando preconceitos contra as minorias sexuais.
6. Luta Menor
Durante décadas seguidas, intelectuais e políticos de esquerda relegaram ao status de "luta menor" os estudos e militância em favor dos direitos humanos das minorias sexuais. Sob o pretexto de que primeiro se devia derrubar o capitalismo e garantir o pão e trabalho às classes subalternas, transferia-se para um futuro remoto discutir e lutar pelos direitos sexuais e de gênero. Gays e lésbicas foram taxados de agentes da burguesia, e o homoerotismo como sintoma da decadência capitalista.Líderes negros e indígenas, dando as costas às evidências etno-históricas que comprovam a presença da homossexualidade na maior parte das sociedades tribais, acusaram o amor unissexual de ser vício colonialista . A duras penas os partidos de esquerda aceitaram conviver com militantes homossexuais assumidos e incluir em seus estatutos e agenda política, a defesa da cidadania plena dos gays, lésbicas e transgêneros, do mesmo modo com costumam defender os direitos humanos dos negros, índios e demais minorias sociais. O recente infeliz comentário de Lula ridicularizando Pelotas como "polo exportador de viados" reflete a homofobia generalizada de nossos políticos, inclusive os de esquerda.Obviamente que a luta racial, pela igualdade de gênero e de orientação sexual é tão revolucionária e primordial quanto a luta do proletariado, posto que direitos humanos e cidadania não podem ser limitados apenas a certos grupos e a seus projetos particulares, mas a todos os segmentos que formam a sociedade, e que sofrem e são discriminados exatamente por ostentarem tais peculiaridades raciais, étnicas, sexuais, etc.
7. Homofobia Acadêmica
As Ciências, particularmente as Humanidades, têm a missão crucial de realizar pesquisas e divulgar conhecimentos sólidos visando destruir as prenoções, derrubar os preconceitos e impedir as discriminações baseadas em tais equívocos. Lastimavelmente, no entanto, raríssimas são as universidades brasileiras que dispõem de áreas de pesquisa e programas voltados aos estudos da (homo)sexualidade em geral e da homossexualidade em particular . O amor homoerótico continua ainda tema nefando no meio acadêmico: professores e pesquisadores gays e lésbicas se vêem forçados a permanecer na gaveta a fim de não sofrerem discriminações funcionais; muitos são os docentes que ainda usam a cátedra para divulgar opiniões negativas em relação à homossexualidade; alunos e alunas homossexuais são discriminados por seus professores, vendo-se impedidos de assumir sua verdadeira identidade existencial; pesquisadores são desestimulados ou mesmo barrados a investigar temas relativos à sexualidade humana. Muitos acadêmicos continuam agindo como "cães de guarda da moral hegemônica".
8. Omissão Governamental
Tradicionalmente, a máquina estatal foi sempre utilizada para reprimir os amantes do mesmo sexo. Embora desde o fim da Inquisição a homossexualidade tenha deixado de ser crime, a Polícia e a Justiça passaram a ocupar a função dos antigos inquisidores, perseguindo, punindo, torturando os "pederastas".A partir da revolução de Stonewall (Nova York, 1969), marco inicial do moderno movimento de defesa dos direitos humanos dos homossexuais, os países mais civilizados do mundo passaram a incluir os gays, lésbicas e transgêneros na agenda de grupos minoritários que deviam ser beneficiados por políticas garantidoras de sua visibilidade social e igualdade de cidadania.No Brasil, lastimavelmente, as ações governamentais em favor da defesa dos direitos humanos dos homossexuais são ainda praticamente inexistentes: data de 1996 o primeiro documento do governo federal a mencionar o termo "homossexual", e mesmo aí, no Plano Nacional de Direitos Humanos, enquanto são 22 as propostas de ações oficiais de superação do racismo, os homossexuais não mereceram sequer uma medida propositiva.Chega a ser criminoso o descaso e a omissão do poder executivo, legislativo e judiciário em reconhecer a urgência de propor medidas afirmativas que reduzam a violência homofóbica no país, viabilizando uma inadiável revolução nas mentalidades dos formadores de opinião, a fim de superar o preconceito e discriminação presentes em todas as esferas públicas de nossa sociedade. Do mesmo modo como existe Funai, Fundação Palmares, Secretaria Nacional da Mulher, urge que seja criada uma Secretaria da Cidadania Homossexual, com vistas a erradicar a homofobia em nosso meio.
9. Homofobia entre os Defensores do Direitos Humanos
Mais grave do que o preconceito encontrado entre os líderes religiosos e acadêmicos, é a homofobia observada entre as lideranças das instituições voltadas à defesa dos direitos humanos. Hélio Bicudo, D. Aloísio Lorschaider, Rabino Henry Sobel, por exemplo, grandes defensores dos direitos humanos, várias vezes divulgaram na mídia opiniões discriminatórias contra os homossexuais, opondo-se radicalmente ao reconhecimento legal da união civil entre pessoas do mesmo sexo.O complô do silêncio, evitação e apartheid social continuam presentes no discurso e prática de grande parte das lideranças dos movimentos de direitos humanos. Não raramente, chegam alguns a argumentar que não existe paralelo nem equiparação entre a discriminação por raça ou gênero, e a discriminação baseada na orientação sexual. Infelizmente, os argumentos utilizados pelos que excluem os homossexuais da agenda dos direitos humanos inspiram-se em dogmas religiosos, que insistem em demonizar o amor entre pessoas do mesmo sexo.É fundamental que as entidades e lideranças engajadas na luta pela cidadania reconheçam que direitos sexuais também são direitos humanos..
10. Alienação dos Homossexuais
Os gays, lésbicas e transgêneros devem representar quando menos 10% da população brasileira. 16 milhões de seres humanos presentes em todas as raças, grupos étnicos, classes sociais, profissões, idades. Os homossexuais constituem a única minoria que se faz presente em todas as demais minorias sociais. Não é por menos que um dos slogans mais queridos do movimento homossexual internacional é : "somos milhões e estamos em toda parte!"Não obstante tal onipresença, 99% dos homossexuais continuam presos dentro do armário, vivendo clandestinamente o que para todo ser humano é motivo de grande satisfação, reconhecimento público e orgulho: o amor. São tão fortes o preconceito, opressão e discriminação contra este grupo, que a quase totalidade dos gays e lésbicas introjectaram a homofobia dominante em nossa ideologia hetoressexista, tornando-se homossexuais egodistônicos, não assumidos. Devido a esta invisibilidade, deixam de fornecer modelos positivos para os jovens com orientação homófila.Alienação é o melhor conceito para definir essa multidão de enrustidos, esses praticantes do homoerotismo que não chegam a desenvolver sua consciência, identidade e afirmação homossexual.Enquanto negros, índios, mulheres, judeus, protestantes, etc, cada vez mais afirmam publicamente e com orgulho suas identidades diferenciadas, gays e lésbicas clandestinos argumentam que sexualidade é coisa íntima, que não querem levantar bandeira, alguns militando em outros grupos minoritários ou votando em candidatos que levantam outras bandeiras, sem se identificar com aqueles que abertamente defendem a cidadania e visibilidade das minorias sexuais.
Para que gays, lésbicas e transgêneros brasileiros deixem de ser sub-humanos e cidadãos de segunda categoria, considero urgente a adoção das seguintes medidas:
1. descriminalizar de vez a homossexualidade no mal trato que a polícia e a justiça dão às minorias sexuais, aprovando-se leis que condenem a discriminação sexual com o mesmo rigor que o crime de racismo;
2. quebrar os tabus religiosos que diabolizam o amor entre pessoas do mesmo sexo, propondo às diferentes igrejas a promoção de pastorais específicas voltadas para as minorias sexuais;
3. tratar a homofobia internalizada que impede à sociedade heterossexista reconhecer os direitos humanos e a diversidade das minorias sexuais, criando sentimentos de tolerância dentro das famílias para que respeitem a livre orientação de seus filhos e parentes homossexuais;
4. quebrar o complô do silêncio e divulgar informações corretas e positivas a respeito do "amor que não ousava dizer o nome", desmascarando as falsas teorias que patologizam a homossexualidade, ampliando na academia as pesquisas que resgatem a história e dignidade das minorias sexuais;
5. substituir a homofobia reinante nos partidos e grupos políticos que tratam a cidadania homossexual como luta menor, erradicando dos grupos que defendem os direitos humanos, qualquer tipo de manifestação de preconceito que viole a dignidade e cidadania dos homossexuais;
6. estimular aos gays, lésbicas, travestis e transexuais a assumirem publicamente sua identidade homossexual, lutando pela construção de uma sociedade onde todos tenhamos reconhecidos nossos direitos humanos e cidadania plena.



O Αυνανισμός στους Ομοφυλόφιλους και στους Ομοφυλόφιλους με Αναπηρίες
από το www.disabled.gr (Μετάφραση: Πάνος Ζουρνατζίδης, Εργοθεραπευτής)
Πολλά άτομα με αναπηρίες που είναι ομοφυλόφιλα αισθάνονται απόρριψη από την ομοφυλοφιλική κοινότητα, που διαρκώς ενδιαφέρεται για άντρες με τέλειο σώμα και εμφάνιση “Άδωνη”.Αυτό έχει σαν αποτέλεσμα πολλά ομοφυλόφιλα άτομα να μην έχουν σκεφτεί την πιθανότητα σύναψης μιας σταθερής ομοφυλοφιλικής σχέσης με κάποιο άτομο με αναπηρία. Έτσι, πολλά άτομα με αναπηρία αισθάνονται απόρριψη, τόσο από τον ομοφυλοφιλικό όσο κι από τον ετεροφυλοφιλικό κόσμο, και βιώνουν πόνο, απογοήτευση και καταπίεση στη σεξουαλική τους ζωή. Αισθάνονται ανεπιθύμητοι κι άχρηστοι.
Γι’ αυτό το λόγο, πολλοί ανάπηροι ψάχνουν να βρούν εναλλακτικούς τρόπους αυτοϊκανοποίησης και σεξουαλικής ευχαρίστησης. Κάποια άτομα που, δυστυχώς, έχουν βαριές αναπηρίες, αναγκάζονται να ζητήσουν από τους ανθρώπους που τους φροντίζουν, να αγγίξουν τα γεννητικά τους όργανα, ώστε κι εκείνοι να αισθανθούν σεξουαλική ευχαρίστηση.
Όπως μπορεί κάποιος να φανταστεί, για τους περισσότερους ανθρώπους που φροντίζουν ή είναι στενοί φίλοι με κάποιο άτομο με αναπηρία, κάτι τέτοιο θεωρείται αντιεπαγγελματικό και ταμπού. Αυτό είναι πολύ σοβαρό και δημιουργεί ένταση στη σχέση με τον φίλο ή με το άτομο που φροντίζει και προσέχει τον ανάπηρο.
Για τον λόγο αυτό, ο αυνανισμός θεωρείται η πιο κατάλληλη εναλλακτική λύση για την περίσταση, γιατί ανακουφίζει το άτομο και του προσφέρει το αίσθημα της ευχαρίστησης και της ζεστασιάς.
Ο αυνανισμός, που αποτελεί έναν υγιή και φυσιολογικό τρόπο απελευθέρωσης της σεξουαλικής ενέργειας, θα πρέπει να γίνεται χωρίς αισθήματα ένοχης, και είναι σημαντικό να καθιερωθεί στη ζωή των ομοφυλόφιλων ανάπηρων που δεν έχουν μόνιμο ερωτικό σύντροφο.
Για πολύ καιρό οι άνθρωποι έχουν βασανιστεί από απόψεις – μύθους σχετικά με τους κινδύνους του αυνανισμού και δεν έχουν σκεφτεί τα οφέλη, που είναι πολυάριθμα. Ο αυνανισμός όχι μόνο ανακουφίζει από την ένταση και μας βοηθάει να ηρεμήσουμε ή να κοιμηθούμε, αλλά συμβάλλει και στη διατήρηση του μυϊκού τόνου στην πυελική περιοχή, αποτελεί μια πολύ καλή καρδιαγγειακή άσκηση, και επιπλέον βοηθά στην αντιμετώπιση των όποιων προσωπικών προκαταλήψεων. Επίσης, αυτή η απλή ενέργεια βοηθά στο να κατανοήσουμε τις σεξουαλικές μας ανάγκες και βελτιώνει την αυτό-εκτίμηση και αυτοπεποίθηση μας.
Τα αισθήματα ντροπής και ανησυχίας είναι αναγκαίο να παραγκωνιστούν, ώστε να μπορέσουμε να απολαύσουμε σε βάθος αυτήν την πράξη της χαμένης μας αθωότητας μέσω της κίνησης, της αναπνοής, της επικοινωνίας και της επαφής.
Οι ανάπηροι ομοφυλόφιλοι δεν θα πρέπει να αποτελούν εξαίρεση. Χρειάζεται να γίνει κατανοητό από την ομοφυλοφιλική κοινότητα, και την κοινωνία γενικότερα, ότι τα άτομα αυτά πρέπει να βοηθηθούν με κάθε τρόπο ώστε να αισθανθούν σεξουαλική ευχαρίστηση και ικανοποίηση.
Ο αυνανισμός αποτελεί μια πράξη αγάπης για τον εαυτό μας και επιτρέπει στα ανάπηρα άτομα να κατανοήσουν ότι αξίζουν την αγάπη. Είναι ένας τρόπος για να αποδεκτούμε τον εαυτό μας, παρά την όποια αναπηρία μας, να αγαπήσουμε και να φροντίσουμε το σώμα μας, όπως κι αν είναι αυτό. Μας μαθαίνει ότι αξίζει να αγαπηθούμε, κι ότι ακόμα κι αν έχουμε αναπηρία, έχουμε το δικαίωμα να ικανοποιηθούμε ερωτικά, όχι μόνο με το άγγιγμα, αλλά και με την ολοκλήρωση της σεξουαλικής πράξης. Όταν αντιληφθούμε ότι οφείλουμε να αποδεχθούμε το σώμα μας και ότι μας αξίζει τόσο να αγαπήσουμε, όσο και ν’αγαπηθούμε, θα νιώσουμε λιγότερο θυμωμένοι με την αναπηρία μας και περισσότερο ικανοποιημένοι από τη ζωή.
Στην περίπτωση που έχουμε μείνει ανάπηροι λόγω ατυχήματος ή κάποιας εκφυλιστικής νόσου, είναι πολύ σύνηθες να αισθανόμαστε πικρία και θυμό, και να σκεφτόμαστε ότι είμαστε παράσιτα για τον κοινωνικό μας περίγυρο. Είναι λοιπόν πολύ σημαντικό να μάθουμε να αγαπάμε και να δεχόμαστε τον εαυτό μας ολοκληρωτικά, ώστε να μπορέσουμε να λάβουμε αγάπη και φροντίδα κι από τους άλλους.
Ο αυνανισμός ως μέσο σεξουαλικής ευχαρίστησης και ως εργαλείο για την αγάπη και αποδοχή του εαυτού μας , επηρεάζει όλη τη ζωή μας και μας βοηθάει να ανασυγκροτηθούμε.
Όταν διαθέτουμε πλούσια φαντασία στο σεξ, ο αυνανισμός συμβάλλει στο να συνειδητοποιήσουμε τί μας αρέσει και τί όχι στον έρωτα. Αποτελεί όχι μόνο απελευθέρωση, αλλά και μια μορφή αλληλεπίδρασης με αυτό που πραγματικά είμαστε.
Δεν πρέπει να ξεχνάμε ότι παραμένουμε τα ίδια άτομα, απλά τώρα έχουμε αποκτήσει και κάποια αναπηρία. Αν μπορέσουμε να το αποδεχθούμε αυτό, θα καταφέρουμε να ενσωματώσουμε και τις σεξουαλικές μας φαντασιώσεις ανάλογα, χωρίς να μισούμε αυτό που είμαστε τώρα, και χωρίς να επιτρέπουμε στην αναπηρία να χειραγωγεί τη φαντασία και τη ζωή μας γενικότερα.
Όσον αφορά στα αρτιμελή άτομα που διαβάζουν αυτές τις γραμμές, προσπαθήστε να γίνετε λίγο περισσότερο ανοιχτόμυαλοι και διαλλακτικοί, και αντιμετωπίστε το ανάπηρο άτομο ως ίσο. Συνειδητοποιήστε ότι έχει τις ίδιες σεξουαλικές ανάγκες με σας και με αυτό τον τρόπο θα νιώσετε πιο άνετα, και θα σκεφτείτε ότι ίσως χρειαστεί βοήθεια για την σεξουαλική του ικανοποίηση και ολοκλήρωση. Ίσως χρειαστεί να αγοράσετε γι’ αυτόν κάποιον εξοπλισμό όπως συσκευές μασάζ ή δονητές, και ίσως πρέπει να τον βοηθήσετε εσείς να τα χρησιμοποιήσει. Κάντε το άφοβα, και σκεφτείτε ότι οποιοδήποτε συναίσθημα σας κάνει να νιώθετε άβολα πηγάζει καθαρά από εσάς, κι γι’αυτό δεν πρέπει να του δημιουργείτε ενοχές κάνοντάς τον να νιώθει ακόμα πιο ανίκανος.
Κάποια ομοφυλόφιλα άτομα ίσως χρειάζονται αυτές τις συσκευές λόγω της μειωμένης κινητικότητας ή συντονισμού στους ώμους και στα χέρια. Δεν σημαίνει ότι είναι διεστραμμένα άτομα. Είναι φυσιολογικοί άνθρωποι, σαν κι εσάς, που θέλουν να ικανοποιήσουν κι εκείνοι τις σεξουαλικές τους επιθυμίες. Επιπλέον, ανοίγοντας την καρδιά σας σ’αυτά τα άτομα ίσως σας βοηθήσει να αποκτήσετε ισορροπία και γαλήνη σε σχέση με τον εαυτό σας και τη δική σας προσωπική ζωή.
Κατά τη διαδικασία του αυνανισμού είναι καλό να δημιουργούμε εικόνες με τον νου για το πώς θέλουμε να είναι ο άντρας που θα μοιραστούμε τη ζωή μας μαζί του.
Είναι πολύ σημαντικό για τους ομοφυλόφιλους ανάπηρους να μπαίνουν σ’ αυτήν τη διαδικασία. Έτσι, ο αυνανισμός μπορεί να ανασύρει έντονα συναισθήματα και θα πρέπει να γίνεται όσο συχνότερα υπάρχει η δυνατότητα. Επίσης, καλό είναι εκτός από την δημιουργία εικόνων, να φαντασιωνόμαστε κι ερεθίσματα από άλλες αισθήσεις (αφή, όσφρηση, γεύση, ακοή). Αυτό είναι και το μυστικό της δημιουργικής φαντασίωσης. Όταν βρούμε τον κατάλληλο ερωτικό σύντροφο, δεν θα χρειάζεται να αυνανιζόμαστε πια, ή τουλάχιστον όχι τόσο συχνά.
Όταν αυνανιζόμαστε, αγγίζουμε την ουσία του Θεού μέσα μας, σαν να Του προσφέρουμε μια προσευχή, μια δέηση.
Για τον λόγο αυτό, όλοι οι άνθρωποι (ανάπηροι και μη), οφείλουν να είναι πολύ προσεκτικοί, να εκδηλώνουν και να χαίρονται την ομοφυλοφιλία τους, και να τη διαχειρίζονται ως Δώρο Θεού που μας προσφέρεται απλόχερα, για να ευτυχήσουμε σ’αυτό το ταξίδι που λέγεται ζωή. Ο Θεός μας έχει δώσει το σώμα, την καρδιά και το πνεύμα, ώστε να μπορούμε να επικοινωνούμε μαζί Του και με τους άλλους.
Κατά τη διαδικασία του αυνανισμού, και του οργασμού, πλησιάζουμε στο Θεό, μέσω ενός άυλου τρόπου κατανόησης του Άπειρου. Ο λόγος για τον οποίο ο οργασμός θεωρείται το πιο όμορφο συναίσθημα που μπορούμε να βιώσουμε, είναι ότι κατά την πράξη αυτή αγγίζουμε το Άπειρο μέσω του κορμιού μας, του μυαλού μας, των συναισθημάτων μας και του πνεύματός μας. Για μερικά λεπτά, το “εγώ” μας και το “Άπειρο”, γίνονται “ένα”. Καθώς το Άπειρο κατακλύζει το σώμα και την ψυχή μας, νιώθουμε ευτυχία απόλυτη, που όμοιά της δεν υπάρχει στη γη. Το “εγώ” μας γίνεται ανίσχυρο, και τις στιγμές αυτές δεν υπάρχει αναπηρία ή ικανότητα, μόνο η ένωσή μας με το Άπειρο. Βιώνουμε έτσι την ιδέα ενός Παράδεισου, που δεν ξέρουμε πώς να αξιοποιήσουμε.
Η ερωτική εξερεύνηση που περιλαμβάνει το μυαλό, το σώμα και την καρδιά, αποτελεί ένα μακρύ ταξίδι ανακαλύψεων και διερευνήσεων. Η αγάπη κι η αποδοχή του σώματός μας ως ολότητα, μας ανακουφίζει από τον φόβο και τη ντροπή, καθώς τιμούμε τη σημαντικότητά του. Αυτό το ταξίδι στην ερωτική εξερεύνηση αποτελεί σπουδαίο κομμάτι της ζωής, τόσο των ανάπηρων όσο και των μη ανάπηρων ανθρώπων.
Η αυτό-ικανοποίηση αποτελεί, επομένω, ένα σημαντικό εργαλείο για τον άνθρωπο με αναπηρία, διότι όταν χρησιμοποιείται δημιουργικά και κάτω από το πρίσμα της αποδοχής, μπορεί να βοηθήσει στο χτίσιμο της αυτό-εκτίμησής του και να τον οδηγήσει αποτελεσματικά, πέρα από κάθε φυσικό περιορισμό, στη σφαίρα της δύναμης του πνεύματος.



Información para Padres - ¿ Podré entenderlo ? y asumirlo ?
A menudo es un choque para los padres el enterarse que su hijo o hija es homosexual.
Sea usted madre o padre, tenga usted un hijo, haya usted sospechado hace tiempo algo sobre eso, o haya sido una sorpresa total, enterarse con seguridad puede ser un choque.
Los sentimientos que lo sacuden son muy fuertes y confusos. Al principio es posible que usted no pueda casi hablar sobre eso sin lágrimas en los ojos, o sin sentir ira.
Cada familia es diferente y cada caso es singular: un padre puede haberse enterado por casualidad, a otra puede habérsele dicho cara a cara, un tercero pudo haber recibido una llamada telefónica o una carta; el hijo puede ser adolescente o adulto, aceptándose a sí mismo o confundido con lo que él es; los padres pueden que estén listos para escuchar o que reaccionen alejándose de la situación. Todos ellos, sin embargo, tienen preocupaciones y preguntas básicas.
Primeras Reacciones
¿Por qué tuvo que decírnoslo?
Muchos padres piensan que ellos serían mucho más felices sin enterarse. Usted debe tomar en cuenta, sin embargo, que si usted no lo supiera no conocería realmente a su hijo.
Una gran parte de la vida de él sería un secreto para usted y usted nunca llegaría a conocer a ese ser humano en su totalidad. El hecho de que él se lo haya dicho, es una señal de su amor y del apoyo o comprensión que él necesita de usted. Después de todo, ¿quién debería saber sino usted? ¡A ningún otro grupo minoritario se le exige que esconda a sus padres aquello que los hace "diferentes!".
¿Por qué nos hizo esto?
Muchos padres sienten un amargo resentimiento hacia el hecho de la homosexualidad de su hijo. Este sentimiento está basado en el falso entendimiento de que ser homosexual es algo elegido, que ésta fue una decisión consciente, y que quizás, incluso, fue hecha para herirlos a ellos.
De hecho, los homosexuales no eligen su orientación sexual. Ellos simplemente son lo que son: la homosexualidad es su verdadera naturaleza.
La única alternativa que tienen la mayoría de los gays es ser honestos sobre quienes son, o esconderlo. Esconderlo impone una tremenda carga. Significa vivir una mentira día tras día. ¿Qué padre o madre podría querer que un hijo suyo tenga que vivir de esa manera?
¿Qué hicimos de malo nosotros?
La mayoría de los padres se sienten culpables cuando se enteran por primera vez. La psicología y la psiquiatría nos han dicho durante años que la forma en que un hijo resulta ser es "culpa" de los padres. De hecho, ningún padre tiene tanto poder sobre un hijo.
Los homosexuales se encuentran en todo tipo de familias, con todo tipo de antecedentes. Nadie sabe hasta ahora qué "causa" ningún tipo de sexualidad, pero es ampliamente aceptado que la orientación sexual de un niño ya está establecida a una temprana edad, o al nacer. Preocupaciones de los padres por los hijos.
¿Estará él sujeto al ostracismo, tendrá él problemas para encontrar y mantener empleo, o incluso a ser atacado físicamente?
Tenemos que responder que sí, desafortunadamente, estas cosas son posibles. Esto depende de dónde él decida vivir, que tipo de trabajo desee y cómo decida comportarse.
Pero nos consta que las actitudes hacia los homosexuales han ido mejorando y son más positivas en muchos lugares. También hay un creciente número de grupos que están trabajando hacia esos cambios y que están listos para ayudar a aquellos que tengan momentos difíciles.
¿Estará él solo en su vejez si no tiene su propia familia?
Quizás sí, pero debemos recordar que esto sucede muy a menudo con todos nosotros. Esposos mueren, matrimonios se disuelven, hijos a menudo viven lejos y muchas parejas jóvenes no tienen hijos. Muchos de nosotros tenemos que adaptarnos a menudo a la soledad de nuestra vejez. Por otro lado, muchos gays desarrollan relaciones duraderas y la comunidad gay presta un cálido apoyo a sus miembros. Cuando más se les facilite "salir del closet (armario), "o sea, reconocer su orientación sexual a ellos mismos y a los demás, más homosexuales tendrán la oportunidad de vivir toda su vida como parte de una comunidad. Los gays incluyen bajo su concepto de "familia" no solo a su familia consanguínea, sino también a sus compañeros de muchos años o de toda una vida. Y existen ya organizaciones para homosexuales de edad avanzada.
¿Debemos enviar a nuestro hijo a un siquiatra para que lo "cure"?
Hoy en día es generalmente reconocido por la comunidad psiquiátrica que la homosexualidad no es, como era previamente considerada, una enfermedad que debe ser curada.
En diciembre de 1973 la Asociación Psiquiátrica Americana (en los Estados Unidos) declaró que la homosexualidad en sí no es un desorden mental o una enfermedad. La Asociación Psicológica Americana ha tomado la posición oficial de que no sería ético tratar de cambiar la orientación sexual de un homosexual.
Sin embargo, mucha gente que es homosexual está tan imbuida en los prejuicios de nuestra sociedad, que no puede aceptar como normal su orientación sexual. En estos casos es a menudo beneficioso obtener ayuda psiquiátrica o psicológica con el propósito de aceptarse a sí mismo.
Hay que tener mucho cuidado, sin embargo, en seleccionar un psicoterapeuta que no esté él o ella mismo/a imbuido/a en esos prejuicios.
Preocupaciones de los padres consigo mismos
¿Debemos decírselo a la familia?
Los padres aún tienen dificultad en aceptar la homosexualidad de sus hijos se preocupan a menudo de que los demás vayan a enterarse.
¿Cómo pueden ellos responder a las preguntas que los familiares les hacen con frecuencia: "¿Tiene novia?" "¿Cuándo se casa?" Nuestro consejo en tales situaciones es: primero y ante todo no debe usted confiar en nadie a menos que tenga el consentimiento de su hijo.
Es la vida de él o de ella que usted discute, y él o ella tiene el derecho a decidir quien debe saber y quien no.
Segundo, no debe usted decírselo a nadie a menos que usted mismo/a haya alcanzado el punto en que no se siente a la defensiva al respecto.
Lleva tiempo aprender a aceptar a su hijo y a menos que la actitud suya sea positiva, comunicará su infelicidad o duda a los demás. Cuando se sienta usted listo/a se le hará más fácil discutirlo con una persona a la vez.
¿Qué dirán los vecinos?
Esta es una preocupación muy real, entre las familias que viven en pequeñas comunidades, donde sus vidas sociales dependen de la buena voluntad de la gente que los rodea. La respuesta a esa pregunta es muy parecida a la anterior.
Cuando esté seguro/a de sus propios sentimientos e informado/a sobre la materia, entonces podrá hablar sobre la orientación sexual de su hijo con los demás y ayudarlos a ellos a comprender que el prejuicio contra la homosexualidad está basado en el temor y la ignorancia. ¿Cómo podemos entender a tratar con esto?
Quizás la mejor manera de contestar esta pregunta es dejando que otros padres hablen por sí mismos. He aquí la historia de una Madre que descubrió que su hijo era gay:
Historia de una madre
Nosotros tenemos tres hijos, dos de los cuales son homosexuales. Cuando el mayor tenía dieciocho años él nos dijo que era gay. La respuesta de mi esposo fue sencilla: "¿Estás seguro?" Y por mi parte tuve un gran sentimiento de culpa y fracaso, preguntándome en qué habíamos fallado. Nosotros hemos sido siempre una familia unida y cariñosa y sentí temor de que nuestra relación con nuestro hijo mayor sufriera como el resultado de su homosexualidad. Me preocupaba además su felicidad y bienestar futuros, también a mi esposo. Al poco tiempo me di cuenta que nuestro hijo era el mismo que siempre quise y conocí pero que a través de la honestidad ahora lo conocía mejor; la comprensión la logramos más tarde, después que nuestro hijo nos dirigió hacia un grupo de "Padres de Gays". Yo dejé de sentirme sola, nuevas ventanas de comprensión se me abrieron al hacer preguntas, escuchar y leer. Fue una etapa difícil pero positiva en mi vida que tomó tiempo y paciencia. Me siento feliz de decir que hoy nuestra familia está tan unida como siempre, pero nuestra relación es más sincera y abierta que antes.
Historia de un Padre
¿Qué sentí yo cuando supe que mi hijo era gay? Es difícil de decir. Fue una mezcla de sentimientos. Mi primer sentimiento - la vida va a ser difícil para el. El es diferente y por lo tanto sufrirá las consecuencias de ser diferente: sospecha, temor y rechazo a manos del tal llamado "mundo normal". El llevará una etiqueta: "peligroso y contagioso, no se le acerque, protéjase". Esto me hizo sentir triste al principio, luego enojado, luego protector. ¿Cómo podría yo ayudar a mi hijo? Decidí aprender más acerca de la homosexualidad. ¿Por qué sucede? ¿Puede ser curada? Más tarde me enteré que la primera pregunta hasta ahora no tiene respuesta y la segunda es ilógica, ya que no es una enfermedad. Yo leí mucho y eso me confundió. Las opiniones expresadas por varios autores, en algunos casos diferían drásticamente, estaban basadas en sus experiencias y en lo que estaban tratando de probar. Fue mi hijo quien me dirigió a mí y a mi esposa a "Padres de Gays". Fue allí donde me di cuenta que no estaba solo. Los mismos sentimientos de culpa, de insuficiencia y de pesar, eran compartidos con muchas personas. Había, sin embargo, un sentimiento que no compartía. Muchas personas estaban enojadas con sus hijos/as por ser homosexuales, pues sentían que esto les había traído vergüenza. Desde que nuestro hijo nos dijo que era gay, mi esposa y yo hemos aprendido más sobre la orientación sexual, nos hemos sentido mucho más allegados a nuestra hijo. Antes de esto había veces que el parecía alejada, infeliz e incluso impaciente con nosotros. Esto ha cambiado del todo. Yo podría continuar con muchos más detalles pero creo que las palabras dichas por mi hijo recientemente lo resumen todo: "Papá, yo nunca había estado tan feliz y tranquila como lo estoy ahora, porque ustedes saben y comprenden."
Hemos aceptado la situación, pero, ¿por qué tienen que hacer alarde de ella?
Muchas veces aún los padres que han aceptado la homosexualidad de su hijo se quejan del comportamiento abierto. Se incomodan y enojan al ver demostraciones de atracción sexual en público entre personas del mismo sexo. Nosotros sugerimos que esto es un resultado normal de la manera en que todos hemos sido criados y de los que se nos ha enseñado sobre el sexo en general, particularmente sobre la homosexualidad. A pesar de que esto es completamente comprensible, debemos verlo como nuestro problema, y no el problema de los homosexuales. Si los heterosexuales pueden demostrar afecto abiertamente en público, no hay razón lógica por la cual los homosexuales no puedan hacerlo también. Si usted siente que la conducta sexual debe ser algo privado, entonces esto debe aplicárselo a todos.



El propósito de esta página es informar a los jóvenes gays sobre el proceso por el cual la mayoría de los padres pasan cuando se les revela la orientación sexual de sus hijos. Las etapas que daremos a conocer son: el choque, la negación, el sentido de culpa, la expresión de sentimientos, la decisión personal y la verdadera aceptación.
El proceso asume que te has preguntado si vas a hablar con tus padres y tu decisión ha sido afirmativa. El método y sugerencias brindadas aquí parten de la premisa que tus sospechas que al fin y al cabo uno o ambos de tus padres van a ser comprensivos aun cuando no lleguen a darte apoyo.
Este folleto puede que no te sirva si tienes serias dudas sobre la habilidad de tus padres para enfrentarse al asunto y si sospechas que podían romper su relación contigo.
Advertencia: cada familia es singular. Aun cuando la mayoría de los padres pasen por las etapas aquí descritas, se flexible con tus propios padres. Los ejemplos y sugerencias aquí descritos fueron recogidos en reuniones de Padres y Amigos de Gays y Lesbianas. Pocos padres son casos "modelos" que encajen perfectamente con la descripción que sigue.
Con una idea de que esperar y como reaccionar de una manera constructiva estarás mejor capacitado para tomar este enorme paso con cierto grado de conocimiento y apoyo.
Padres e hijos cambian papeles
Al hablar con tus padres, puede que encuentres que los papeles de padre e hijo se inviertan por un tiempo. Ellos deberán aprender de tu experiencia. Según tus padres se enfrentan a tu revelación, deberás asumir tú el papel de "padre" para darles a ellos tiempo de expresar sus sentimientos y alcanzar una nueva visión. Este proceso no será fácil. Seguramente estarás ansioso de que comprendan y acepten esta importante parte de tu vida inmediatamente.
Será fácil para vos impacientarte. Tendrás que repetir muchas veces las mismas cosas. Evolucionarán lentamente (con lentitud dolorosa) al principio. Su reacción será emotiva.
No asumas que al explicar algo una vez ellos lo habrán oído. Su sentimiento se interpondrá al entendimiento intelectual. Permíteles tiempo y espacio. Considera tu propio caso: ¡has estado luchando por esto durante años! Aunque los asuntos con los que tus padres van a tratar se parecen a los que tu te has enfrentado, la diferencia está en que tu ya te has adelantado en el proceso. Ten paciencia.
La polémica: separación y privación
Muchas familias toman la noticia como una privación temporal -casi como la muerte- del hijo que han conocido y querido. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross describe las etapas relacionadas con la muerte de un ser querido como de negación, ira, negociación, depresión y aceptación. Al igual que en el pesar por la perdida de un ser querido, la primera reacción de los padres de gays y lesbianas se concentra en la separación y la pérdida. "Recuerdo la mañana cuando mi hijo preparaba su desayuno en la cocina mientras se sentaba en la mesa de la cocina leyendo el periódico. Lo miré y quería decirle - No te conozco, pero quisiera que te fueras y me devolvieras a mi hijo-". Los padres sienten una pérdida cuando su hijo/a revela su orientación, pero este sentimiento es mas bien temporal.
Aunque las etapas aquí descritas se aplican a la mayoría de las personas, no progresan de una manera absoluta para todos. Algunas veces una etapa ocurre fuera de orden; de vez en cuando se asalta otra. Algunos avanzan por etapas en tres meses, para otros hacen falta años. Unos pocos no progresan debido a que sienten una lástima consigo mismos. En todo caso el sentimiento inicial es de perdida.
La mayoría de los padres piensan que conocen y comprenden a sus hijos desde su nacimiento. Aunque se aferran a antiguas historias -y algunas veces se confunden al contar algunas de ellas- la mayoría se sienten seguros que saben en que piensan sus hijos. Inicialmente los padres pierden el sentido que conservan de su hijo y no saben todavia si les gusta la persona real que reemplaza a la persona imaginaria. Aquellos que sienten el golpe mayor cuando su hijo se revela probablemente serán los mismos que sufrirán el mayor sentido de privación y rechazo. No es que se alejen de su hijo sino que sienten que su hijo se ha alejado deliberadamente de ellos.
Por primera vez palpan tus padres el alejamiento, sentimiento del cual seguramente has sido consciente durante años. Tal sentimiento es traumático. Por medio de la paciencia y la comprensión de parte de todos, se puede restaurar la relación original. Es mas, en la mayoría de los casos mejora la relación porque ahora estará basada en la honestidad mútua.
Etapas de Comprensión
1. El Choque:
La etapa inicial del choque ("shock") puede ser anticipada si sospechas que tus padres no tienen la menor idea sobre lo que te propones compartir. Esta etapa puede que dure desde diez minutos hasta una semana; por lo general se disipa en unos días. El choque es una reacción natural por la cual todos pasamos - y necesitamos por un tiempo- para evitar la angustia y el disgusto.
Comunícales que no te ha sido posible ser totalmente honesto con ellos y que no te gusta la distancia que ha aparecido con el pasar de los años. Asegurales tu amor por ellos. Dilo mas de una vez. Aunque al principio no responderán de una manera positiva a tu manifestación de amor, les llegará una vez que estén solos y piensen sobre todo esto. Recuérdales que eres la misma persona hoy que eras ayer "Ustedes me querían ayer. No he cambiado desde entonces, soy la misma persona que ayer". A veces un padre no pasa por la fase de choque: "siempre supe que eras diferente. consideré la posibilidad. Está bien. Te quiero. Tendrás que ayudarme a comprender y aceptar la realidad". Algunas veces dicen: "hace tiempo que nos habíamos enterado porque dejaste una carta sobre la mesa el verano pasado; hemos estado esperando que nos dijeras algo". Si es así, tu labor será mucho mas fácil, ya que han de haber pasado por algunas de las etapas por su cuenta.
2. La Negación:
La negación ayuda a amparar a la persona de un mensaje amenazante o doloroso. Es distinta al choque porque indica que la persona si oyó el mensaje y está intentando desarrollar un mecanismo de defensa para combatirlo. La negación toma muchas formas: Hostilidad -"ningún hijo mío va a ser marica"-, la no aceptación- "Que bien querido, ¿que quieres para comer?"-, desprendimiento -"Si escojes ese estilo de vida, no quiero enterarme más de eso"-, o el rechazo- "es solo una etapa, ya te pasará".
Su percepción de tu orientación sexual ha sido distorsionada por los mensajes que han recibido y aceptado de nuestra sociedad. La manera en que se manifiesta la negación puede extenderse desde un estado hipnótico sereno hasta el llanto o los gritos histéricos. Muchos padres toman una ruta intermedia: lloran con frecuencia. "Mi esposa y yo estábamos seguros de que nuestro hijo había caído presa de alguna actividad de liberación homosexual porque le parecia peligrosa y excitante. Pensamos que los reportajes de los medios de comunicación sobre la homosexualidad lo atraían probablemente por ser inmaduro y porque no sabia lo que verdaderamente quería. Insistimos en que visitara a un psiquiatra cuanto antes para tratar la ira que había acumulado en el último año. Acordamos ir al psiquiatra también por separado. Después que Pablo fuera dos o tres sesiones el psiquiatra hizo trizas nuestro mecanismo de negación: "he aconsejado a muchos jóvenes gays y estoy convencido de que ésta no es una ilusión pasajera; basado en mi mejor conocimiento, su hijo es gay".
Tú podrías sugerir el nombre de un consejero o dos si tus padres consideran que el asesoramiento podría aclarar su confusión. No seria aconsejable que sugirieses a una persona gay, ya que tus padres querrán una persona con un punto e vista "imparcial".
Si te presionan para que vayas a ver a un consejero, sugiere que tu vas si ellos también van al mismo número de sesiones que vos. Puede que se resistan en base a que ellos no necesitan ayuda: sin embargo, en el fondo probablemente darán acogida a la oportunidad de hablar con alguien.
Tus padres pueden necesitar ayuda en distinguir lo "normal" de la "norma". Es probable que piensen que la homosexualidad no es normal. Puedes ayudarles al explicarles que aunque la homosexualidad no es la norma, si es lo natural para ti. Señálales que dentro de todo el mundo natural hay excepciones a las reglas; mientras que la mayoría de las personas tienen los ojos del mismo color . algunas tienen un color distinto en cada ojo. Tus padres deberán entender que aunque tu orientación sexual no es la norma, es una respuesta natural y honesta para ti.
Si su negación toma forma de "No interesa hablar de eso", si no cambian durante una semana, deberás tomar la iniciativa gradual y cautelosamente. Entabla el tema suavemente cuando parezcan estar relajados. "Papá, hace tiempo que he querido hablar de esto contigo; por favor, no me alejes de tu vida. No puedo seguir mintiéndote. Te quiero y quisiera que continuases queriéndome también." personaliza tu mensaje de manera que penetres sus defensas.
No es necesario que les brindes mas información de la que te pidan. El darles información sobre tus experiencias podría resultar en el desarrollo de unas defensas mas fuertes. Contesta solo las preguntas que te hagan; mas tarde tendrán otras preguntas para ti. Por sentirse incómodos al hacerte preguntas, puede que te sea necesario formular sus preguntas antes de contestarlas.
Deberás estar preparado para conversar con tus padres individualmente, si fuese necesario. La mayoría de las parejas reaccionan ante tal revelación como lo hacen con otros choques; uno toma la delantera y se encamina hacia la resolución antes que el otro. No te enfades con el mas lento de los dos. Frecuentemente las parejas experimentan problemas en su propia relación cuando esto sucede. Quien parezca adaptarse mas rápidamente puede sugerir que a su esposo(a) le encanta agonizar; el que se mueva mas lentamente quizás piense que el otro acepta demasiado pronto la situación. Los padres que se encaminan a distinto paso pueden experimentar tensión, ya sea expresamente o en silencio.
3. El Sentimiento de Culpa:
La mayoría de las personas que se enfrentan a la homosexualidad la consideran como un "problema" y preguntan: "¿Que la causa?" creen que si dan con la causa, entonces la curación estará al alcance. "Para mi, la duda se tornó introspectiva": ¿Que he hecho yo de malo? Fuera la causa genética o ambiental, consideraba que era mi culpa. Me preguntaba que tipo de modelo era yo como hombre: examinaba mi masculinidad. Por un tiempo, no importaba desde que ángulo examinara la situación, creía ser la fuente principal del problema. Era un sentimiento que yo no podía expresarle a nadie por sentirme muy avergonzado y triste. A pesar que ambos padres suelen sentirse culpables, el padre del mismo sexo que el hijo es el que lo siente mas agudamente. Por fin un día mi esposa me dijo: "no creo que sea razonable que te eches la culpa: Criaste dos hijos, uno es gay y otro no lo es. Tienen que haber otros factores".
Frecuentemente los padres solteros se culpan aun mas como responsables por la pérdida, separación o divorcio del cónyuge: "se que fallé, no logré ser tu padre y tu madre a la vez". Cuando un padre y una madre se sienten culpables se centran en si mismos. No logran preocuparse por lo que hayas pasado; en esa etapa están demasiado ensimismados para preocuparse por ti.
Como son tus padres, puede que no sean capaces de admitirte que se sientan culpables. Reconocer este sentimiento es como decir "Yo te he causado esta horrible situación, yo te he hecho distinto. Cúlpame a mí." Esta no es una posición cómoda para ningún padre. Tú puedes ayudarlos de varias maneras. Asegurales que no crees que la causa sea tan sencilla como ellos la ven. Diles que hay muchas teorías y que el origen de la homosexualidad no se conoce. Bríndales un libro dirigido a los padres.- Un libro puede atraerles en estos momentos porque representa una autoridad. Ten el libro a la mano para darles; no les envíes a una librería gay a buscarlo. Ellos ahora quizás estén listos para hablar con una persona de confianza; algunos querrán hablar con un clérigo. Será difícil alejarlos de una persona que hayan escogido con quien tu consideres no les convenga consultar. Si sabes alguna agencia que haya ayudado a otras familias, ten su nombre listo para ellos. (Una organización de orientación gay podría serles útil pero resistirán visitarla por considerarla del bando contrario.) Dales el número de teléfono local de la Asociación de padres de gays y lesbianas y el nombre de otros padres que hayan acordado de antemano hablar con ellos. No esperes que respondan inmediatamente a éstas sugerencias; podrían no actuar si se sienten avergonzados o culpables. El brindarles esta información es como sembrar una semilla que tomará tiempo en dar su fruto.
4. La Expresión de Sentimientos:
Cuando esté claro que el sentimiento de culpa y la auto recriminación no son productivos, tus padres estarán listos para hacer preguntas, escuchar tus respuestas y aceptar sus sentimientos. Este es el momento para el dialogo productivo entre ustedes. Ahora brotará toda la gama de sentimientos: "me siento defraudado que no tendré nietos". "Por favor, no se lo digas a nadie en la familia: no estoy listo para enfrentarme con ninguna persona sobre este asunto", "Me siento solo y herido"; "Creo que hubiese sido mejor no saberlo", "¿Como puedes herirnos de esta manera?","Preferiría morir".
Ya que tu vida en esta sociedad te ha obligado a sentir muchos de estos sentimientos (el aislamiento, el temor al rechazo, el dolor, la confusión, el temor al futuro...) puedes compartir con ellos tu experiencia con sentimientos similares. Sin embargo, permíteles suficiente tiempo para que lo expresen ellos mismos; no les dejes que tus necesidades se sobrepongan a las de ellos. Si ellos no han leído un libro o han hablado con otros padres, sugiéreles que lo hagan. Ofrécete para leer un capítulo con ellos e incluso a ir con ellos a una reunión de padres.
La ira y el dolor son probablemente los sentimientos mas frecuentemente expresados. Muchas veces son sentimientos iniciales que parecen rencorosos y crueles. Si es que tus padres han de progresar, es mejor que expresen estos sentimientos a que los escondan e intenten negar su existencia . Enfrentarte a estos sentimientos será difícil para ti. Tendrás la tentación de retirarte, arrepintiéndote de haber planeado el asunto. No te des por vencido, sin embargo, No des marcha atrás. Al expresar estos sentimientos tus padres están camino de la recuperación.
5. La Decisión Personal:
A medida que el trauma emocional disminuya, tus padres podrán enfrentarse de una manera más racional al asunto. No seria raro que para este momento quieran detenerse a considerar sus opciones futuras. Es como llegar a una encrucijada en el camino. La manera como escoja cada persona refleja la actitud que ella esté dispuesta a asumir al enfrentarse a la situación.
Puede que tus padres decidan tomar distintos caminos. Ciertos factores podrían influenciar el camino que escojan. Las lecturas sobre la homosexualidad y otras conversaciones con los padres puede que les alienten a tomar una actitud mas positiva. Su orientación religiosa tomará un papel importante. Su orientación general, ya sea liberal o conservadora, tendrá mucho que ver con su respuesta.
Un factor importante es la importancia que le den a la restauración de su relación contigo. Una variedad de factores les influenciaran según formulen la manera de enfrentarse a este asunto. A continuación se describen tres clases de decisiones: La mayoría continuarán queriendo a sus hijos de una manera que les permita decir. "Sigues siendo mi hijo" podrán aceptar la realidad de la orientación sexual de su hijo o hija y brindarle su apoyo. De hecho ahora la relación entre padres e hijos estará basada en al honestidad y respeto mutuos.
La mayoría de los padres dicen que su relación está mejor que nunca. Todos se sentirán mejor sobre lo sucedido. Hasta este momento tus padres han tenido solo un vistazo de tus necesidades, de ahora en adelante podrán estar mas conscientes. Ahora se preocupan de los problemas que has de enfrentar.
Algunas veces los padres responden dejando claro que es un asunto que no requiere mas discusión. Aunque pueden hablar del tema, lo consideran muy delicado. Han progresado hasta cierto punto y no quieren avanzar más. Esto no indica necesariamente una actitud negativa hacia ti. Ellos conocen sus límites y no quieren ser empujados mas allá de estos. Aunque deberás respetar esta actitud, todavía podrías intentar darles una mano. Déjales saber que los quieres -en dichos y en hechos- Déjales saber gradualmente sobre tu sexualidad: o sea, sobre grupos gays en los que participas (en el centro comunitario, tu grupo religioso o atlético). Esfuérzate por no dejar que se alejen de ti. Preséntales a algunas de tus amistades; el conocer a otras personas homosexuales (en números reducidos) les ayudará a romper con los tópicos.
En ciertas ocasiones tu orientación sexual se pondría tornar en foco de constante batalla. Todo lo que hagas o digas ha de verse como síntoma de tu problemas. Tus horarios, tu lenguaje, tus amigos, tu selección profesional, tus calificaciones escolares, etc. (En realidad tales preocupaciones reflejan un sentido de insuficiencia personal por parte de tus padres). Mientras exista esta situación, tanto los padres como el hijo o hija saldrán perdiendo. Por lo general, cuando uno de los padres asume este papel extremo a la otra no le queda mas remedio que tomar una posición similar. En cuanto a los hijos se refiere, con frecuencia los padres que asistan a reuniones de padres o que conversen con otros padres que apoyan a sus hijos, muy raras veces mantienen una actitud negativa. Si rehúsan ir a una reunión, quizás estén dispuestos a encontrarse con algunos padres en un restaurante tranquilo. Si tu intento no tiene éxito, no te desanimes. Busca a un padre o a una madre sustituto o un amigo que te pueda ayudar.
Algunas palabras sobre el retroceso también son necesarias. La solución de problemas y el cambio de actitudes algunas veces parecen avanzar con dos pasos adelante y un atrás . No es raro que los padres recaigan un paso o dos y vuelvan a discutir algo que tu creías ya se había resuelto. Permíteles tiempo para digerirlo. Te vas a sentir desalentado cuando suceda pero muchas veces esta es la manera como sucede el cambio.



Lesbian Unions: the Invisible Institution
by Karen McCandlish

The issues of sexual preference are religious, civil,
political, familial and private. They touch on every aspect of
society. The past and present abuses of lesbians are well known,
so to only briefly recount them here seems sufficient. Volumes
of text could and have been written on the subject of lesbians
and the military ban, lack of rights and protection against
discrimination, the committing of lesbians to psychiatric
hospitals and prisons, gay bashing, job firing, exclusion from
family, society and church, bitter custody battles and the many
other ills befalling lesbians in the past and the present.

The intent of my paper is not to deal with these all too
familiar mistreatments of women who love women, but to explore
more deeply this love that continues even in the face of such

Even without the legal right to marry, many lesbians live out
committed, sometimes lifelong, relationships with one another.
If relationships with the support of the community and family are
hard enough to maintain in today's society, how much more
difficult it must be to sustain a lesbian relationship with all
the added obstacles of homophobia and society's negative
impression of lesbians.

In this paper I will give brief examples of lesbian
relationships within the Native American, Chinese, African,
European and American societies.

In Native American culture there were believed to be four
sexes rather than two. Male and female, and Berdache men and
women (which would be somewhat equivalent to gays and lesbians in
our society).

"Many American Indian societies accepted that certain
individuals were neither men nor women, but belonged to an
alternative gender; their spirit, or character, was seen as more
important than their sex in determining social identity."
(Williams, cover")

Berdache usually cross-dressed and mimicked the lifestyle of
the opposite sex, thus they were accepted as such, regardless of
their true gender. Such berdache women married women. They were
considered to be holy people with shamanistic abilities. The
Yumas of the Southwest called them "kwe'rhame" and the Mohaves,
"hwame". Unlike lesbians in the Western world, Berdache women
were for the most part accepted and in many cases highly

The hwame and the kwe'rhame, as well as female berdache from
many other tribes, were considered to have acquired their
masculine nature by the spirit from within the womb. Children
were often incorporated into woman-woman relationships and if a
hwame married a pregnant woman the hwame was considered to be the
child's real father. (Williams, 240)

Sahaykwisa, a Mohave, differed from other hwame in that she
wore women's clothing and behaved in a somewhat feminine manner.
Because of this difference to the social standard of most female
berdache, she received some harassment for her lack of conformity
in this respect. It is suggested that, because she never fully
adapted to the male role, she was not wholly accepted as a hwame.
Several sources noted that the constant teasing of jealous men
was the possible reason that her first wife left her.

Regardless of social pressures, in some cases positive healthy
and long lasting relationships developed between women. Co'pak,
of the Klamath, "had a wife, with whom she lived for many years"
and when her wife died she mourned for her. (Williams, 242)

Still less is known about lesbians within the Chinese culture.
One hypothesis is that this is because literature is a male
dominated institution and men do not consider women's affairs as
begin important. Another theory is that the Chinese "dui-shi"
rarely existed, since women were bound economically to their
husbands and often secluded from one another, and so they had
little opportunity to develop close bonds with other women (Bret,

The "Golden Orchid Association" of Southern China, however, did
perform marriage ceremonies between women couples. Within these
ceremonies ritual gifts were exchanged, the actual wedding was
performed and then there was a feast, not unlike an American
wedding. The couple could even adopt female children, who were
eligible to inherit family property from the couple's parents.

Some Buddhist beliefs fostered a positive image of lesbianism
within their reincarnation theory. One such belief was that two
people, destined to remarry each other in successive lives, might
both be reincarnated as women (Bret, 176).

In Africa, among the Nuer, Kipsigis and Lovedu peoples, women
married other women and the Yoruba, Yagba, Akoko, Nupe,
Gana-Gana, Fon, Ibo, Dinka, Venda, Igbo and the Bobo Nieniege of
the Ivory Coast also have records of woman-woman marriages
(Butler, 9). Like their Native American counterpart, African
lesbians were considered among the tribe's medicine people, as
spiritual healers.

In Europe, two upper class Irish women, Sarah Ponsonby and
Eleanor Butler, known as "the Ladies of Llangollen", eloped in
1778 and settled in a cottage in the Llangollen Vale in Wales.
They achieved a successful monogamous relationship with each
other for 53 years, at which time one of them died.

Boston marriages were common in the 19th century, which
embodied long term monogamous relationships between two women.
They were generally financially independent of men by inheritance
or by career.

Passing women, like the Native American female berdache,
dressed and acted like men, in order to live out their sexual
preference and at the same time be accepted by their society.
Sometimes women who passed as men were able to bypass the social
stigmas of their sexual orientation, thus avoiding some of the
financial and social repercussions of their lifestyle. However,
being "closeted" and crossing over gender lines presented new
stresses to their lives. With daily struggles to keep their true
sex hidden, there was a constant fear of being discovered.

Becky Butler's book, Ceremonies of the Heart, celebrates women
from many diverse cultures and religions who have had "union
ceremonies" to honor their love for one another. Among them are
Jews, Catholics, Quakers, Native Americans, African-Americans,
Hispanics, Buddhists, New Agers, and Wiccans. Similarly, the
book, Lesbian Nuns, by Rosemary Curb, tells the stories of
numerous women who left the convent to pursue relationships, some
long-term, with the women that they loved. The book, Nice Jewish
Girls, by Evelyn Beck, recounts the experiences of Jewish

There seems to be no doubt that lesbian relationships are found
in nearly every culture and time period and that the participants
of such relationships come from a variety of religious
background. There are countless examples of lesbian marriage,
both in the past and in the present, too numerous to recount
here. I believe that with society's improved attitudes and
proper education to dispel myths and prejudices about homosexuals
that there is continued hope for development of more positive,
healthy, open, long lasting monogamous relationships between



Was Lincoln Bisexual?
By Gore Vidal

As a schoolboy I read most of Carl Sandburg's six-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. Sandburg was a poet-performer, and I tended to skip his rhapsodic passages, thus missing some key points. Even so, I was sufficiently drawn to his Lincoln … well, to be precise, there is no Sandburg Lincoln, only a sort of grab bag of anecdotes, a do-it-yourself folklore Lincoln, using material that, with time's passage, has been more and more rejected by those scholar squirrels who are always in attendance upon the Lincoln brigade's stern academic icon-dusters. Eventually, I came to write my own Lincoln, dealing with the master politician as a counterbalance to the folksy figure so beloved of apolitical chroniclers, particularly in the early part of the 20th century, when the sex life of a Mount Rushmoreite was taboo and speculation was neither encouraged nor pursued by those with tenure rather than truth in mind. The Second World War changed everything. Over 13 million American males served in Europe, the Pacific, and, most exotic of all, that unknown land the United States of America, which suddenly became a place of sexual marvels unknown to previous generations. But then, in 1945, when much of the war ended, we were abruptly translated from the Land of Oz back to dreary—even bloody—Kansas, not to mention Indiana, where one Alfred C. Kinsey was scientifically analyzing our intimations and dreams of Oz as well as who did what sexually and why. Among Kinsey's researchers was C. A. Tripp, who had become interested in the sexuality of our greatest president, but I am now ahead of our story.
In 1948, Alfred C. Kinsey published Sexual Behavior in the Human Male. He also wrote me a note of appreciation for my "work in the field": The City and the Pillar, a novel about a star-crossed love affair between two "normal" young male athletes with which I had shocked America … well, the New York Times, by making the point that their affair was a perfectly natural business, despite so many popular superstitions derived from our various Bronze Age religions. At about that time I met Tripp, whose posthumous The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln has at last been published by Free Press.
What the Kinseyites and I had in common so long ago was the knowledge that homosexual and heterosexual behavior are natural to all mammals, and that what differs from individual to individual is the balance between these two complementary but not necessarily conflicted drives. So, what has all this to do with our greatest president?
The young Lincoln had a love affair with a handsome youth and store owner, Joshua Speed, in Springfield, Illinois. They shared a bed for four years, not necessarily, in those frontier days, the sign of a smoking gun—only messy male housekeeping. Nevertheless, four years is a long time to be fairly uncomfortable. The gun proved to be the letters that passed between them when Joshua went home to Kentucky to marry, while Lincoln was readying himself for marriage in Springfield. Each youth betrays considerable anxiety about the wedding night ahead. Can they hack it? To Sandburg's credit he picked up on this (who could not after reading the letters?), but, first time around, I skipped his poetical comments on Lincoln's "streak of lavender and spots soft as May violets." Sandburg was a typical American of his time and place; he knew that any male with sexual feelings for another male was a maiden trapped inside a male body. Even the great Mae West, our first commanding sexologist, was convinced that fairies were simply women, obliged, through no fault of their own, to inhabit crude male bodies: Plangently Doctor Mae mourned her lost sisters.
Predictably, most Lincoln authorities prefer to ignore the implications of the Lincoln-Speed letters. But not Jonathan Ned Katz; in 2001 this relentless scholar wrote a study of their "love affair" as an example of sex between men before the invention of homosexuality; a word and generic concept that dates back only to the late 19th century, while "heterosexuality," previously popularly known as "just sex," is now the name for a new admirable team whose first appearance in public print was in a 1924 edition of, I fear, the New York Times. But more to the point, Tripp notes that although Lincoln was plainly bisexual, as demonstrated by the four children that he had with his wife, there is practically no other compelling record of his heterosexuality. There are no girlfriends in youth. Ann Rutledge (the great love that ended in her tragic death, which he forever mourned) proves to have been an invention of his law partner William Herndon, who, perhaps suspecting that the man he had practiced law with for 16 years had remained "uncomfortable" with women all his life and so needed some beefing up in the boy-girl department. Yet all evidence suggests that Lincoln's stepmother got it right when after Lincoln's death she said, "He was not very fond of girls." Nevertheless, Herndon feverishly "researched" and embellished the Ann Rutledge story for years, but a generation or two of scholar squirrels have successfully shot that story down. Later, during his presidency, when most incumbents express affection—and more—for women not their wives, Lincoln was already a marble statue to Family Values. Now we know that he was never unenthralled by those May violets.
I knew C. A. Tripp through Dr. Kinsey, whose famous report was actually published some months after my novel. In due course, Kinsey and I met, and he took, as they say, my history for his research. This involved encoded questions about sexual activities with some trick questions in order to catch liars. During all this, Kinsey, a seriously gray man, was like a friendly bank manager in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Overnight, Kinsey became a national hero to many, the devil to others. It is interesting now that we have entered a new America ruled by Moral Values; faith-inspired attacks are being made on Kinsey's findings so long after the fact.
Tripp is described by his publisher as a "psychologist, therapist, and sex-researcher" (for Kinsey). His ground-breaking book The Homosexual Matrix (1975) firmly "discovered" that homosexuality is inborn, not acquired. What Tripp learned from Kinsey and associates is a way of gauging the hetero-homo balance in men. "Kinsey's figures on the pervasiveness of the homosexual experiences of men dazzled the ever inquisitive Tripp," as historian Jean Baker writes in her introduction to his study of Lincoln. More to the point were Kinsey's investigations into why some men were more responsive than others to same-sexuality and how these responses tend to vary throughout life's stages. One finding that Tripp uses in evaluating Lincoln: Kinsey's research showed that those males who entered puberty early were more apt to seek homosexual outlets if only because girls were out of reach. They were also less apt, as they grew up, to have sexual hang-ups of the sort late bloomers did because society has more time to indoctrinate a teenager than a nine-year-old. Much remarked upon in Lincoln's rustic world was his sudden spurt of growth at about nine years old, some four years before the average of other males. Also, his fascination with sex stories whose obscenity alarmed even him—he was an early stand-up comic and, as such, was appreciated in the stag world of the law. Descriptions of his performances (and the stories told) even suggest a mild case of Tourette's syndrome. Certainly, anal sex was a common denominator to his tales. Later in life when someone suggested he publish his funny stories, he was shocked: he compared them to open privies. Incidentally, the one thing that the Kinsey report, Tripp's The Homosexual Matrix, and my The City and the Pillar had in common, aside from the unwelcome candor about our human estate, was the hysteria we created at The New York Times. The three books were not only attacked in the paper but the Times refused to advertise Kinsey or me once the contents of our infernal books were known; also, in my case, seven novels subsequent to the proscribed book were not reviewed in the daily Times, and never would be, the daily reviewer (Orville Prescott) proudly told my publisher, E. P. Dutton. Now, in the 56 years since 1948, The City and the Pillar has never been out of print in English or in a number of other languages.
Tripp has interesting "new" material on Lincoln's encounters as a young man in New Salem, Illinois (where Lincoln lived from 1831-37); he reports on "contacts" with merchant A.Y. Ellis and fellow lawyer Henry Whitney, the last observing that Lincoln seemed always to be courting him: Whitney also reported that Lincoln said that sexual contact was a "harp of a thousand strings." So what form did these contacts take? One hint is given by Billy Greene, who shared a bed and a grammar teacher (not together) with Lincoln in New Salem around 1831. Greene described Lincoln's muscular figure as attractive to him, commenting in particular on his powerful thighs, which suggests a form of sexuality much indulged in by citizens of classical Athens: since any citizen would lose citizenship if anally penetrated by a man, "femoral intercourse" was a useful substitute; that is, orgasm, mutual or otherwise, between firm thighs.
What then did researcher Tripp discover over the last decades about Lincoln's lavender streak and those soft May violets? The answer is a great deal of circumstantial detail, of which some is incontrovertible except perhaps to the eye of faith, which, as we all know, is most selective and ingenious when it comes to the ignoring of evidence.
Jean Baker's introduction to Tripp's Lincoln is balanced. She notes that as late as the 1980s more than 60 percent of all Americans found homosexuality an unacceptable "lifestyle," plainly the result of fierce lifelong indoctrination. Tripp finds homosexual (and heterosexual) behavior common to all mammals and apt to be practiced given sufficient opportunity, energy, desire. Baker notes that Tripp was "dazzled" by Kinsey's finding that more than one-third of Kinsey's sample males had engaged in a homosexual act during their lifetime even though only a slim 4 to 6 percent identified themselves as exclusively homosexual. Baker occasionally falls into the semantic trap of using adjectives like homo/heterosexual as nouns to describe an entire person when these adjectives can only describe specific sexual acts and never an actual human being; hence the difficulties in pigeonholing Lincoln, who, like almost every man of his time and place, duly married, had children, and conformed while yielding to his homosexual inclinations only when inevitable, as in the long affair with Joshua Speed. The most moving part of their letters comes after Speed goes home to Kentucky to marry, and Lincoln steels himself to do the same in Springfield with Mary Todd. Each is terrified of the prospective wedding night. Lincoln is like a good basketball coach reassuring a timid player while confessing to his own anxieties on that score. It is hard not to suspect that Lincoln was, as far as women were concerned, a virgin on his wedding night. Speed proved to be nonfunctional on that night and, apparently, all subsequent nights despite much boasting of powerful passions fulfilled. Tripp notes that Lincoln has no problems with penetration on the grounds that: "tops don't." (We give Dr. Tripp his idiosyncrasies).
Tripp has investigated male sexual partners for Lincoln from early youth to his affair with the captain of his personal military guard, David V. Derickson of the Pennsylvania Bucktails' Company K. This, according to Baker, "is one of at least five verifiable cases of Lincoln's sexual activity with other males." This guard usually escorted the president from the White House to the Soldiers' Home in a part of town where he could escape the equatorial summer heat of riparian Washington. Presumably the affair began on September 8, 1862, when Lincoln was at the Soldiers' Home (Mrs. Lincoln was safely in New York City, seriously shopping). Lincoln sent for the newly assigned Derickson, to get to know him. Derickson, we are told, was five feet nine, deep-set eyes, prominent nose, thick black hair. At 44, he was nine years younger than Lincoln. At the start of their affair he was the father of nine children by two wives; a grown son also served in Company K during the idyll at the Soldiers' Home. Others have noted that when they shared a bed, Derickson wore one of the president's nightshirts. Although the Washington press was not as prurient then as now, it was also wartime, which could well have intimidated gossipers, if not Virginia Woodbury Fox, wife of the assistant secretary of the navy. The Foxes were friends of Lincoln; Mrs. Fox also kept a diary about high life in Washington. Entry for November 16, 1862: "Tish [Letitia McKean] says, 'there is a Bucktail soldier here devoted to the President, drives with him, and when Mrs. L. is not home, sleeps with him.' What stuff!" The final epithet can mean "people will say anything." Or as Governor Richards of Texas said in reference to a question about her divorce: "You know what men are like!" Quite a different emphasis. So what did these two fathers whose combined progeny numbered 13 boys actually do? Tripp draws a great deal not only from surviving commentaries from Lincoln's youth but also from Kinsey's findings on what sort of experience or simply sexual development predisposes some males to be actively attracted to other males. Happily, Freud is nowhere consulted.
In Tripp's reconstruction of the intimate Lincoln, the fascinating discovery is not the many details about Lincoln's homosexual side as the fact that he had, marriage to one side, so very little heterosexual side. Although William Herndon arouses some alarm in many scholars with his huge Ann Rutledge romantic tragedy, he does indeed have other tales to tell.
According to Herndon, "About the year 1835-36 Mr. Lincoln went to Beardstown and during a devilish passion had connection with a girl and caught the disease [syphilis]. Lincoln told me this…. About the year 1836-37 Lincoln moved to Springfield … at this time I suppose that the disease hung to him and not wishing to trust our physicians, he wrote a note to Doctor Drake … " He was treated by him in Cincinnati: presumably with mercury. Was he cured? By 1840 he was engaged to the well-born Mary Todd. Lincoln was a rising man in the political world of Illinois and so must have a wife and a family. But suddenly he broke off the engagement. Took to his bed. Wrote a poem called "Suicide," which was published in the Springfield newspaper, later to be secretly cut out of the file copy. Herndon's commentary on all this is cryptic. He suggests that the early deaths of two of Lincoln's sons and Tad's disability in speaking, and then Mary Todd's headaches, breakdowns, madness, details of which seem to conform to the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy's description of paresis-syphilis—although we have since learned that an autopsy was performed on her head (odd, since even in 1882 the whole body would have been examined). Anyway, there may be a record at Walter Reed Hospital or there may not be. More to the point at hand, why did Tripp not count the Beardstown girl in Lincoln's heteroscore? And the whore in a Springfield boardinghouse whom Lincoln visited? She wanted three dollars. He had less. He asked for credit; then, according to Herndon, she simply charged him nothing.
So here we are; history, too. The magisterial Professor David Herbert Donald disagrees with Tripp's interpretation of Lincoln's intimate life, but he also rejects Herndon's version on a key point. Since Professor Donald wrote a superb book called Lincoln's Herndon, he is turning, as it were, on one of his own characters. Professor Donald is our foremost authority on Lincoln and so backed by much of the history establishment. Tripp is a maverick with new information and a different synthesis. Neither Donald nor Tripp nor, indeed, Herndon's ghost can prove his case. Lincoln's ghost is no doubt ready to chat—with, I suspect, a story, possibly obscene.
Some years ago at Harvard, Professor Donald and I were answering an audience's questions apropos of the Massey lectures that I was giving. One urgent professor wanted to discuss Lincoln's homosexuality, which I had ignored in my study of his presidency and Professor Donald tended to discredit. He and I were also in agreement that, true or false, what did sex have to do with his conduct of the Civil War, the emancipation of slaves?
I have now read Professor Donald's We Are Lincoln Men, and though he does not agree with Tripp's conclusions, their professional relations seem to have been amiable. Tripp is quick to acknowledge an occasional debt to Donald's work, which might explain the absence of the Beardstown girl in Tripp's study. Professor Donald is a pre-Kinseyan and so does not endorse the possibility of genital contact between Lincoln and Speed, and, later, between Lincoln and Bucktail Captain Derickson. Here is Professor Donald on Beardstown: "Equally controversial, and equally unprovable, is another intimate confession Lincoln allegedly made to Herndon. Late in life, Herndon told his literary collaborator, Weik, that "Lincoln had, when a mere boy, the syphilis about the year 1835-36." (Which means that mere boy Lincoln was 26 or 27, by which time Alexander the Great had conquered most of the known world … ) "For this story, which Herndon wrote more than fifty years after Lincoln's alleged escapade and more than twenty years after his death, there is no confirmatory evidence." (In so delicate a matter, is there apt to be any?) "Lincoln never told it to anyone else." (How on earth do we know?) "Not even to Joshua Speed, with whom he was sharing a bed at this time." (I should think not particularly to Speed, whose bed might have been contaminated by Lincoln's disease, particularly if, like so many men of his day, he suffered from syphilophobia, which, Donald suggests, might have been the origin of Lincoln's story to Herndon about his own alleged syphilis, which, if he did tell him such a story, might have been the result of a common fear among relatively inexperienced males at a time when syphilis, like AIDS today, could be a killer.) Donald even quotes another historian, Charles B. Stozier, who thinks that Lincoln's confession to Herndon—if true—revealed more about his sexual confusion and ignorance than about the state of his health. (About what, then, is he confused? Of what is he ignorant?) Are we then to believe that a brilliant lawyer nearing 30 knows next to nothing about heterosexuality in a town where girls are available for three dollars?
Since Donald rejects Herndon's story, Tripp doubtless feels free to ignore the Beardstown girl, too. This buttresses his case that Lincoln was not fond of girls. Donald's rejection of Herndon in this matter is no doubt due to a certain reluctance to admit that so great a man could have had syphilis or trafficked with a three-dollar whore. Since none of us has much to go on beyond what Herndon says Lincoln said, why should anyone think that Herndon was making up a story that casts no glory, rather the reverse, on his hero? Ann Rutledge is his one great untruth, which does make the young Lincoln sound like a totally normal youth heartbroken to have lost his first love. This was a familiar 19th-century dodge of the lifelong bachelor trying to explain why he had never found Miss Right. President Buchanan had some success in this line.
Although I did once agree with Professor Donald that Lincoln's sex life sheds no particular light on his public life, I am now intrigued by some of the generalities Dr. Kinsey made about males who go early into puberty. Precocious sexually, they are apt to be precocious psychologically. Lincoln's understanding of the adult world began early, and this gave him not only a sense of the broad picture but inclined him to empathy for others unlike himself. He had also avoided the hang-ups of those indoctrinated in their teens with the folklore of the time which condemned masturbation and same-sexuality as evils, while Lincoln knew firsthand that they were not. From that single insight it was no great step to recognize that the enslavement of one race by another was, despite St. Paul's complaisance, a true evil.
Some have deplored Lincoln's indifference to Christianity. But it was not religion, it was religiosity that put him off. Finally, as the Civil War got more and more bloody, he began to adjure Heaven and the Almighty though not any particular creed. On this point Tripp makes much of Lincoln's preference for ethics over morality. The first word comes from the Latin for "customs" and the second from the Greek for "customs," but there is a world of difference between the two words. Morality, with which Lincoln had little to do, is religious-based, which means that in the name of religion, say, homosexuality could be proscribed as immoral—and was—while ethics tends to deal with law, cause and effect, logic, empiricism. Tripp writes, "Since boyhood Lincoln displayed a marked capacity to see the big picture in life and to not be swerved aside by smaller (moral) considerations." This already sounds much like ethics, based on widely shared values and poles apart from the petty differences honored by opposite sides of the (proverbial) railroad tracks.
Over the years, Herndon canvassed many of Lincoln's friends and acquaintances about Lincoln's character and beliefs. The lawyer Leonard Swett's reply was dated January 17, 1866. After describing a masterful handling of a cabinet crisis that saved Lincoln's administration, Swett sums up: "One great public mistake of his character as generally received and acquiesced in—he is considered by the people of this country as a frank, guileless, unsophisticated man. There never was a greater mistake. Beneath a smooth surface of candor and an apparent declaration of all his thoughts and feelings, he exercised the most exalted tact and the wisest discrimination. He handled and moved man remotely as we do pieces upon a chessboard. He retained through life, all the friends he ever had, and he made the wrath of his enemies to praise him. This was not by cunning, or intrigue in the low acceptation of the term, but by far seeing, reason and discernment. He always told enough only, of his plans and purposes, to induce the belief that he had communicated all; yet he reserved enough, in fact, to have communicated nothing. He told all that was unimportant with a gushing frankness; yet no man ever kept his real purposes more closely, or penetrated the future further with his deep designs."
Finally, without this great ethical Lincoln there would be no United States and despite our current divisions, we should be forever grateful not only to him, but of course to his Creator, who, on our behalf, brought him to an early puberty; thus, making our restored Union God's country.