History of homosexuality

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The history of homosexuality entails discussions of two explicitly different topics: 1) The history of the word itself, underscoring that "homosexual" is a social construct, and 2) a more popular understanding of the concept "homosexuality", through the history of homosexual orientation in general, and how societies have treated people who are attracted to same-sex sexual or romantic partners.

The majority of this article is about the second aspect.

Modern revisionism addressed[edit]

People[1] and religions that hold anti-homosexual (or anti-LGBT in general) positions tend to present the idea that the so-called "acceptance" of homosexuality is very new, and that homosexuals have been either denigrated throughout the world and history, or have been the downfall of the few societies (namely Greek and Roman)[note 1] who allowed forms of open homosexuality - obviously, this wouldn't explain the downfall of other major society groups such as that incredibly gay British Empire, so is really no better than intentional cherry picking. To make it simpler - did "gay" societies meet their doom? Yes. Did closeted "not-gay" societies meet their doom? Yes. Whether a society accepts homosexuality or not has no evident influence on its durability.

Frequently, the anti-homosexual position has argued that the "perversion" simply didn't exist. In fact, this view was the single "compelling argument" offered by the Proponents of California's Proposition 8 in the trial and appeal of the constitutionality of Prop 8. Not surprisingly, that argument failed miserably, as it simply isn't true. Since homosexuality is a natural variation of human sexuality, every single culture throughout the world's history has had to deal with the issue, and many have been open and accepting of it.


As addressed before, popular belief among modern not-so-well-informed homophobes is that homosexuality was never widely present in human civilizations until the twentieth century. Ignoring the fact that it wouldn't matter if it was true, the argument is simply erroneous, as societies which accepted homosexuality existed worldwide throughout history, as this chapter will show.

Pre-historical or stone age[edit]

There is no way of knowing if or how homosexual people were understood by, or accepted into the framework of prehistorical people. Since the homosexual orientation is a natural, normal part of human variety, it is without doubt that some individuals felt attraction for the same sex. Whether that attraction would need to be repressed or expressed -- we will never know. There are some curious drawings from the Mesolithic culture found in Sicily that show two men with erect phallus, engaged in some activity. Depending on the scholar and the agendas of that scholar, they have been identified as homosexual male lovers, as hunters, or as religious initiates.[2]


  1. The downfall of Rome actually occurred long after Christianity (which did not accept homosexuality) became its official religion.