The Golden Age of Denial: Hercules, the Bisexual Demigod

Hercules has been the icon of alpha-masculinty for centuries — do you know about his gay love life?

BY Christopher Harrity

August 14 2013 6:05 AM ET


Hercules depicted by Hendrick Goltzius in the late 1500s. Goltzius gives us a somewhat anotomically fantastic Hercules tending more toward the leather daddy spectrum. Those nipples have seen some mileage.

One of the first sexual aspects to go once the Christians were in charge was same-sex love. It wasn't homosexuality then, it was just sexuality. There were certain customs and cultural expectations around same-sex attractions, of course, but none of them had to do with it being considered an abomination.

Each academic revision of the ancient texts has drained them further and further of some very important juice. That's why, if in modern texts there is even a hint of a same-sex storyline, you can probably bet some Christian scholar has dulled it down and that the original is more wonderfully gay than the version we have now. In both history and mythology, any passages dealing with same-sex attractions  have been systematically censored for centuries.

Tags: Art

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