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Euphiletos Painter, Panathenaic prize amphora depicting runners, ca. 530 B.C. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The Ancient Olympics in Art

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This year’s Olympics in Tokyo are, without a doubt, the gayest Olympics in modern history. At last count, more than 180 out LGBTQ athletes were participating in this year’s games, and “Team LGBTQ” was in eighth place with 22 medals. Only a small minority of those participants are men, and the medal count reflects that: So far, only two out gay men have won medals: Tom Daley’s gold in diving, and Carl Hester’s bronze in dressage.

Yet when not competing, today’s Olympians are more demure than ever. As Outsports reported, “male rowers now wear loose pants and medal ceremonies after 2012 bulge pics went viral.”..  >> Read more >>

El Greco, "The Vision of Saint John," ca. 1608-1614 (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

3 Important Documentaries ~ You Can’t Pray the Gay Away ~ Revisiting Yukio Mishima ~ 6 Recent Books ~ Gay Protest Music & Art ~ etc.

Pray Away debuts Tuesday on Netflix, after premiering last year at the severely curtailed Tribeca Film Festival. The film follows the lives of four victims of conversion therapy programs, including John Paulk, the former president of Exodus International, who “now lives in Portland, Oregon, with his male partner.” Reviewing the film for The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney called it a “powerful doc” in which those interviewed “speak out about the damage inflicted on themselves and countless LGBTQ youth.”

The Most Beautiful Boy is now available to watch online, after premiering in January at Sundance. This film tells the sad story of Björn Andrésen, whom Luchino Visconti tapped to play Tadzio in his 1971 adaptation of Thomas Mann’s ...  >> Read more >>

Diadoumenos, Roman copy of work by Polykleitos, AD 69-96

The Male Nude in Western Art

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Love it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that the male nude has taken a back seat to the female nude in the history of western art.

Female nudes outnumber male ones in major museum collections. When curators just write “nude” in a caption, they tend to mean female nude; if the subject is a man, they almost always write “male nude.” And when the Rivington Design House gallery in New York put a photograph of a nude man in the window several years ago, it caused a minor scandal.

But this was not always so...  >> Read more >>

Achilles mourns the death of Patroclus

A Stirring Gay Romance of Ancient Greece

The tale of Achilles and Patroclus, first recounted by Homer in the Iliad, is one of the great archetypes of male friendship. It has been told many times since, most recently by the gifted novelist Madeline Miller in her bestseller The Song of Achilles.

Achilles was one of the great heroes of the Greeks in the war against the Trojans, which started after the Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen, wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta. As told in the Iliad, the war has dragged on for many years, when Agamemnon, king of the Greeks, takes from Achilles a Trojan maiden named Briseis, who had been awarded to him as a spoil of war...  >> Read more >>