Since the beginning of time, sex has been a domineering force in human existence. Traceable all the way back to the garden of eden, our susceptibility to sensuality has been weaponized in such a way to cause us to perpetually stumble and fall. Using the Bible as a historical precursor we can see that no good has ever come from society [other people] knowing what goes on in the privacy of our individual bed rooms. In the Bible there is a story of a woman who ‘was caught’ “in the act of committing adultery” (John 8:3). She was brought in the middle of a crowd where she could – and likely would have been publicly shamed, humiliated, and stoned to death (Leviticus 20:10).
The character of Jesus who was on the scene at the time famously stepped in on her behalf and said “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7, King James Version). I am not adding an extra layer of justification on what took place on that day, maybe that woman did deserve to be stoned – however, the grace of Jesus in this moment is that her sex life was none of their business.
As a black man, who is yes in fact attracted to white women (and men), I am very familiar with the weaponization of my own sexuality. My people at the foundations of America were not only ostracized as less than human, but were also considered social pariah’s for our inclination towards a more hyper sexual orientation. Society was taught to fear the sexuality of black people [black men specifically] because we would rape their [white] women. I would be lying if I said that I did not like that trope – every stereotype is based in some truth, however, as is the case with Jesus and that woman, what we were and are attracted to should not be society’s business in the first place.
The same is true for the plight of homosexuals. When you consider the ancient Roman Empire, one of the distinctly obvious but far less scrutinized aspects of their civilization was the men’s proclivity for other men. In their time it was perfectly normal for patriarchs [heads of one’s own proverbial household] to take and lay with other men. I will not go as far as to say it was encouraged, however it was socially accepted as one’s own business and welcome within that society. It’s not until early America that we are able to see a society that is plainly oppressive to their queer community; Not to say this is where that started (more on that later) but rather as a more obvious precursor.
During World War 1 we saw a society in America that took a notable interest in the LGBTQ community and not necessarily for good reason. As is America’s history and appetite for subjugation, society sought a new people to tread on probably as a subconscious response to Abraham Lincoln’s freeing of the slaves in 1863. Here we find a similar issue of Straight [heterosexual] men in particular but not exclusively, bringing queer people to the emblematic town square (middle of the crowd) and declaring that they too should be “stoned to death”.
Homosexuals were considered to have a mental disorder, were not welcome in the United States Army at the time and were looked upon with disdain by their peers (fellow human beings). Once again, I am not implying proper or improper treatment of a persons or people group however what I am saying is – like with that woman, a person’s sexual orientation should not have been society’s business.
From this catalyst we see something taking place that should have never been an issue in the first place. The societal hatred of LGBTQ people at the early onset of America led to various movements being birthed where people who were attracted to the same sex began litigating an issue that should have never been in the court of public opinion. All of a sudden we have a society of people casting stones while reveling in their own sin – and people being put to death for something that if they could change it they would.
I believe this unhealthy interest in what goes on in someone else’s bed should be relegated to one’s own personal search history. As someone who is an aspiring adult film actor to a certain degree, I empathize with the fact that people are sexual beings and sometimes just need a release however, I also believe we as a society should take on Ancient Rome’s perspective and let them that wish to, do so without reproach.