My brother and my ex-girlfriend sent me links to the same story!
I was both charmed and kinda creeped out by how similarly they thought about what would interest me!
I'm hoping they're not sharing a trans-Atlantic psychic bond I don't know about...
The story they sent me was about the archaeologists who found a "gay caveman" near Prague
. I've only managed to find the sensationalist reports, so if any one has an article from an Archaeology blog and/or journal about this issue I'd be very much obliged.
I think it's important that evidence regarding gender variant people in pre and ancient history is important, the fact that a male skeleton was buried in a traditionally feminine pose is significant.
I'm not keen on the anachronism of "gay" and "transsexual" as descriptors for this findings.
Homosexuality as a human category is extremely new, it's hard for us (queer or not) to conceptualise in which sexual behaviour didn't necessarily connote sexual identity - even today, when we try to assert this, it is met with much resistance.
And yet, the category of sexual identity, rather than behaviour is something new, not even 200 years old since the word was first put down in paper back in the 1870's.
So, why this anachronism? Why must we place our own identity markers onto historical moments who most likely did not even consider sexuality in the way we do in our Euro-Centric ideas of universality.
We need to find a way to talk about gender variant people and same-sex relationships that happened before the notion of homosexuality and heterosexuality as identities came to be. That's a lot of history to think about.
Food for thought.
The same way some interpret Jesus as an openly gay man
, which to me is simply a queer interpretation of a canonical text, but Jesus as a religious figure can't simply be queered in the way other characters are interpreted in queer and social literary theory.
This, again, is an anachronism, especially if you're going to use Freud, because once to go Freudian you can't really say much any more - if everything is Freudian (especially in the stereotypical, Oedipal triangle one tries to talk about considering Jesus, Mary and Joseph as people, it gets boring, really fast and just adds to the whole sensationalism bit.
Much like the News about Gandhi being bisexual
, which was reported quite extensively in Israel due to the fact that his alleged male lover (I say alleged, because I really don't know and I really want to find out!) was a German-Jew muscle-man.
However, Gandhi was a man who lived and died and had an actual impact on people's lives as a non-fictional person
, unlike Jesus, who lives in texts and in the hearts of those the idea of him touched and certainly unlike this anonymous cave person who can be a great piece of evidence regarding the fact that gender variance isn't anomalous.
The sexual identity is historical figures and characters is important, because the invisibility and exclusion of queers from history is a thing we feel on our bodies and on our minds. So, yes, it matters if this cave person who is physically male was treated differently in life as he or she were treated in death. And yes, it matters, that interpretations that allow erotic love between Jesus and his followers (who were male and female) not be dismissed as perversions or reduced to Freudian pathology. And yes, it matters if Gandhi was bisexual, because his life influenced a nation and a philosophy people outside of India continue to follow and his sexuality was a part of his life.
Let's not erase lives, histories and ideas - but they should be in perspective as well.