tags: Red Hot Gray Areas
Here's a vintage example of gay sex being criminalized. The context isn't technically about homophobia, but notice how the artist has made the subtext unmistakable — the sailor man in front has pulled out his shirt so as to shove both hands into his pants and toward his dick, and his boyfriend or hustler in the rear is touching his nipples that have grown hard in the chilly breeze of the docks. The artist seems to be saying: how can gay sex be a crime if it's about beautiful men searching for pleasure, companionship, and love? He's also showing that homoeroticism is very much about love of oneself, because gay sex is an expression of masculinity honoring masculinity. From Hunting for Gold by Hume Nisbet, 1897. The caption reads, "We were suspected of being dangerous Criminals."