tags: Red Hot Gray Areas
When you feel a hunch that an artist is gay, it's fun to look more closely for clues that he has left behind for his viewers who share his desires. For example, here's some art with coded homosexuality from a vintage family magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, 1917. The clueless hetero eye was likely to miss that the basket of flowers at the young men's feet suggests "pansies," code for effeminate homosexuals. The man on the left holds a watering can, symbolic of watersports and showing that he is a piss top. (The can is pointing away from the other two, meaning that he hasn't pissed on them yet but wishes to.) The man in the middle holds a short stick, indicating that he is an anal top. (His ass faces us so that we can read the symbolism like a sentence: ass + stick = anal poking.) He wears high wader-type boots, showing that he goes deep. Note that the two top men have their hats on. The young man on the right has removed his hat, symbolizing his desire to reveal himself, to be stripped, to be taken. He holds his hat at crotch level, clearly symbolizing that he is a bottom. (A hat up top = a top man; a hat held lower = a bottom.) All three men are rosy-cheeked, not from shy blushing but red-blooded readiness.