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Pride and Pirates: Aargh!

Pride and Pirates: Aargh!

Photo of the Month: June 2022

A shaft of light? A tractor beam? Probably doesn’t matter to this young guy who surrenders with one hand and smokes with the other.

His back is against the brick wall. His shirt is AWOL. But his expression is coy, almost come-hither. All we know for sure is the date of the photo: June 1936. 

Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition

Sodomy and the Pirate Tradition: English Sea Rovers in the Seventeenth-Century Caribbean

A must-read for anyone interested in academic gay history and/or pirates.

The classic depiction of pirates: sword (or bottle of rum) in one hand, the other fondling a buxom wench, is a hetero-normative fantasy. So argues historian B.R. Burg’s scholarly examination of homosexuality on the high seas.  

Burg’s careful research proves that the “Golden Age of Piracy” (1650 to 1730) was an oasis of male to male sex and loving relationships. Most pirate officers had their “lads,” and the working crew had each other. In fact, it was pirate society that instituted “matelotage” where same sex partners would contract their assets to each other - a 17th century equivalent of gay marriage. 

Sidenote: Two Arrghs and a bag of doubloons to the creators of the hit HBO series “Our Flag Means Death” for not just reading this book, but having the balls to incorporate Burg’s research into the show.

  • Post author
    neil sims

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