Homosexuality as a used word in ancient times and the expression of sexuality is not straight forward, but has to be interpreted out of evidential writings, concluding from the way of writing and expressing the love between men, as it would be found between women and men. And as in ancient times there was homosexual activity, and not just temporal enjoyment, but between peoples who are consistently sexually attracted to their own gender, we simply call it gay, queer or homosexual nowadays. I remember during youth, gaining my sexual experiences, being attracted to class mates, yet not knowing by verbal expression what my form of attraction was called, that is how I would refer to the way things were done in those days, but with no specific word to express homosexuality.
Thousands of years old scriptures come as close as describing those, who are male but played the female partner or role. We can clearly conclude, that even the word homosexuality was not used; other words were formulated and then later picked up by the Bible. The word malakos does not directly link to homosexual intercourse, but it is thought that the word malakos, in translation malakia means softness and is the Classical Greek term for effeminacy.
The biblical verse showing the words "homosexuals" and "sodomites" are translations of two different Greek words “malakos” and “arsenokoites”.
This shows in 1Corinthians 6:9: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor malakos (homosexuals), nor arsenokoites (sodomites), nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God”. This suggests to conclude that this expresses the meaning of the homosexual orientation. All refers to their claimed morals, where to be flexible or different is not good. This includes dissolute, cowardly, lazy, weak, unstable, easily influenced. All qualities that were stigmatized as a feminine attitude. At that time, women were seen to be only pretty, delicate but also worthless. They were put on a level below the ones of a man, nearly equal to children and slaves.
Men getting attracted by men, written in Romans 1:27: “And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved.”, should be seen as a typical statement of the ancient practice and existence of homosexuality.
Ancient Greece delivers a lot of evidence regarding to homosexuality. The biggest amount of scriptures pointing out to the history of homosexuality come from philosophers and authors as Plato, Xenophon and Plutarch.
Homosexuality is also portrayed by Aristophanes, the Greek artwork and vases.
The main form of homosexuality was exercised through pederasty, a custom that seems to have been practiced in the upper classes of society. An older man, called “the erastest”, in ancient Greek this determined a lover, also known as “the philetor”, would make a young boy “the eromenos” his sex partner, also becoming his mentor and teacher. This was even regulated by the Greek state as an institution. However, this practice was going along with an existing heterosexual marriage, thus it can be seen as something done by bisexuals.
The practice of pederasty is mentioned in Homer's Illiad; poems from the period of Classical Antiquity placed around the 8th century BC, and is evidenced to have existed at least 4500 years ago in ancient Egypt.
Although Homer mentions no sexual intimacies, the love of Achilles for Patroclus is central to the plot of the Iliad; and his grief over Patroclus’s death provides the emotionally intense conclusion of the poem.
When Achilles hears of Patroclus’s death, he heaps dust on his head and sobs so uncontrollably that Antilochus, the messenger bringing the news, grabs the hero’s hands for fear that Achilles might kill himself. When Thetis, Achilles’ mother, hears her son crying, she comes from the sea depths to see what is wrong; and Achilles tells her, “My dearest companion is dead, Patroclus, who was more to me that any other of my men, whom I loved as much as my own life . . . . Now I have no wish to live”. Later Achilles says to his dead companion: “Oh, Patroclus, my heart’s delight! . . . How often you yourself, my most unhappy and beloved companion, have set a delicious meal before me in this hut, with speed and skill . . . . Not that I lack it [food]. I lack you”. Mourning for his “dear companion,” he refuses to eat.
Then there is the contrast in both cases of their same-sex love being ‘better’ than heterosexual love—noted when Achilles’ mother urges him to find solace in heterosexual sex while instead he dreams of the sex he had with Patroclus, just as David recalls how the wonderful “love” and sex he had with Jonathan surpassed all heterosexual love and sex that he had known.
Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum were ancient Egyptian royal servants. They shared the title of Overseer of the Manicurists in the Palace of King Niuserre during the Fifth Dynasty of Egyptian pharaohs, around 2400 BC, and are listed as "royal confidants" in their joint tomb.
The tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum was discovered by Egyptologist Ahmed Moussa in the necropolis at Saqqara, Egypt in 1964, during the excavation of the causeway for the pyramid of King Unas. It is the only tomb in the necropolis where men are displayed embracing and holding hands. In addition, the men's chosen names form a linguistic reference to their closeness:
Niankhkhnum means "joined to life" and Khnumhotep means "joined to the blessed state of the dead'", and together the names can be translated as "joined in life and joined in death"
Followed by Greece, Rome is the next most important trace in the history of homosexuality, and this cultural practice is understood to be a fact as the apostle Paul is directly referring to it, in condemning homosexuality in the Romans part of the bible. In the Epistle to the Romans 1:26-27, Paul writes:
“For this reason God gave them up to passions of dishonor; for even their females exchanged the natural use for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed by their lust for one another, males with males, committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error.”
Clear here is that at that time, 27 BC–476 AD (West); 1453 (East), peoples were very much aware of homosexuality, otherwise the upcoming Christianity would have not mentioned it, and especially as a threat to mankind.
Homosexuality in China historically was regarded as a normal facet of life and the existence of homosexuality in China has been well documented since ancient times. Many early Chinese emperors are speculated to have had homosexual relationships, accompanied by heterosexual ones. Opposition to homosexuality and the rise of homophobia did not become firmly established in China until the 19th and 20th centuries, through the Westernization efforts of the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China. Sodomy was banned in the People's Republic of China, until it was legalized in 1997.
Homosexuality has been documented in China since ancient times. The Intrigues of the Warring States is a collection of political advice and stories from before the Han Dynasty, from 676 to 651 BC.
Homosexuality is either not mentioned, taken as granted of punished and forbidden mostly by religions. One fundamental issue in debates and religious publications has been, that homosexuality is unnatural. This can clearly be rejected as wrong. Homosexuality is very common and highly essential in a number of species, to be precise in more than 1500 species. Petter Boeckman, who was the academic advisor for the "Against Nature's Order?" exhibition explained during the 2006 event: “The most well known homosexual acting animal is the dwarf chimpanzee; one of humanity's closes relatives. The entire species is bisexual. Sex plays an conspicuous role in all their activities and takes the focus away from violence, which is the most typical method of solving conflicts among primates and many other animals. Homosexuality is a social phenomenon and is most widespread among animals with a complex herd life.”
The Norwegian Natural History Museum of the University of Oslo was the first to host an exhibition that focuses on homosexuality in the animal world. Homosexuality is also quite common among dolphins and killer whales. The pairing of males and females is fleeting, while between males, a pair can stay together for years.
The claim of religion, homosexuality is a sin or a chosen lifestyle is so wrong, as evidence shows that not just humans that are homosexual can't leave the way they are, but animals that have no life of choices, show us the opposite of such a claim.
By Thomas Fleckner