Is anyone interested in a history lesson? Yeah, didn’t think so. However, you’d have to be living under a rock to not see and feel the tension rising, the homophobic tension that is. A tension that is being nurtured and thriving under the current leaders of the free nation; a tension that was dormant for decades because it had no place in our democracy. But alas, here we are in the year 2018 and it feels like we’ve been transported back in time, to an ugly place circa the Stonewall riots of the 1960’s. OK girl, that might be a “reach” but you get the picture. The point I’m making is that we’re on the verge of regression, of going back, of backsliding and I don’t like it, not one bit.
But what if we did backslide? Could you imagine the horror, the chaos, the violence? But wait, maybe, just maybe we slid so far back in time that we landed in a happy place, you know the place where your sexuality didn't matter. What am I even saying right now? Did such a place even exist? In fact what if I said let’s take it all the fucking way back to the beginning like ancient Greece or maybe East Asia around 600 BCE, yeah you heard me, BCE (Before Common Era). Don’t worry, I just learned that acronym today. To put things in perspective, The Common Era begins with year 1 in the Gregorian calendar. And the Gregorian calendar is the most widely used civil calendar in the world. It is named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October 1582. Yeah, I lied, this is a history lesson. Anyhoo, we finally land in East Asia in 600 BCE, which means 600 years before Christ existed and we have historical documentation of homosexuality in China often referred to as the “pleasures of the bitten peach”. And let me just say that nothing compares to the deliciously sweet nectar that ruptures when you bite into a perfectly ripened, tender peach. Things just got a little creepy with the last sentence, yikes! But stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this. Notice the euphemism used to describe the behaviors of such men, “pleasures of the bitten peach, the cut sleeve or the southern custom”. No mention of words like faggot, gay, homo, batty boy, batty man, sissy, maricon which are terms geared toward labeling an individual and alienating him from other men. That’s because in ancient China there were no labels. For an ancient people, the ancient Chinese were on to something.
Meanwhile, in Japan, same-sex love culture also known as shudo or nanshoku was celebrated in paintings and literature. Over a thousand years of same-sex culture has been documented in Japan with connections to Buddhism and the Samurai tradition. And if you were a Thai King, it’s not unusual to have male and female lovers, this has been a part of Thai culture for centuries. Fags in the Middle East? Say it ain’t so. In fact, in many Muslim cultures, there is widespread age-structured homosexual practice. It is only in recent history that they have adopted a more Western approach and in some cases to the extreme where it is a criminal offense which carries the death penalty in several Muslim nations: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, Nigeria, Sudan, Mauritania. If a man were to have sex with another man of equal status, it was thought that his troubles would leave him and good fortune would soon follow as thought by the Mesopotamians.My troubles usually go away after sleeping with a man too, what a coincidence? And let’s not forget Africa, specifically Egypt where two high ranking officials, Nyankh-Khnum and Khnum-hotep were buried together in the same tomb. Paintings from their tomb reveal both men embracing each other and touching their faces, noses to noses which is representative of a kiss in Ancient Egypt. Both men had wives and children. [ sips tea ] There are other documented accounts of the existence, acceptance, and normalcy of homosexuality throughout history across other cultures including the Aztecs, Mayan, Quechuas, the Europeans, as well as the people of the South Pacific and I strongly encourage you to explore the histories.
However, my intention is not to regurgitate information that is readily available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection, but instead to create context and relevance to the fact that homosexuality isn’t a modern construct, nor is it a plague. It isn’t a result of decaying morals, it isn’t dysfunctional behavior, it isn’t a result of the internet, and it’s not Pornhub’s fault either. What is it then? It’s intentional design. I am not a mistake, you are not a result of a genetic mutation, we are not some deficiency in the human genome. In fact, consistently in nature, there are healthy and active homosexual and asexual relationships that occur naturally, and it’s important that we truly understand and believe that these are equally healthy and equally normal as heterosexual ones. And since I believe that I’m gay by design and so were the Ancient Chinese, then it stands to reason that it was part of the plan; GOD’S PLAN to be more precise. So armed with the knowledge that we’ve been here since the beginning of “documented” history, I often ask myself this question: Why is Everybody Acting Brand Fuckin New?
Mario Barton, CEO + founder, Par Pou Private Label