And there was Sappho, who lived on the Isle of Lesbo
Today, we’re daily bombarded with articles about same-sex marriage and other ‘different’ relationships. So many, in fact, and coming from all directions, we might think homosexuality to be a fairly new phenomenon and probably the result of our free way of life with drugs, alcohol and such. But how wrong such thinking is.
The Bible has many tales and references of male-male and female-female love, and the most famous one, perhaps, is that of the love between David and Jonathan, and in 2nd Samuel, 1:26, at Jonathan’s funeral, David publicly declares that he and Jonathan loved in a manner greater than from women.
There are many other Biblical notations on this facet of life, with Ruth and Naomi also well known, but more close to home, I tell of my own experiences with those of that large group.
The day Armstrong walked upon the moon, there was a young 9 or 10 year old lad in my home watching the TV with me, and I surmised (and later knew I was right) that he was Gay. Years later, and then an adult, he sadly told me that as a child, he knew he was different, but couldn’t figure out what made him different, for he was sensitive enough to know he didn’t fit in with his brothers and their pals, or with his sister and her group.
He said, “Ethel, I cried so often at night because I was so alone, so isolated, that it was a tremendous relief, and to tell the truth, and also a welcome surprise to find that there were others exactly like me. That I was not alone.”
Gay and Lesbian people are all around us, if we just have the openness to see and accept.
Later on in my own life, there was a young man who had a Hair Salon and as he worked to make my hair all one color, he said, “I knew I was different, long before I knew what made me different.” Which echoed almost the same words I had heard years before from that child in my kitchen.
“My parents”, he continued, “were of no help at all when I cried and asked them “why?” but later, when as an adult, I faced and questioned them, they both admitted they knew of my struggle. I suppose they hoped it would all go away. How foolish they were, just like hoping the color of my eyes would change.
“It would have been a ‘life saver’ to me, and such a help if someone, anyone, would have told me what my ‘difference’ was, while I was still a youngster. It would have saved me from many neurosis and deep personality problems to be coped with after they were so deeply and well ingrained with me. How wonderful if help and understanding could be carefully given at the very beginning.
“See”, he reiterated, “we do not become homosexual, but are born as such, exactly the same as any child who is born with any other ‘difference’. We need help in order to know and cope with the difference and the sooner the better for all concerned.
“It was such an eye opener, surprise and consolation, to find I was not the only one, but was bitter for many a year, and although my parents loved me, there was no true understanding. I forgive, but it’s such a common, almost routine relationship with parents and child, whether gay or lesbian, that most of us leave and escape from our childhood environment as soon as possible, to search and find understanding and solace with others who are also considered ‘different’. It was there that I received my first true education as to what kind of person I was and am. Far too late for me to smoothly find a way to adapt and have a fulfilling life.”
But going back even further than the Bible was Sappho, an ancient poet who lived on the Isle of Lesbo, and wrote of love with both sexes and Lesbo, of course, became the root of the word Lesbian.
I also know of a two wonderful men who became very well known in both the academic and artistic life of western America. They have most quietly been partners for decades and their fellow academics could not help but know, but chose to silently ignore any ‘difference’ and center only upon their great intelligence and achievements. The work and artistry created by this pair has been consistently quoted, referred to and exhibited in many ways and places.
It’s wonderful proof that our world is not all of judging and crippling people. There is much love and acceptance around us, once we dare ‘take off our blinders’ and bravely, and with open minds, look over the walls.
Anyone who is seriously interested in the Biblical history of this phase of sexuality can turn to Google where the many references could take you days to explore, and many go far back before Biblical records. I make no claim on being an expert on this subject, except what has come into my life, but, I am on ‘first name’ basis with Google, and use it, just as most of us also do.