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Published in: November-December 2017 issue.

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Still Together The Greeks never disappoint. The latest find is a 2,500-year-old bit of graffiti on the remote Aegean island of Astypalaia with an inscription carved in stone that reads “Nikasitimos was here mounting Timiona” (Νικασίτιμος οἶφε Τιμίονα). Plus, there’s a carving of two giant phalluses to commemorate the event—or ongoing relationship, as the use of the continuous verb suggests. So says archæologist Andreas Vlachopoulos, who discovered the carving and remarked on its monumentality: “They were what I would call triumphant inscriptions. They claimed their own space in large letters that not only expressed sexual desire but talked about the act of sex itself.” He reminds us that same-sex love was not frowned upon by the Greeks and was clearly celebrated by some. Classicist and G&LR friend Andrew Lear noted that graffiti on the island of Thera expresses similar sentiments using the same verb, which implies sexual penetration. Or was such graffiti only meant as a taunt, a put-down, as some scholars have insisted? If that’s their way of denying the literal (gay) meaning, the presence of the two phalluses carved in stone for all time would seem to put that equivocation to rest.



Out from under the Sheets If any satisfaction could be found in the wake of the neo-fascist rally in Charlottesville last August, it was that many of the young men who participated were photographed, seen on TV or on-line, and promptly fired from their jobs or ostracized by friends. One participant became the poster boy for these guys, a 36-year-old neo-Nazi and virulent homophobe named Christopher Cant-well, who appeared on YouTube sobbing uncontrollably as he told his tale of woe: Sure he was at the rally, but now “I have been told there’s a warrant out for my arrest. With everything that’s happening, I don’t think it’s very wise for me to go anywhere. There’s a state of emergency. The National Guard is here!” What’s interesting is that he seems genuinely sur- prised that he’s being hounded; he thought he was doing the right thing. Indeed it’s almost as if someone gave him permission to go out and shout these things, and so he did, only to discover that it’s still against the law to threaten people with violence—including “faggots,” against whom Mr. Cantwell harbors a special animus. But while before he expressed it in the dark corners of the Internet, he now feels emboldened to proclaim it in the public square, albeit bawling like a babe when facing the consequences.

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