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The “Hawaiian Renaissance” began in the 1970’s as a rediscovery of the Islands’ native cultural heritage and a revival of the Hawaiian language, arts, and hula. And yet, all this revitalization of the past has strangely overlooked one little-known component of Hawaiian culture before European contact: its blatantly bisexual and homosexual social institutions. …

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GAY PENITENTS would have found Fra Luigi Sinistrari an understanding confessor, in spite of all that scary talk about torture and flogging and burning at the stake. When you get past the fierce rhetoric of the Inquisition, you find a childlike innocence and the gentle spirit of Saint Francis. It runs contrary to stereotype, but Fra Luigi was a kindly old inquisitor. …

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THE ONE THING that the average, educated Brit tends to know about Sarah Churchill, the first Duchess of Marlborough and ancestor of both Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana, is that she had an intimate relationship with Queen Anne, … Therefore, the first question they tend to ask me, as Sarah Churchill’s most recent biographer, is: “Did they or didn’t they?” …

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FOR MOST of the last 4,000 years, all major, long-running imperial regimes from one end of Asia to the other have had one common feature: the presence of eunuchs in management. … Yet the image of an empowered eunuch-a diplomat, a chamberlain, an ambassador-is not the one that most people have of eunuchs today. …

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IT SEEMS THE GODS will have their revenge, or at least their ironic outcomes. Thus we owe it to a woman and a lesbian to have written the most authentic and beautiful prose about romantic love between men in all of literature. …

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IT MAY SEEM difficult to say anything new and fresh about same-sex desire and love in the ancient Greek and Roman world. After all, the publication of Sir Kenneth Dover’s Greek Homosexuality in 1978, … was followed by a veritable outpouring of books and articles which continues today. … But, apart from refining what Dover said a quarter-century ago, have any new insights emerged? …

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IT IS OFTEN ASSUMED that same-gender relationships followed a stereotypical pattern and set of protocols in ancient society. In classical Greece this would take the form of pedagogical pederasty associating a man (usually before the age of marriage) and a freeborn boy, while in Rome it would take the form of a merely physical relationship between a Roman citizen and a young slave. However, the texts reveal …

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Melissa Etheridge has been a lesbian rock icon since 1988, when audiences who had not heard her at clubs and women’s music festivals grabbed her debut album on Island Records. Defying the odds by succeeding in the mainstream as a woman rocker whose work won coverage on VH1 and MTV, as well as in lesbian publications and Rolling Stone, Melissa came out publicly at Bill Clinton’s inauguration in January 1993, and then performed at the March on Washington for gay and lesbian rights later that spring, wrapping up the year with the fall 1993 release of an album defiantly entitled Yes, I Am.

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