Would most Americans during the Civil War know of the existence of homosexuality?


Forum Staff
Apr 2010
T'Republic of Yorkshire
"It was a queer day in gay Paris".

That phrase has rather different meanings in 1919 and 2019.
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Ad Honorem
May 2016
“Would most Americans during the Civil War know of the existence of homosexuality?”

Don’t know if “most” of the people in the USA knew about it, but surely the homosexuals and the people that read the bible (and they were some) knew.


Forum Staff
May 2013
Albuquerque, NM
Gay & Grey are only words, symbolic signals for concepts whose meanings express a person's/group's POV. Don't confuse the symbol for the thing you think it might mean. Humans have always, always been sexually inventive and have engaged in more "sexual-related" forms than most of us can conceive of. The use of the term "Gay" denoting same-sex appetites is really very new to the English language, but same-sex appetites have always been with us. In some times and places fashion/values, etc. are more accepting of that, and in other times and places even the suggestion of same-sex tendencies is condemned ... like "to the bonfire, Faggot". Ain't English a grand language, even if it often makes little apparent sense? Here's a pretty little research project for some ambitious scholar: "A Thousand Years of English Words and Terms for Sexual Preferences"

So far as can be proven, there are no Universal Directives and values that exist everywhere, for all time and all beings. That doesn't mean that violation of a group taboo doesn't carry great consequences that often leads to great suffering for one and all. Believing that there is only one "right" Human sexuality is right up there with religion and politics as inherently provocative to most people, that is why we should be very careful before making bold claims. Regardless of "rightness, or wrongness", Same-sex relationships are worthy of our study if for no other reason than to better understand how human organizations deal with those topics that fall outside the accepted norm for that time and place and people.
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Sep 2014
Gray boy meant gay boy. I said everyone except historum member royal knew that gray boy meant gay boy because in post #28, royal said that he didn't know what gray boy meant at first. Royal had to ask royal's brother what it meant. Royal's brother said that gray boy meant gay boy. Royal said that was "news to him".
My absolute best friend in the Navy many years ago was a gay Black man who I loved dearly. Everytime some cure white boy broke my heart, I'd run to him, and he'd say "let's go dancing." I did not know he was gay at the time.