Welcome to Discovering the Male Mysteries with Mel Mystery. This blog is a supplement to my podcast is for and about gay and bi pagan men. My podcasts are about what it is to be gay, what it is to be pagan, what it is to be men — sometimes as separate topics and sometimes all meshed together as one. I started this endeavor after seeing that there were few, if any, podcasts out there on this topic. The podcasts are informative, and present topics that challenge conventional thinking.

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Making Sense of #MeToo, Part 1

I’ve been watching the #MeToo news over the past few months, and I have to confess that I have mixed feelings about the movement.  While I tend to consider myself very liberal on social issues and a supporter of women’s rights, I also believe in finding a fair, rational, and balanced view of things.  I’m also a strong supporter of sexual freedom so long as one’s sexual expression is consensual and everyone involved is of legal age. Where my views tend to differ from a number of feminists (but not all feminists) is that I don’t believe sexuality and expressions of sexuality are inherently negative or to be repressed or closeted.  I don’t believe that appreciation of naked bodies is necessarily objectification. And I also believe that it’s okay for men and women to have separate groups and events (as well as coed groups and events) so long as these groups aren’t about bashing the other gender and so long as we live in a free and pluralistic society.

On the positive side of the #MeToo movement, a number of really sleazy and predatory men (and possibly even a few women) have been called out for some pretty heinous things like rape, sexual assault, predatory behavior, and using positions of power to force women (and some men) into having sex with them.  On the negative side, there has been the public shaming of men for minor (and sometimes unintended infractions) and for just being having an interest in sex and beautiful women (and again in some cases – men).  I’ve seen a number of denials that #MeToo is about shaming men for such minor transgressions and declarations that it’s only about going after the big and monstrous cases.  But for every denial, there’s also a news story shaming a male celebrity or public figure for something like putting his hand on a coworkers leg during an television interview, being a little touchy feely, being overly insistent about going on a date or sex, or not picking up on signals that a woman (or man) isn’t interested in more.  And, of course, what happens when you have someone who generally supports women’s issues, but then gets called out for something that wasn’t rape or assault, but still involves following their sexual impulses?  Is it unfathomable to believe that a man can support women’s rights and still be interested in sex, not to mention fallibly human?

The good thing about the #MeToo movement is that it’s opening up dialogues between men and women about what’s appropriate behavior, except I’m not sure it really is.  Any disagreement with aspects of the #MeToo movement is seen (and shamed) as defending sexism and sexual assault, preserving a sexist patriarchal system, or as being on the same level as our conservative and not so enlightened social and political adversaries.

I’m not so quick to turn every man accused of something into a monster, nor am I quick to discount the stories and experiences of women as nothing more than overreaction and hysterics.  At the same time, some of these men are monsters, and some women are jumping on board #MeToo over seemingly trivial offenses.  Reality often falls somewhere between the extremes.

One of the criticisms I have of #MeToo is that it comes across as a mob mentality.  The politically incorrect comedian, Bill Maher, even dubbed it #MeCarthyism. We live in a country where people are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, but #MeToo shames alleged perpetrators, even destroying their reputations and careers, based on accusations and hearsay.  Admittedly in some cases, patterns of abuse come out, but in others only a few accusations stand.  There’s also the point brought out in my recent “Trouble with Normal” post that there are differing attitudes about sexual morality and even rival moralities.  Not all views of sexuality involve puritanical and heterocentric ideas involving monogamy, family units, or the idea that sexual expression in and of itself is negative. While we might all agree that rape and assault are bad (not to mention illegal), we might not all agree that patting someone on the leg, appreciating someone’s beauty, being a little persistent, or being attracted to someone in a different age group (so long as they are past the legal age of consent) is necessarily predatory behavior.

As a gay man (and as someone who hangs out with poly folks and fetish people), I’m very sensitive to the public shaming of people for their sexual inclinations.  There was a time when LGBT folks were shamed.  Many poly and fetish folks still worry about being shamed. Such shaming was part of mid-20th century McCarthyism that sought to root out not just communists, but homosexuals and sexual “deviants.”  This included crusades against a number of Hollywood celebrities at the time.  Often an accusation, regardless of hard evidence, was enough to cost someone their reputation and career.  Back in the day, LGBT folks were also shamed in lists in the newspapers as criminals and sexual deviants after police raids of gay establishments.  Many lost their jobs, families, and reputations. Compare this to some #MeToo lists of alleged predators that have sprung up on the internet. As a Pagan, I’m also aware that many folks had their reputations and lives destroyed during the Witch Trials, often based on flimsy or unsubstantiated accusations.  Often these rumors included accusations of sexual deviance. Some of these folks even paid the price with their lives.

One of the big questions I have about #MeToo is: Are we really that surprised that men like sex and will go to great lengths to get it?  Or that men like looking at naked women (and sometimes men)? Likewise, are we really surprised that women have different expectations about sexuality than men?  Back in the 90’s there was that book claiming “Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus.”  And of course, there are differences in expectations and socialization for men and women.  Men have been traditionally socialized to be the initiators in dating and sexual relations; while women have traditionally been socialized to be on the receiving end of date requests and so forth.  Men have traditionally been given greater freedom and encouragement to have more sex and more partners, while women have traditionally been expected to save their virginity for the one special man they marry.  Of course, women with multiple sex partners are shamed as “sluts”, while men who have multiple partners before marriage are seen as “virile” and to have a positive sexual prowess. Popular culture – including television, movies, and music – often even reflects these expectations.  How many romantic comedies show the unlikely, but persistent, guy winning over his reluctant female love interest?  How many songs talk about winning someone’s love?  How many romance novels (even those written by women) portray women swooning over the strong, masculine, aggressive, virile, and possibly even dangerous male?

What is at issue too is that men and women have never really learned to communicate with each other, especially over issues of sexuality.  Some have, and they probably have great relationships, but many others have not.  There are a great many men out there who have no clue when it comes to communicating with or attracting women.  There are a great number of women out there who never learned to set boundaries or to assertively say “no” when needed.  Then, of course, there are even more folks who never learned to read body language and subtle signals.  If they had, perhaps there would be fewer women who find themselves in compromising situations and more men who could pick up that a woman just isn’t interested.

I’ve often thought that maybe there should be a class in high school where folks learn appropriate behavior for dating and interacting.  I remember getting the sex education part describing all the biology and mechanics, but don’t remember learning the ins and outs of dating behavior.  Maybe some folks had these kinds of classes.  Some folks might argue that teenagers get this through extracurricular activities like dances and formals, or just learning to date each other.  Perhaps early dating is an indicator of being better able to date and interact as adults, but not everyone gets this experience.  As a gay person, I really didn’t have the opportunity to start dating until college and by then dating was even more complex.  I was also the nerdy and socially awkward bookworm in high school, so even if I’d been straight, that’s not a guarantee I would have been dating.

That brings me to another point in this conversation about the #MeToo movement and sexuality.  Sexism has largely come to the forefront in this movement, but what about other –isms related to sexuality. Some have argued that things like ageism and lookism have come into play in the accusations. I’m not sure there’s a word for it, but there’s also a prejudice against the nerdy, geeky, and socially and sexually awkward. While things like sexual assault and predatory behavior might be more cut and dry, there’s also this idea of “unwanted advances.”  Aside from the fact that one cannot truly know if an advance is unwanted until one makes it and the other party clearly indicates they aren’t interested, “unwanted advances” can also indicate general undesirability on the part of the person making the advance.  One can be undesirable if he is too old, not fit enough, differently abled, another race, socially or sexually awkward, or any other number of other subtle and not so subtle factors.  I’m not at all indicating that someone should accept the advances of someone they are not attracted to or interested in, only that certain portions of the population are more likely than others to receive harsh contempt for simply making an advance or being assertive about dating or sex in the first place.

Too be continued…

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Review: The Trouble With Normal

While The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life written by Michael Warner was first published in 1999, I believe many of its core messages are still valid today.  They are valid not only for LGBTQ people, but also anyone with non-mainstream ideas about sexuality or who otherwise doesn’t fit what is considered “normal” by society.

Warner starts with the premise that people like to control the sex lives of others and for many this is where their sense of morality begins. But Warner argues that controlling the sex lives of others is not only unethical, but that this attitude is actually moralism rather than any kind of ethics or true morality. Our culture governs sex, not just harmful sex like rape, but all sex by legally regulating what is and isn’t acceptable, prohibiting some forms of victimless sexuality and by restricting access to and information about sexuality. Society also claims one set of sexual values and practices as normal while vilifying all others. Those who fall outside the sexual norms might be humiliated, beaten, jailed, or stigmatized as deviants and criminals. Warner argues that what many would take for granted as immoral, criminal, or pathological might just be harmless difference and a rival morality. And society’s repression of sexuality may be the basis of pathology rather than sexuality itself.

Attitudes about sexuality have been tainted by the early Christian church’s fear and repulsion of the flesh and the belief that sex is only about procreation. As such, society dictates that certain things aren’t permissible and should be controlled including: homosexuality, sex outside the Holy institution of marriage, promiscuity, masturbation, group sex, casual sex, sex with someone outside your age group, public sex, pornography, BDSM sex, and virtually any other sex that doesn’t include the possibility of insemination. Traditionally, this even included birth control, and if you’re Catholic it still does.

All of these things are vilified and shamed by our society. LGBTQ people are particularly vulnerable to this shaming because we grow up in heterosexual families and with heterosexual peers who all assume we’re heterosexual. Our schools and religions assume the same and indoctrinate us to grow up to be normal, responsible heterosexual citizens. To those who grow up realizing they’re gay, this leads to a sense of estrangement and secrecy that further perpetuates those feelings of shame. Is it any wonder that many gay adults and even the gay movement itself seek validation and acceptance from the mainstream rather than sexual autonomy and difference?  To embrace our difference and our sexuality would be to invite shame and our own feelings of inadequacy – of not being “normal.”

This creates ambivalence for many gay people. They want to feel normal and connected to the heterosexual world that includes their parents and family, but they’re also part of the gay world and the stigma associated with it. They may feel that their own feelings and actions are honorable, and so must blame this stigma on others in their group especially those that are further from straight norms and those who act in stereotyped ways. They may also feel a need to repudiate sex and to desexualize themselves, others, and the gay movement as a whole. This ambivalence plays out in the gay community with assimilationists seeking respectability and normalcy on the one end; and sex radicals embracing their sexual differences on the other end. Those seeking respectability are the most likely to be harboring sexual shame.

The trouble with normal according to Warner is many-fold but boils down to this. By trying to be “normal” we are only feeding into larger society’s stigma toward sex and sexuality and that when we take this attitude on as a movement the result is to reproduce a hierarchy of shame within our own community. Embracing normal throws shame on those further down the ladder or respectability including those who are effeminate or otherwise don’t act “straight,” those not in monogamous relationships whether bachelors or polyamorists, those into BDSM, sex workers, drag queens, those who actually admit to liking pornography, and so on. We do a disservice to ourselves and to society when we try too hard to win acceptance and respectability rather than challenging the faulty assumptions and ethics of the dominant culture. For gay people to disavow sex and sexuality in an effort to fight stigma is to reject the very thing that defines us.

Warner also points out that what we think of as normal is really what is statistically normal. People didn’t start worrying about normal until polling and statistics came into popularity. Being normal is not really a good reflection of desirability. It’s normal to have health problems and to be in debt.  It’s not normal to be a genius or to be well endowed. People have come to see normal as meaning to be certified or approved, but in essence to be normal is to be common with nothing too special about you.

Warner spends an entire chapter with a compelling critique of gay marriage. This was long before same-sex marriage became legal in the U.S.  Warner argued that while many believed same-sex marriage would somehow erase all the hate and intolerance existing in society toward LGBT people, it doesn’t address the real root of the problem which is society’s stigma and intolerance of sexual variation.

Opponents of gay marriage want their marriages to be holy at the expense of someone else. But that’s really the problem with the institution of marriage as a whole, and that doesn’t change much with the legalization of same-sex marriage. Marriage sanctifies and gives legitimacy to some relationships at the expense of others. It commends and privileges those who are married. It makes them special. If you don’t have it you and your relations are less than worthy. It’s kind of like being a single person on Valentine’s Day. Marriage confers a number of social and governmental benefits and privileges to married couples that are denied to single people, people in non-traditional relationships, and other types of cohabitating households.  Warner argues that applying strict definitions of marriage onto same-sex relationships provides less freedom to LGBTQ people, not more.

Marriage might not be the right choice for gay people for other reasons as well. Historically marriage has been designed to define lineage and to perpetuate families by having and raising children, not to mention to indoctrinate and carry on a family’s religious beliefs – that’s why mixed religion marriages have traditionally be frowned upon and are still an issue in some families even today.  As many feminists would point out, marriage has also historically been a way of dominating and trafficking women. A carry over from this can still be seen today when a bride’s father gives her away to the groom. Marriage allows the state to regulate and enforce the dictates and rules of marriage, as well as regulating and enforcing restrictions on sex in other contexts outside of marriage. Marriage gives power over to the state and third parties to legitimize and affirm the status of a relationship rather than letting that come from within the relationship itself.

Instead of gay marriage, Warner offers other solutions. These include extending the special legal privileges currently defined narrowly within marriage into wider contexts including domestic partnerships, common law marriages, and alternative forms of families. Rather than trying to force the plethora of gay relationships and even many straight relationships into the mold of marriage, it might be better to take the forms of relationships already existing and extend benefits and rights to those making them available and accessible to gay and straight people alike. Rather than trying to make gay relationships more straight, perhaps we should be trying to allow straight relationships to be more queer.

Episode 15 of my podcast is out!!!

My latest podcast is out: http://www.melmystery.com/

This one is a review of my experience at Between the Worlds last month.

 

When the Doctor was Me

I’ve been a long-time fan of Doctor Who since long before it was cool.  I started watching the adventures of the 4th Doctor back when I was 9 or 10 years old in the late 1970s.  I followed him through his 5th, 6th, and 7th incarnations and also at some point caught up on Doctors 1 through 3.  When the show went off the air, I followed the Doctor’s adventures through books and audio adventures.  I watched the 8th Doctor’s television movie in 1996, and have followed every episode of the show since it’s revival in 2005.  Doctor Who and one other show, Knight Rider, were defining and pivotal shows of my youth that have forever had an impact on my life and values.  Doctor Who fights injustice wherever he goes.  He doesn’t use guns, but uses knowledge, intellect, and technology instead.  Knight Rider was similar in its own way – fighting injustice with intellect and technology rather than guns.

When I saw Sunday’s announcement that the upcoming Doctor will be a woman, I’ll just be honest and say I have mixed feelings.  I’m not in the camp that the Doctor shouldn’t be a woman at all, but I’m also not in the camp that the Doctor should be female solely in the interests of diversity and representation either.  I fall somewhere in the middle.  I don’t feel that everyone against a female doctor is a misogynist bro-flake.  In fact, some of my female friends also have mixed feelings about the Doctor being a woman.  I don’t think everyone who wants a female Doctor is a left-wing, radical, hippie extremist either.  I think some women want a Doctor who can be their own role model.  As a male, I’ve experienced what it’s like for the Doctor to be like “me,” and I know many women want to have the same experience. The same could be said for folks of other ethnicities and backgrounds looking for regenerational representation.

The reasons for my mixed feelings are complex.  Doctor Who has always been male and essentially British.  In the classic series, the Timelords were portrayed as stuffy, traditional, and sexless, so the idea of them changing gender seems a bit of a stretch to me.  It’s only been since Missy showed up a few seasons ago that we even got the idea that Timelords could regenerate into the other sex.  I was actually rooting for her to be the Rani, a strong female villain Timelady who showed up a few times in the classic series.  The Rani was a good character on her own, so why not take her character and run with it instead of taking a classically male character and turning him into her.  In my own opinion, Missy would have worked much better as the Rani – everything from the life-after-death experiments from Season 8 to the fact that her character was more amoral than outright evil.  The Doctor himself while being of the male gender, has mostly been portrayed as sexless, being above relationships and sexuality – whether by choice, temperament, or necessity.  Sure there was once that fling with that Aztec woman in his first incarnation, the 8th Doctor’s kiss with Grace in the television movie, and many of the new companions such as Rose, Martha, and Amy have had crushes on the Doctor, but time and time again he’s deflected focus away from his own sexuality.  There was also that dance between the 9th Doctor and Captain Jack. In the series, I’ve enjoyed a number of strong female companions – Romana (a Timelady of equal stature to the Doctor), Ace, Donna, Amy, Riversong, and others.

So why exactly do so many people want the Doctor to be female? I think essentially it comes down to the Doctor being like “me.”  That’s also the reason so many folks want a female Doctor.  Many of the female fans want a Doctor they can relate to and can internalize as a part of themselves (not to mention cosplay). The same applies to fans of color or other demographics.  The Doctor’s regeneration has always been about change and about bringing in someone different (sometimes radically different) than the one before.   We balance out old with young, reserved with brash, serious with fun, humble with self-important, and so on and so forth.  In that tradition, it’s really not that big a stretch to replace male with female.

As much as I loved David Tennant and Matt Smith in the role, I’m actually glad they didn’t bring in yet another Tennant-Smith clone.  Those two Doctors were more alike than different, especially in the way they looked. That said, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and even Christopher Eccleston drew in a larger female audience to the show, and many of those young women weren’t interested in being the Doctor per se.  They wanted to date him.  I won’t lie.  As a gay man, I did my own swooning even though I never thought of the Doctor sexually or romantically in the classic series – Peter Davison maybe, but not so much the other Doctors.  As a man, the Doctor could be me.  As a gay man, the Doctor could also be that mysterious, handsome, heroic, and unavailable stranger I could crush on.  The same reasons attracted many young straight women who joined the fandom, but they couldn’t claim a male Doctor was like them.  Therein lies the problem.

When I saw the announcement for a female Doctor, my biggest fear is that I won’t be able to relate to her and also that many of the show’s straight male fans may have a harder time relating than I do.  If male viewers start turning off the show, will there be enough viewers to keep it going.  Also, will the many straight female viewers who called for a woman Doctor be disappointed that the Doctor is no longer crush worthy?  I know I will be, but the Doctor remaining male doesn’t guarantee this.  Look at the falling demographics under Peter Capaldi.  He wasn’t as sexy as his recent predecessors. Many of the women who liked Tennant and Smith and the borderline romantic relationships they had with their female companions tuned out under an older Doctor.  With a female Doctor, I hope we’ll at least have some cute male companions or go back to a larger TARDIS team that is both male and female.

The biggest problem to me isn’t whether the Doctor is male or female.  It’s why there’s such a call for him to be female, a person of color, etc.  For me on some level it just bothers me to start changing demographics on an iconic character.  It bothered me in the 2008 Knight Rider remake when they allowed KITT to transform into a truck.  I wasn’t bothered that the new KITT was a Ford Mustang and not a Pontiac Trans Am.  With a car, it really isn’t about race or gender, though I do have to point out that KITT has always been black. Changing types of car was fine for me, but there was something about KITT being able to change into an F-150 pickup that just felt wrong somehow. I have the same feelings about making Doctor Who a woman, or when they made Starbuck a woman in the new Battlestar Galactica.  To me, it was about taking an iconic character that I’d grown up with and making them into something they weren’t originally.  At the same time, I was pleasantly surprised by the all-female Ghostbusters remake, and I was able to totally crush on Chris Hemsworth’s “Kevin” character in a way I really didn’t feel about anyone in the original Ghostbusters cast.

As I was saying, the problem isn’t the gender or color of the Doctor, but why there are so few iconic and successful shows featuring female characters (or characters of color).  We had Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Charmed Sisters, Xena, Wonder Woman, Captain Janeway, and Agent Carter, but I really haven’t been able to think of that many sci-fi and fantasy shows that were carried by a central female character.  The numbers are less when you start looking at spacefaring and time traveling heroines.  Of course, the gender of these strong female characters was an important part of their charm.  Buffy wouldn’t have been as strong or complex a character if she’d been male, Xena would have been just another sword and sandal warrior, the Halliwell sisters might not have cut it as brothers, and Wonder Woman wouldn’t be the same if she was a transgender male.

Instead of rewriting classic characters as someone of a different gender or color, why don’t we have more original female and ethnic characters leading their own shows?  I thought Star Trek did this wonderfully with Star Trek Voyager.  They didn’t remake Captain Kirk as a woman.  They created a new show in the Star Trek universe with a strong, original female lead.  I loved Voyager and Captain Janeway brought something to the franchise that wouldn’t be there if they’d simply recast Kirk as a woman.  Deep Space Nine brought in a strong African American lead in the form of Commander Sisko.  These characters added to the Star Trek universe and the unfolding Star Trek story in a way that recasting the original characters never could have done.  The same could be done in the Whoniverse.  I’d love to see the adventures of Romana in her own TARDIS, or what about Riversong, Clara and Me in their stolen TARDIS, or some of the other new series companions, or even classic series companions. I loved the Sarah Jane Adventures.  Could something similar, but unique in its own right, be done with other female companions?

Regardless of the gender, race, age, or other characteristics of the Doctor, I will continue to watch the show and give each new actor / actress the chance to win me over.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the new Doctor and the new producer bring to Doctor Who.  Hopefully it will be something good.

Mel and Peter Davison

I once met Peter Davison, the 5th Doctor, at a sci-fi conference.

My next big project – a campground resort?

I want to take a moment to announce what I hope will be my next big project. For a long time, I’ve been contemplating the idea of starting a campground of some type.  I’ve often thought it might be a retirement project, but I’ve become more and more compelled to make it a reality sooner.  Perhaps it’s dissatisfaction with my current day-to-day job, the call (or perhaps crisis) of midlife, feelings of deep loss after my mom sold my childhood home, the desire to get back to living in a rural area closer to nature, or some combination of the above.  Whatever the reasons, I’ve decided to embark on the journey to making this dream of a campground a reality.  I’m still in the early stages, and don’t know entirely whether the dream will be achieved, but I know it’s the direction I want to be heading.

Over the past year, I’ve been researching LGBTQ, Pagan, and even a few other types of campgrounds; I’ve formulated a business plan; and I’ve created a web page to mark the start of the project and to track its progress, as well as to start building an interested community. The first major milestone will be purchasing land and relocating.  I hope to do this within the next year or two, and will also need to find a new job in the new town to hold me over until the campground opens.  The likely location will be somewhere in central Virginia.  I’ll be looking for a second business partner to help found and run the business.  Things really won’t get moving in a big way until after the land purchase.  At that point, I’ll be looking for investors and other sources of start-up finances to build the rest of the campground.  I’ll also be looking for campground members and outside groups looking to host gatherings there. I’m hoping the campground itself could open within the next 3-5 years.

My concept uses many of the gay and bi men’s campground resorts already out there as a base, but merges those with other communities such as Pagans, and some adult lifestyle communities.  While gay and bi men, and Pagan men will likely be the base audiences, other adult audiences would be welcome regardless of sexual orientation, gender, etc.  This will be a membership-based adult campground resort.  I hope to host a variety of theme weekends and even a handful of gatherings. I’d also open up the campground to outside conferences and gatherings.  I’d like to create an open air Pagan / Hellenistic temple that could host drum circles and solar / lunar celebrations and rituals.

I wanted to take a moment to announce the start of the project, but I also look forward to input, advice, etc.  If anyone is interested in helping this dream become a reality; if you think you might be interested in becoming the second business partner (or know someone who would be interested); if you think you might want to become a future investor once I get to that stage; if you think you might want to become a member, camper, or host a gathering there; if any of these things intrigues you, please visit my website for the campground and feel free to contact me with your ideas or to be put on the mailing list.

The website is: www.olympuscampgroundresort.com

Thanks,

Mel

Latest podcast now available — Episode 14: The Update Show

In episode 14: The Update Show, I provide updates on what I’ve been up to including:

  • Conferences and gatherings – The Hero’s Adventure, Querent, and Between the Worlds
  • Updates on my book and an LGBT werewolf workshop I’m hoping to do at Marscon
  • My photography
  • My local LGBTQ / Pagan / Alternative website
  • Activism
  • Groups including the New Order of Chaeronea and Order of the Stone Circle
  • My big project – I’m working toward starting a campground / retreat center
  • Personal updates

You can find my show on my website: http://www.melmystery.com, and through iTunes and Podbean.

Green is Gay

You may have heard the expression in school never to wear green on Thursday because that makes you a “queer” or a “fairy”. What seems like a cruel made up children’s game to identify gay people actually underscores a long history of the color green being associated with gay men.

The term “fairy” has long been a term used to identify gay men. Its use has been largely derogatory, but some gay men have reclaimed it. In the book, Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds, by Judy Grahn, the author points out that green was the primary color worn by mythical fairies, and this connection ties into this tradition. The fairies have freer sexual morals than Christian cultures are comfortable with. In fact, given their extremely long, perhaps even immortal lives, the idea of eternal marriage and coupledom would only give way to boredom. So homosexual bonds were likely to have been acceptable. The color green is a useful color for mythical fairies because it helps them to blend in and remain hidden in their natural environment among the plants and trees.

As for the connection with Thursday, Thursday was considered by some to be “Fairy Day”. There is an additional connection to Thursday with medieval witches. When questioned under torture about their practices, some witches confessed that they practiced different sexual rites on different nights, and Thursday was the night associated with homosexual rites.

But the association with the color green and homosexuals goes back even further. Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit has more to say on the color green.  At Ephesus, the transgender and often homosexual priests of the goddess Artemis / Diana wore garments of scarlet, violet, saffron, and yellow-green. In ancient Rome, green and especially yellow-green was associated with male gender variance and especially the passive role in male homosexual acts. These men were called galbinati, and are mentioned in Martial’s Epigrams. Martial talks about how these soft, effeminate men garbed in green lie on purple couches while being fanned by other men using red feathers. It sounds like the good life to me, but Martial criticizes their morality as being quote “grass-green.”

In pre-Modern France, bisexual and homosexually inclined courtiers called mignons wore green as the primary color in their tights, along with yellow or red. Often one leg of their tights would be green and the other yellow, and they might have a red cape. Their costumes were derived from three sources — the costumes of traditional troubadours, the costumes of fools, and the costumes of the legendary fairies.

Because green was associated with the margins of society, it also became associated with heretics who carried a green cross in their ceremonies.

Green was also a signifier of homosexuality among British poets. The association of the color green with homosexuality survived into the 19th Century and may even have been reclaimed at that time. A green carnation was adopted as a kindred symbol by Oscar Wilde and the English Decadents, and during the same time a band of men in Paris wore a green cravat to signify their homosexual inclinations.

So as you can see, the color green has a long history of associations with homosexuality, fairies, and magick. Wear it proudly — especially on Thursdays.