Emmy Award-winner John Scagliotti is unearthing the erotic history of homosexuality before the 20th century in his new documentary Before Homosexuals.
Using expert interviews, poetry and visual art, the director is chronicling the deep history of same-sex attractions, spanning from the ancient world to Victorian times.
Scagliotti reminds viewers that the evidence of the historical existence of gay people has been there all along, but the taboo of discussing it has prevented society from learning just how much actually exists. The director credits the sexual revolution of the ’60s and the growth of LGBT power in politics during the ’90s with clearing the way for scholars to take a deeper look at what it meant to be gay before the 1900s.
A prequel to Before Stonewall, the 1983 PBS film Scagliotti produced, the new documentary interviews experts about everything from lesbian love spells in ancient Rome to chapters of the Kama Sutra that were censored due to same-sex content.