“Before Homosexuals” Excavates Gay Life In The Ancient World

"Without preserving this, our lives are totally wiped out."

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.

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Before Homosexuals

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.

The film made its world premiere at Boston’s LGBT film festival, Wicked Queer, earlier this month, and you can click here for updates on future screenings.
 

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
@adamsalandra