Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Vintage Gay Photos...

If you search Ebay's photograph section for "gay" or "affectionate" or "shirtless" you will be presented with a host of vintage photos which could be said to appeal to a gay viewer. Most of my vintage swimwear collection has come from Ebay in this way. But nearly every photograph listed as something like: "affectionate men hugging gay interest" is actually a photo of father and son, perhaps brothers, army comrades or simply mates hugging in less uptight times. There is quite a market in such images and if it floats your boat then great...


Much, much rarer indeed are those photos that could genuinely have something to do with a homoerotic situation. Clearly, such photos were rarely taken, the danger was too great, but every now and again one surfaces like this one, sold by the lovely people at the Ampersand Gallery in Portland, and just suggestive enough to make one think there may be more to it than mates sharing a bed, maybe not of course, we'll never know, but the gaydar does ping. Which is possibly why it sold for nearly 200 GBP with this inscription on the back...





2 comments:

phcube said...

Yes, I also saw this photo. I thought it was just beautiful. I wonder who took the it? The inscription appears to be to another man from Olaf, who is obviously one of the men in the photo. It is certainly very homoerotic, but of coourse could be perfectly innocent. Would it have been unusual for two friends to share a bed if rooms/beds in the house were limited? Perhaps they "topped and tailed"? It certainly realised a good price for the sellers and unfortunately, went way beyond my budget!
Thank you for a fascinating blog.
Phil

Jason Mihalko said...

In school our minds are filled with facts and events from the past. We rarely learn about the human aspect of history--how people lived, loved, dreamed, and thought.

Pictures like this are such a fascinating window--albeit blurry--into the internal landscapes of people's lives. As you suggest, we often project our own experiences onto the images we see and fail to ponder the differences between how we live now and how we lived then.

For me--these pictures remind me that friendship between men has become complicated, distant, and estranged in our modern times. It wasn't unusual for men to touch and be close 70 years ago in friendly, warm, and intimate ways. Sometimes, perhaps, there was sex. Other times there was bonding and intimacy that is forbidden and unknown to men of today.

Glad I found your blog. I recently wrote about some of the same images you've recently posted -- looking forward to reading more from you!

http://irreverentpsychologist.blogspot.com/2013/05/vintage-love-roger-miller-pegram.html

 
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