PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in gay

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Spear Dance


In Henry Treece's 1968 novel The Green Man, his brutal, gripping retelling of Hamlet in its original pagan cultural context, Beowulf is—let me avoid anachronism here—a man for men. He even puts the moves on young Hamlet.

(Horse-faced young Hamlet, himself a man for women, isn't having any of it.)

Yes, that Beowulf: Beowulf Grendel's-bane, King of the Geats, hero of the sole surviving Old English epic of the same name.

I'd always thought that Treece was taking some pretty broad literary license with his gay Beowulf, but after a recent intensive immersion in the original text of Beowulf, I've come to think that he may actually be onto something.


There's no evidence that Beowulf—his name means “bee-wolf,” a kenning for “bear”—was a historical character. He appears only in the eponymous epic, and is never mentioned by any historian of the period.

So, was he gay?

Well, here's what we know about him from the epic:

  • He never married. (At least, no wife is ever mentioned.)
  • He left no children behind him.
  • All his loves—and Beowulf, as the poet testifies frequently, lives by his loves—are towards other men.

You do the math.


Myself, I had always assumed that Beowulf's lack of queen and dynastic offspring were to be read as evidence (such as it was) of his non-historical status. This still seems to me the most likely reading of the evidence, such as it is.

That said, it also seems to me that Beowulf (the epic) will unforcedly sustain a gay reading of its central character's character, and personally, I'm good with that. Beowulf the Geat: a man's man, heroic, generous, utterly admirable.

Gods know, we could use a few more larger-than-life gay heroes.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Up To 57% Off on Umbro Men's Jock Strap Athlet... | Groupon Goods

In the dream, half real life and half Broadway show, I'm literally laying in the middle of the street, kicked and beaten.

(How I got there, I have no idea.)

Suddenly, they're looming over me: a shoulder-to-shoulder chorus line of men in army boots and black jock straps, rainbow flags hanging like breastplates over their bare chests.

My friend M, one of the line, tosses me a black jock strap of my own, and extends a hand. I take both, and climb to my feet beside him.

The army boots, I'm already wearing. I fumble with the waist button to my trousers. Time for a little on-stage costume change.

Last modified on
Leap! A Love Story - Minoan Historical Novel

I'm delighted to share that my latest novel, Leap! A Love Story, is now available in both paperback and ebook format.

This is my second Minoan-themed historical novel, the first one being The Last Priestess of MaliaLast Priestess is set at the end of the Minoan era, during the Mycenaean occupation. It provides a deep look into Minoan religion and culture, but it's a pretty heavy book.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Not Your Grandfather's Patriarchy


I'm first to the door when we get to the restaurant after my mother's funeral, so naturally I open and hold it as the rest enter. This means that I'm the last to the table. By the time I get there, one seat is left.

“We thought we'd put you at the head,” my sister says, “since you're the patriarch now.”

That crackling sound you're hearing? That's the sound of my toes curling up backwards.


Ah, patriarchy. For decades now, the term has been synonymous with unjust societal power structure.

I sincerely hope that by now we've all managed to get past the simplistic old matriarchy/patriarchy dualisms of the 80s. As pagans, we really should be smart enough to understand that the world is never quite that simple.

Best not to take our patriarchies too literally; best to remember that, like “Nature,” “patriarchy” is a term of convenience, a way of conceptualizing and talking: a semantic shorthand, no more.

Which isn't, of course, to deny that systematic injustices exist. (Look at the pay gap, if you don't believe me.) Still, we've come a long way since those days of comforting, simplistic dichotomies.

Maybe it's time to start thinking about the shape of what comes next.


In my family, we talk about food a lot. (Hey, it beats fighting over politics.) Over meals at family gatherings like weddings and funerals, we usually discuss where to go for the next meal.

Then, after weighing the various possibilities, everyone turns to the current family patriarch to cast the deciding vote.

For years, this was my Uncle Milton: a benevolent patriarch, if ever there was one. My father has admitted to me to having felt a moment of panic when, for the first time after Milton's death, people turned to him.

“I don't want to be patriarch!” he, too, thought. “I'm the clown!” Given the nature of birth-order politics, younger sons often become the family trickster.

Still, some social imperatives outweigh others.


Like my father, I'm a clown too, though for different reasons. Many, if not most, of my own stories lead up to a punchline.

Like other outsiders—think of Jewish humor—gay men often play the trickster in public. It's a social strategy, and an effective one.

We learn early that humor—especially self-deprecating humor—disarms, perhaps by making us seem less threatening.

Still, in these latter days, perhaps of all men, it's the fool who is best suited to be king.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    My family talked about food as well. My brother-in-law Marty said it was a nice change from his parents talking about their illne

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Pretty Fierce”


Because it tells the story of two South Florida high school seniors—one Jewish, one Hindu—falling in love, chances are Jared Frieder's 2022 film Three Months will end up getting slotted into the “Queer Cinema” box.

If so, that's a pity, since the film addresses larger and more universal issues as well, including the nature of being an outsider.

“What's it like, being Jewish?” the Hindu boy asks.

“There are seven kinds of Jews,” answers the Jewish boy. “Three of them are pretty fierce.”

Quantification aside (read: symbolic), that's surely about as naff a response as one could hope for.

So, what's it like, being a witch?

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

056. Stonewall Riot. - Timeline -- United States - Wolfgram Memorial  Library Digital Collections

Angered by Garland Death, NYC Homosexuals Riot.

That was how I first heard about the Stonewall Uprising.


The long, hot summer of 1969. Judy Garland was dead.

In conservative suburban Steeltown, USA, a skinny, tow-headed stripling, who knows that he's different from other people and is trying to figure out why, hears the word “homosexuals” on the radio news.

His ears immediately prick up.


Angered by Garland Death, NYC Homosexuals Riot.

Nothing about centuries of deadly, Biblically-sanctioned oppression.

Nothing about decades of unjust, targeted police harassment.

Judy Garland, a known homosexual icon (Why?), was dead. Therefore, the homosexuals were rioting.

Takeaway #1: Nothing that these people do makes any sense. Therefore,

Takeaway #2: These people are not to be taken seriously.


Believe me, trivialization is nothing new to gay men. We've seen it for years. We see it still today.

When we and our experience are reduced to a single letter in an ugly, ever-expanding, and increasingly-unwieldy non-acronym, what is that but trivialization?

When we and our experience become just one stripe in an ever-increasing, ever-more-meaningless, ever more ugly “rainbow” flag, what is that but trivialization?


54 years have passed since that Summer of Stonewall. Much has changed. Much hasn't.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 Species Spotlight: The Magic of Fireflies | Three Rivers Park District


“Why do they hate us so much?” a boy growing up Evangelical once asked his father.

(True or not, this is a common belief among Evangelical Christians.)

“Because so many Christians are such jerks,” his father told him.


There are forms of Christianity that I, as a pagan, respect, even admire.

With its intellectual vacuity, utter lack of social conscience, and political triumphalism, Evangelicalism is decidedly not one of them.


Like many gender-non-conforming kids, I grew up socially isolated.

Elementary school wasn't so bad. Having grown up with me, the other kids mostly just accepted me for who I was. Junior high, though, was hellish. There I was the weird kid, the outsider. (There must be easier ways to learn self-reliance.) In high school I finally made some friends among the other egghead creatives. I loved my new friends all the better for understanding the worth of what I'd worked so hard to gain.

Then I lost most of those friends again to the so-called “Jesus Revolution.”

By then, my pagan identity was already fully formed. I could see their so-called “revolution” for what it actually was: a total abrogation of intelligence, an unthinking embrace of the worst kind of reactionary conservatism.

(I was right. My former friends and their co-religionists were precisely the demographic that betrayed us to Reagan and his successors, including Trump.)

Suddenly, the witch-boy was the pariah again. Finally, I decided to end it.

Last modified on

Additional information