Take Me Somewhere Else
I am so very tired of random people throwing their religion in my face. In their defense, I suppose we all have to have something we believe in. And that’s fine that you believe in a mystical fella hovering up in the clouds somewhere dictating your every move as well as every move of the thousands of other people all across this globe. But it’s not alright that you feel the need to condemn me for my non-belief in your magic man. And it’s not alright that you feel compelled to use ancient scripts as weapons to back up your argument against my homosexuality.
The truth is, my homosexuality has been around a whole lot longer than your Christianity has been. In fact, before the old guys in fancy garb in Rome decided that homosexuality is a sin other cultures revered homosexuality. Oh yeah! Of course, since the Roman church wasn’t there to document the pairing of such homosexuals such as Achilles and Patroclus, or the tragic jealousy between two gods and a mortal – Apollo, Zephyrus and Hyacinth, historians can only call these pairings of men “myths”.
There are plenty of myths to be found if you take the time to look for them. Or if they’re in one handy place and are just a click away. But, I didn’t want myths. I wanted fact. Someone I could put my hands on. That’s the problem with religion today; we can feel our belief in our hearts, but we can’t touch it.
Us homosexuals have been battling our struggle from the wrong side. We tend to beat down religion because that is the one factor that is holding back our equality. We don’t have a positive influence in our spiritual lives that tells us that being gay is a-okay. We need a spiritual leader to look up to and guide us in our love of penis.
And then I found Antinous.
It would seem I’ve been missing out on the worship of Antinous all of these years I’ve been alive. Hadrian (who was the Roman Emperor from 117 AD – 138 AD) took a shine to a young boy named Antinous. Antinous was from a poor family. He was born in the year 111 AD. The exact date is unknown, but it’s been recorded as November 27th. Not much can be found about his childhood (hey..almost like Jesus!) but in the year 123AD, when Antinous was 12, Hadrian was passing through the Antinous’s birth town of Bithnyia where he laid eyes on the boy for the first time and fell in love. That would make Hadrian 29 years old at the time of their first meeting. Hadrian immediately admitted Antinous into the Imperial court and was sent to the best schools to get the best education. Antinous was also disciplined under Hadrian’s best trainers to sculpt his body into the perfect male form which is now considered to be the foundation of classic male beauty.
For seven years Antinous and Hadrian were inseparable. Everyone that could see Hadrian and Antinous together could tell there was a bond between the two. In the summer of 130 AD (Antinous would now be 19) the Imperial Court would travel from Israel to Egypt (where Hadrian was not only Emporer, but also a Pharoah. He was a living God) by way of barges up the Nile river. But, Antinous would not be returning.
There’s no way to know if Antinous committed suicide, or if there was foul play. Antinous drowned in the Nile river on October 28, 130 AD at the age of 19. It’s been said that Hadrian wept for him like no one has ever wept before. And it sort of cost him his manliness since he was crying for weeks in front of everyone in the court. The High Priests of Osiris took Hadrian aside in his time of grief to explain that Osiris (who had been drowned himself in the Nile river) takes many forms and that now his beloved Antinous had now become one with Osiris.
Two days later, on October 30, Hadrian founded the city Antinopolis on the banks of the Nile River to honor his beloved. And, as Pontifex Maximus, High Priest of the Roman Religion, he declared that Antinous was a God, that he had conquered death and had risen up to be among the stars. With that declaration, he released an eagle into the sky to guide Antinous’s star into the heavens where it remains today even though the International Astronomical Union discarded it when formalizing the constellations in 1930.
After Hadrian deified Antinous, busts and coins were made in his likeness. Towns were named after him. Proclamations were sent out to every corner of the Earth inaugurating the religion of the new God Antinous. This went on for several hundred years.
The great city of Alexandria with it’s learned scholars, however, did not receive Hadrian as a divine being. They started religious controversy and were heavily opposed to many of Hadrian’s reforms in regard to Antinous. The large Christian faction were deeply disturbed by the love between Hadrian and Antinous. Antinous continued to be a God in the Roman Empire until the state church of the Roman Empire was established on February 27, 380 and was denounced. Busts of Antinous continue to adorn museums and even in the Vatican to this day in the Sala Rotunda.
So my God, Antinous, was real. There are stories about him. Statues and coins. I know the day he was born and the day he died. He came from humble beginnings, is easy on the eyes, and promoted peace, love and happiness. He also has a proper name, and not just a title. Most of all, he was loyal to Hadrian. Homosexuality existed whether you like to think it did or not. All you have to do is Google “Antinous” and you’ll find plenty of articles and find websites dedicated to him. You’ll also find the despicable stories of the old guys that wanted to cover this all up and then pretend that homosexuality is a sin. The only sin going on is that you are using your god to try to erase the memory of my God. I keep reading about people’s rights under their religious beliefs. Like how it is against someone’s religion to make a cake for a gay wedding. Well…I now believe I have the right to be gay under the God Antinous.
In the name of Antinous we pray…amen and rainbows.