If you ever run into anyone who gives you a mouthful of right-wing nonsense about how gays shouldn't serve in the military, or protests that gays have never been allowed to openly serve in the military, tell them about the OTHER 300. Not the soldiers at Thermopylae, celebrated in the movie "The 300," but another group equally deserving of attention. Known as "The Sacred Band of Thebes," these 300 gay men (150 couples) were recruited to form a elite band of soldiers, known for their bravery and devotion. It's a fascinating and often-overlooked morsel of history.
Plutarch records that the Sacred Band was made up of male couples, the rationale being that lovers could fight more fiercely and cohesively than strangers with no ardent bonds. According to Plutarch's Life of Pelopidas, the inspiration for the Band's formation came from Plato's Symposium, wherein the character Phaedrus remarks,