Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Affectionate Men: antique photos

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | November 02, 2010 4:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History, Living
Tags: antique photo, homoerotic photography, male affection, male friendship

Readers rightly speculate about the meaning behind some of the photos I run. It's hard to know, for example, whether images of men hugging or dancing means there was some romance involved or whether it was just the custom back then for men to be openly demonstrative with male friends and relatives.

In the spirit of "I don't know but I have my suspicions," here are two sweetly tender antique photos ca. 1905-1915 which left me guessing. What do you think? They're after the jump.

menin2.jpg
meninlove.jpg

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I think the top photo is two straight guys, but being genuinely affectionate with one another. The spare background and sparse furnishings suggest a remote place (outpost? work camp? mine?) that was probably devoid of females and where men were more dependant on each for comradeship. The 2nd pic is probably two straight guys also, but just clowning around. BUT, I note that the 'male' of the pic has a smooth face, narrow shoulders, and slightly wider hips, so could actually be female?