Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Love Between Men: Vintage Photo

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | January 13, 2011 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Gay Icons and History
Tags: best male friends, homoerotic art, male affection, vintage male, vintage photo

I don't know if they were best friends, brothers, cousins, or lovers, but I do know they loved each other. Their happy faces. The way they lean in together. The way they touch each other so familiarly and clasp hands. So beautiful!

Imagine a world where everyone, regardless of gender, could uninhibitedly hug and hold hands, without fear or shame? I'd love to.


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Regan DuCasse | January 13, 2011 12:23 PM

Perhaps, if people WERE so free, in our so called freedom loving country, to show such casual and comfort inducing affection...we wouldn't have such a violent society.
We glorify violence, and it's use in the most innocuous of situations and challenges, more than we do resolution through kindness.
And I think those cravings, so human and needful of affection, goes so unrequited, the recourse is rage.
Indeed, affection between men, induces violence against them. More a sign of just how uncivil and mean people are willing to be over something that should give anyone observing this a feeling that something is right in the world.

It's not ss affection that will destroy society, but responding to it with murderous rage.

Holding hands is one of the most powerful gestures in human life. It's where we are most comforted, secure, we can get signals of concern and understanding and love from it.
How sad, how utterly and so terribly sad, that from and early age, little boys especially are kept from doing it between each other and their friends, between themselves and their fathers sometimes, or holding hands with their own brothers.

No wonder the only acceptable affection is equated with sex, because that's about the only time anyone demonstrates it. And our social mores prefer that sex ONLY be between males and females.

So. Messed. Up.

Word. So messed up . And so American. Many other places, to the extent they are able to resist complete cultural colonization by American media, still have at least vestiges of different norms- and in many times and places this heart-warming scene wouldn't even raise eyebrows.

Wow. That picture just made my whole day.

Regan, you're so right about hand holding. My boyfriend and I hold hands often and almost continually while chatting with each other. It's such a lovely connection, and as you pointed out the comfort, the love, and the understanding we have for each other shines through.

I could go on and on, but won't. I agree - this photo is one for the ages.

I agree it is a great photo! I really don't think they are brothers or cousins though. (unless they were kissing too) and I kind of doubt just best friends due to the intimacy and even the closeness of their legs. Best friends may have held each other for the picture but this is more than that. I see a deeper love between them that can only be found in lovers but hey that is just my opinion.

Regan DuCasse | January 14, 2011 5:41 PM

I did a little experimental questioning. The forum was full of mostly conservative, religious types. I asked to answer me honestly about initial reactions and which ones would be their TRAINED response, rather than actual one.

I asked, if walking down a very quiet, dark city street what would invoke the fear they are teaching their children.
To be wary of two young men following behind who were staring, unsmiling.
Or the same, only who were holding hands and kissing each other's cheeks and looking more at each other.

Would they rather their children witness the affectionate two men, or another pair of men beating and kicking and brandishing a weapon that could kill the affectionate couple?

Who, REALLY threatens what our society's values are? And to which or both do you take offense and why?

It takes a captive group to be confronted with this.
And yes, the answer is meant for people to understand just how certain rhetoric is fomented and what it's results can be.
The anti gay, REALLY hate being confronted with what amounts to their LACK of moral principle and standards. Certainly it lacks consistency in what they PERCEIVE young people should be exposed to, as opposed to what they ARE exposed to and who it affects.

I love this photo too. And when I see affectionate people, it makes me feel kinder, gentler and more secure. Children would see LOVE in this picture, not sex. And it's way past time that adults got serious about the difference and it's real meaning.