Saturday, September 05, 2020

Os "casamentos gay" do século XIX

The Gay Marriages of a Nineteenth-Century Prison Ship, em The New Yorker:

Grundy recounted how, soon after arriving in Bermuda, he saw two men engaged in “filthy action” in the middle of the day. He instantly reported them to officials. The men—Samuel Jones and Burnell Milford—were charged with “being found in a position ‘derogatory to the laws of God.’ ” They were given twenty-four lashes each, and their pay was suspended. “Being a new prisoner at the time, I thought I should be generally supported,” Grundy wrote. “But such was not the case.” The convicts retaliated against him. He was ostracized, and some of the men threatened to put him “to sleep.” He also felt unsafe among the prison guards—who, he claimed, did not like it that he had exposed the ship to criticism.

What happened between Jones and Milford, Grundy had learned, wasn’t an isolated incident: “the abominable sin” was practiced “to such an extent,” he wrote, that many of the convicts “boast of it.” He underscored, too, that this wasn’t just sex: the men would refer to their relationships as marriages. The practice became so commonplace, according to his account, that “marriage” was the rule rather than the exception: “if they are not ‘married’ as they term it, it is out of the fashion.” In his telling, at least a hundred men aboard the prison ships in Bermuda had same-sex partners whom they considered spouses.

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