It’s been a long haul from the simple purity of Greek love--personified by Alexander the Great and Hephaestion, and the victory of lovers and their belovèds at Thermopylae--to Roman horrors, an emperor who stalked well-endowed sailors, another who put 1,200,000 boys to death while pleasing both sexes until felled by a dozen daggers. Renaissance sexuality exemplified by Juan Borgia whose gorgeously clad body, stabbed nine times, was fished up from the Tiber. Clubfooted Byron shunned by college chums until he found the formula that led to 200 couplings in Greece. Denis Browne who buried Rupert Brooke and was himself shot down at Gallipoli. John Nicholson killed before the walls of Delhi and Stanley raised in a workhouse where he experienced every depravity known to man. A long haul from Willem Arondeus who cried out, facing a nazi firing squad, ‘’Let it be known that homosexuals are not cowards!’’ to Stonewall ’69 and the right, today, in my home country, France, to marry the boy of my dreams. I come from a very long line of courageous gays, and it is with a heart bursting with respect for them all that I dedicate this book.
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