Today, a hug, a handshake, or some kind words are the ways older men show affection to each other, However younger men are different and able to take their intimacy to more intimate levels. Modern day bromances allow men a much deeper connection with many young men happy to even sleep together. What I want to show from this collection of old photographs is that this is not something that young men have invented. It is something that is embedded in their DNA from their ancient forefathers. What I love about these old photographs is that they tell a story of how real men showed love to other men. They challenge the concept of masculinity and our more current conception of homosexuality. Indeed, homosexuality” wasn’t even invented until 1869, and before then difference between “gay” and “hetero” did not exist yet. Attraction and sexual activity with another man was “something you did”, not “something you were”..
From just before the second half of the 20th century, the idea of homosexuality changed from being a practice to a lifestyle identity that was seen by doctors as a mental illness, by the religious leaders as a perversion; and by politicians as something that had to be legislated against. However, since this new conception of homosexuality in Western society men began to be less comfortable showing affection towards others. Of course it also explains why in other cultures like those in Africa and the Middle East, where there wasn’t this change it remained common for men to be affectionate with each other and to feel comfortable with things like holding hands while they walk. Fortunately after more than 3 generations Western society has come back to a more honest understanding of men loving men and even homosexuality, which has allowed men to return to really feeling comfortable in showing affection for each other. Indeed we have even got to the point that in the great arena of boxing men are even able to give each other a sacres kiss before the battle begins.