I think I have to remain skeptical on this one, but Fox News is carrying an article asking if a 5,000-year-old skeleton was gay? The evidence appears to be how it was buried and not much more. The article also brings into question of what “gay” is because the conclusion may simply be transgender or transvestitism–which doesn’t necessarily add up to “gay.”
The archaeological find in the Czech Republic is a 5,0000-year-old man “…buried on his left side with his head facing West.” Per a forum on ATRL.net, “According to Corded Ware culture which began in the late Stone Age and culminated in the Bronze Age, men were traditionally buried lying on their right side with their heads pointing towards the west, and women on their left sides with their heads pointing towards the east. Both sexes would be put into a crouching position.” So when they found this skeleton it was lying on its left side but it’s head was still facing West, which would be unusual. Of course, they can examine the skeleton itself to know it is male.
Why would a man be buried partly like a woman and partly like a man? There is apparent meaning in how he was positioned for his final rest. This is according to Katerina Semradova and Kamila Remisova, both researchers on the excavation project. Another clue is that the man was buried with “household jugs” and not the weapons typically found in male graves.
Remisova is quoted as saying, ““From history and ethnology, we know that when a culture had strict burial rules they never made mistakes with these sort of things.” In other words, the way you buried someone says a lot to the living.
If you read the article, it’s a little hard to tell where the gay label is coming from as the two researchers do not clearly state “gay caveman” (unless mentioned elsewhere). In a press conference, Semradova says, ” We believe this is one of the earliest cases of what could be described as a transvestite or third-gender grave in the Czech Republic.”
Rosemary Joyce, social science professor from Berkeley, is one such voice that dispels the gay label and says that the reports on their discovery have been using the gay label due to a stereotyping of transgender or transvestitism as an assumption of homosexuality. Ironically, that’s what the Fox News article did by way of posing the question, “Is this caveman gay?” and putting the word gay in quotes to keep the mystery alive. I know I get in trouble when I interpret author or site intent, but who is saying that the caveman is gay? Not the researchers–the media? Because calling a caveman gay grabs your attention (just like I did to you with this post title).
I did a little test. I popped the phrase “Katerina Semradova skeleton Czech Republic” into Google. Post after post calls the caveman gay–he’s been forcibly outed by the Internet!
So we don’t really know if the caveman was a homosexual for sure. This could be a transvestite caveman who was heterosexual. What we do know is that homosexuality, transgender and transvestitism have been around for a long time–and yet the family unit has survived.