The Latest News and Views about ANTINOUS the GAY GOD
Compiled and Updated
Hernestus, Priest of Antinous
The story about the closeted gay mayor of San Angelo who ran off to Mexico to be with his illegal-immigrant lover continues to capture the hearts of those of us who not only are gay but who know San Angelo well. I grew up in San Angelo, which is a marvelous city of contrasts. And so I am not the least bit surprised.
Lots of members of this group are from Texas — for reasons which defy logic and which baffle science. And lots of members of ECCLESIA ANTINOI live in smallish towns and communities where local politicians rarely dare to be out and proud.
And lots more members of this group are incurably and hopelessly romantic.
The story is so romantic: A young man living in a conservative community in a relatively remote place (San Angelo is hundreds of miles/kms from the nearest urban gay ghetto) pursues a lucrative career as a real-estate agent. He sees corruption and ineptitude all around him and he decides to become active in civic affairs. At age 26 he becomes the youngest man ever elected mayor.
He is loved and respected by voters of all ethnic and social sectors, and they re-elect him repeatedly as he launches innovative programs to improve his community and give it a new image — he produced a slick YouTube video only a few weeks ago.
And then, suddenly, he meets a man who sweeps him off his feet. He realizes he has been channeling all his sexual passions into his job and his community. But what about his gay heart? Sure, the voters love him for keeping taxes down while improving the city. But nobody LOVES him.
He has never looked into another man's eyes and seen ANTINOUS looking back at him with love and burning desire. Until one day, a few weeks ago, he saw that look in another man's eyes.
So many of us know that look. We have seen it. AsArch Proest Antonyus Subia said the other day, it happens only about three times over the course of a man's lifetime. Tony rightly said that, for 30-something men, the gay love alarm clock starts ringing more urgently than ever. Because time is ticking away.
I know that a lot of you know what Antonyus is talking about. A lot of 30-something men have spent their adult life doing what adult men are supposed to do — get a degree or military/vocational training, then get a job and then devote yourself to carving out a livelihood for yourself — making an impressive CV job resume.
And then, after age 30, when the crow's feet begin to appear around the corners of their eyes, and the first grey hairs sprout in their faux Mohawk hair, they begin to hear the gay love alarm clock's ringing. The ringing becomes more insistent.
Suddenly, when they least expect it, they look into another man's eyes and see ANTINOUS looking back at them. And the alarm clock tells them it's time to come out!
So they throw caution to the winds and drop everything — job, friendships, house, political career — and they get in the car and drive off to a new life as the Gay Man They Always Wanted to Be.
It's so wonderfully romantic. By the God, we've all been there. Many years ago, I moved away from San Angelo (the same town where this man was mayor until a couple of days ago) and I put all my dog and all my stuff in my car and drove to Boston to meet a man I had fallen "in love" with via an Advocate wanton ad — but had never seen.
The local newspaper in San Angelo has declared that J.W. Lown was "immature" in making this very same decision. But many of the readers who have responded to that editorial have lauded the ex-mayor for his courageous decision
Indeed, most of us have had the car keys in our hand and have perhaps even driven a few miles down the road — and then have turned around and come back. Some of us have gotten in the car and driven off and have journeyed to the final destination so that we could gaze into those eyes for the rest of our lives. Some of us have had break-downs along the road. Some have arrived (finally) to discover that they had come to the wrong place.
A lot of us have regretted the journey. Some regretted having turned back and never arrived at the destination. Others regretted NOT having turned back.
Those of us who are older and (perhaps) more cynical, know that this 32-year-old gay man faces a long and arduous journey with lots of unexpected detours. There will be heartbreak. There will be regrets. Us gay oldtimers know that his two-month-old "relationship" will not last long, especially since it straddles two countries, two languages, two cultures. But us gay oldtimers have also learned that love is unpredictable.
After all, J.W. is bilingual and bicultural — his dad was Anglo and his mother was born and raised in Mexico — which means J.W. has dual citizenship and grew up visiting his maternal relatives in Mexico and speaking Spanish fluently. He also did a stint in the US Peace Corps in Bolivia, where his language skills came in handy.
So he is perfectly at home in Mexico — seeing as how he is half-Hispanic. And half-Anglo. He perfectly personifies the Southwestern US — with one foot in both cultures. So conventional wisdom about bicultural relationships does not apply in his case. Us oldtimers know that conventional wisdom often is another name for conventional prejudice.
And us oldtimers know that love is always worth the trouble. The risk of giving away your heart is that it may get broken. It may get not only broken, but also stomped upon and ripped to shreds and crushed into the dust.
But hearts are made to be broken. That's a heart's occupational hazard. Every gay man's heart has a few chips and cracks and dents. A heart really isn't a heart unless it has been broken a few times.
J.W. Lown's heart will be broken, regardless what happens now. He loved his community and his heart will ache over his precipitous decision to leave. And perhaps his heart will be broken when his new relationship turns sour, as most of us oldtimers fear it probably will.
And we all know that the road back home will not be the same road by which he left. That's the curious thing. You head out on one road. But you can only return home by a different road. And when you get back home, you realize that it's no longer the home you left.
You can't go home again.
But you can give away your heart again. And that's what hearts are for. Hearts are made to be broken. And hearts are meant to be given away. Even at the risk of being broken.
There's never a guarantee. There's no insurance policy that will help us out of every problem. But we mustn't close our hearts and become bitter and defensive and antagonistic — out of fear that we might get hurt if we are too vulnerable. Love is not something you hide away and keep closed up in your heart. You throw it out there and give it away. There's no guarantee you won't get hurt by doing that. In fact, there's a pretty good chance you WILL be hurt.
I think that's the secret to the wry smile on the face of Antinous
Here's my philosophy about loving Antinous (and about love in general). It's from an old song entitled Throw It Away by the wonderful jazz singer Abbey Lincoln. Abbey sings sings it dramatically and powerfully and tear-wrenchingly. She screams out the words.
When she sings at you and tells you to "throw it away" you know it's a god-given instruction. It's what Antinous says (very softly, without moving his lips) when we look at him: "Throw it away."
Arch Priest Antonyus Subia once said that this is how he gives his love to Antinous. Tony throws it at him freely, like rose petals on the path beneath his feet. That's the way it is when you look into another man's eyes and you see Antinous looking back at you.
Who cares whether Antinous deigns to look down and acknowledge your gift? All that counts is that he has rose petals to walk upon. It's my gift to him. It's my love. It's my heart. It belongs to me. I choose to give it, throw it away. It's not wasted effort. It's mine to give and I want to give it. I know I can never lose my love by giving it away. "Because you can never lose a thing if it belongs to you!"
Worshippers of Antinous tend to be animal lovers. Perhaps it is because Antinous and Hadrian both are known to have loved animals. Hadrian even erected a tomb to his favorite horse. Horses, dogs, cats, pet birds — many members of ECCLESIA ANTINOI have beloved animal companions, or have had at various times in our lives.
Dogs are especially popular. Our own Arch Priest Antonyus Subia has likened himself to a Rio Grande coyote. Don't get me started on my sainted Cairn terrier Dusty or we'll be here all night.
On May 22nd, appropriately, the Religion of Antinous honors the faithful dog Maira who was so devoted to her master that she followed him into the heavens as the Constellation Canis Minor.
May 22nd is the Ancient Roman festival of Canis Erigoneius (Feast Day of the Dog of Erigone) which honors the she-dog Maira and her elderly master Icarius and his daughter Erigone.
This doggy feast day is not to be confused with the other Ancient Roman feast day each year when a dog would be crucified as a warning to all watchdogs not to fall asleep on the job. That was what happened once when the Gauls defeated a Roman Legion and marched undeterred on the city of Rome itself. The city's terrified residents fled in all directions. Total evacuation of a major city is impossible.
A few people stayed behind (mostly the infirm, elderly and pregnant mothers-to-be) and sought refuge with a few soldiers and Vestal Virgins atop the Capitoline Hill, where the city's vast treasure was stored in the Temples of Zeus, Juno and Minerva. Food was running low and the Sacred Geese of Hera looked very tempting but the Vestals warned that the goddess would not condone their slaughter. Spare the geese, and you spare Rome! Slaughter the geese, and Rome is lost!
The Gauls were intent on getting their hands on that treasure, so one night the Gauls crept up the slopes of the hill undetected, the hunger-weakened soldiers and watchdogs having dozed off. Only the plump Sacred Geese of Juno raised the alarm and roused the soldiers, who managed to stave off the Gauls and hold out until reserve Legions could arrive to retake the city and drive out the Gauls.
Needless to say, the dozy guards and watchdogs were punished severely — thrown off the Tarpeian Rock to their deaths. And after that, the Romans annually crucified a dog to make sure no watchdog forgot the lesson. Meanwhile the Sacred Geese were pampered to death, dying of arteriosclerosis and avian gout from over-eating.
But on the feast day of Canis Erigoneius, the Ancient Romans turned sentimental and pampered their dogs in remembrance of the faithful she-dog whose devotion to her master and mistress triumphed over death itself. Like so many holidays (both ancient and modern), it was a day to get falling-down drunk because the story involved Dionysus and the gift of wine to mankind.
It is the stuff that prime-time premium cable TV miniseries are made of: A kindly old man throws a party for his neighbors, who get completely hammered and end up murdering their host in a drunken frenzy. Afterward, they bury his body in a secret location, making off with his fortune and killing each other for their "fair" shares.
Ah! But the old man's faithful dog finds the secret grave under a tree and digs up his body. His daughter sees the grisly corpse and hangs herself in grief from the tree where the grave is located. The dog sits by both bodies, dutifully protecting them from anyone who approaches so that the dog has to be killed in order for authorities to dispose of the corpses.
That is the story in short. It could well be adapted as a forensic police mini-series except for the fact that the god Antinous-Dionysus plays a leading role. The full story is that kindly old man Icarius had been hospitable to the god Antinous-Dionysus and so, in gratitude, the God had given him a cutting of the finest wine grape vine in the universe.
With it, Icarius had been able to produce the mother of all wines, which was so potent that the neighbors who tasted it all came down with such severe alcohol poisoning that they became isanely envious of his fortune and desirous of his voluptuous daughter that they murdered Icarius — to get the Gift of the God.
Antinous-Dionysus was so outraged at what happened that he slapped a virulent curse on everyone in the neighboring countryside. He sent a plague of violent illness and delirious madness over the entire region. If they thought they had been poisoned from the divine wine, they REALLY got sick out of their minds this time.
In addition, all the unwed female offspring of the district spontaneously hanged themselves from the nearest tree. This is the origin of the biblical Grapes of Wrath.
Icarius was immortalized as the constellation Bootes, Erigone was placed into Virgo along with Persephone, and the dog Maira was placed in the Canis Minor.
Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia relates the story in detail, concluding with the words, "Antinous, who is the New Dionysus, gives us the power of the dog Maira to find the buried mystery of his wine-giver."
For that is the Mystery Teaching of this myth. Icarius died and was dug up and raised to the heavens. He was "Twice Born" (Dio-Nysus) just as the god Antinous-Dionysus was born twice. As a foetus, Dionysus was taken from his mother's womb at the point of death and was sewn up in the upper groin-thigh of Zeus so that he could grow to full term — and was born a second time by the King of the Gods.
Similarly, Antinous was born of mortal woman but died and was reborn as a god at the proclamation of Hadrian in his capacity as the earthly Zeus.
Ah! But that's not all for us dog-lovers!
This is where Hermanubis comes into the story. In the 2nd Century AD the Religion of Antinous was thriving at the same time that the cult of Hermanubis was spreading to Rome. The Romans thought of Hermanubis as a merging of Hermes the messenger god and Anubis the Egyptian god of the dead.
But as so often, the Greeks hadn't translated the glyphs correctly and the Romans had blindly trusted the Greeks. In fact, the name Hermanubis is from the Egyptian Heru-M-Anpu, which means Horus-as-Anubis.
Rightly or wrongly (perhaps with the intercession of Hermes the Trickster), the Greco-Egyptian magician priests of Hermopolis understood that Hermanubis combined the cunning canine qualities of nocturnal scavenging (like a Mexican coyote) to emerge at dawn triumphant — like Horus the Sun God.
Woshippers of Hermanubis underwent initiations in which they discovered the "Anubic Light" which led them out of the darkness of their earthly existence. For a while, the cult of Hermanubis was very popular in Rome and there were great statues of Hermanubis. But a scandal of some sort resulted in the total suppression of the worship of Hermanubis in the city of Rome. No one knows why.
But his worship continued in the provinces, particularly in Egypt, where Anubis was quickly supplanted by Hermanubis — combining Horus and Anubis — Light Emerging from Death.
If you look closely at the Tondo of the Two Lovers, the portrait shows two men who are clearly worshippers of both Antinous and Hermanubis.
Antinous was worshipped at Antinoopolis on the East bank of the Nile, directly across the river from Hermopolis, where Hermanubis was worshipped on the West bank of the Nile. The two gods were clearly "neighbors" and were closely enough related to each other that they were both considered compatible for helping someone to become "Twice Born" and to triumph over death.
Ironically, Hermanubis is still worshipped around the world, although few of his worshippers are even faintly aware of that fact. The Egyptians never lost their love for the dog-headed god who carried the young Horus over the heavenly Nile each night towards the Dawn of Eternal Life. Over the centuries, Hermanubis lost his doggy ears and became totally humanoid. As Christianity became the religion of the empire, the boy Horus became the boy Jesus. Hermanubis was no longer called Hermanubis, but rather Christophorus — Christ Bearer.
But the symbolism never changed. He is still the faithful spirit-being conveying the Boy God safely through the deadly waters of the Nile.
The question for us worshippers of Antinous is whether that little boy on his shoulders in Horus/Jesus — or is he just possibly Antinous?
That would give a whole new interpretation to the Tondo of the Two Lovers. Perhaps the artist was trying to tell us that, for the citizens of the Sacred City of Antinoopolis, the Blessed Boy Antinous had come to replace the Boy God Horus, and that Hermanubis was involved in lifting Antinous out of the deathly Nile and carrying him towards the Shore of Eternity.
That is certainly something to consider next time you see a plastic St. Christopher statuette on a car dashboard. It isn't Christopher carrying Jesus, but rather Hermanubis carrying Antinous!
If you listen carefully, you can hear Antinous/Hermanubis/Christopher giggling boyishly in the background at our very mortal mistranslations and miscommunications — which seemingly uncannily turn out to be very uncannily correct!
It is indeed ironic that the Catholic Pope is in Jerusalem as I write these lines, amidst continuing religious and political strife and bloodshed, for this is the very day, May 15th, when the Religion of Antinous commemorates the bitter-sweet arrival of Antinous and Hadrian in Jerusalem in the year 130 AD.
In hindsight, Hadrian must have viewed Jerusalem as a bad omen enroute to what would tragically turn out be a fateful date with destiny in Egypt following a triumphal tour of Asia Minor. This day in the year 130 AD signaled a turning point in history.
The glorious tour of the Eastern Provinces turned sour when Hadrian reached religious strife-torn Jerusalem.
In a few years, he would raze the city to the ground in rage at the Jewish rebellion, earning him the enmity of Jews forever more.
In a few weeks, the entourage would enter drought-stricken Egypt, where Hadrian would be confronted by despair and discontent.
And only six months hence, his beloved Antinous would be dead. The wise and cautious emperor would turn bitter and cruel without sweet Antinous at his side. The history of Western Civilization was about to change ....
But on this day in the spring of 130 AD, Hadrian basked in the golden glow of adulation, sensing perhaps only vaguely that this glow was in fact the sunset of his reign.
Hadrian and Antinous crossed the Jordan river and entered Jerusalem on this day in 130. There they remained for much of summer of 130, while Hadrian immersed himself in the Jewish faith and attempted to convince Jewish leaders to compromise on religious matters. He soon realized that compromise was impossible.
Hadrian had two facets to his personality. One was the compassionate and wise seeker of knowledge who was open to new ideas, particularly when they pertained to spiritual matters. But the other facet was the uncompromising warrior who could not allow an affront to Roman dignity and socio-economic order to go unpunished.
It was during this visit to Jerusalem that Hadrian realized the Jews would never be subsumed into Roman society. He began issuing controversial decrees, such as outlawing circumcision.
It may have been during this visit that Hadrian began drawing up plans to rebuild Jerusalem after the fashion of the Greeks, with major temples to Jupiter and Venus. He may even have begun work on the reconstruction of the Temple Mount, dedicating the new Temple to Jupiter Capitolinus, with a statue of Hadrian in front.
His actions and disregard for the Jewish religion led to the rebellion of Bar Kochba, and the protracted and very bloody Jewish war. The result of this war was that Jerusalem was renamed Aelia Capitolina, and all Jewish and Christian Churches were replaced with Temples to Venus and Adonis.
Israel was renamed Palestine, and the Jews were forbidden to enter Jerusalem except once a year on Passover.
This was the beginning of the Diaspora. It was the beginning of 18 centuries of rancour and strife over the issue of Judea/Israel/Palestine, and of who should live there. To this day, Hadrian's name is accursed among Jews.
This is where the glorious tour of the Eastern Provinces turned sour. But it is also where the glorious reign of Hadrian turned sour. Until the year 130, Hadrian had surprised his critics with his even-handedness and his cautious wisdom and his patience in seeking peace and avoiding armed conflict wherever possible. His goal was to create a Hellenistic society based on tolerance and mutual benefit.
But the second half of the year 130 changed everything. By the end of the year Antinous would be dead and Hadrian would return to Rome a broken and embittered man. The man who loved to travel and spent half of his reign abroad would never leave the environs of Rome and his villa at Tivoli again. The remaining eight years of his life would be marked by capricious cruelty, vindictiveness, chronic pain and sickness. Above all, he would be remembered for a devastating war against the Jews — a war which left a sore which continues to fester 1,800 years later.
The curtain has just gone up on a stunning new production of Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice by the Hamburg State Opera in Germany under the musical and artistic direction of Sydney's renowned Simone Young.
Now in Hamburg and establishing herself as one of Europe's premiere opera producer/directors, this is Young's third production in her cycle of new productions of Benjamin Britten's works which has previously included Billy Budd and A Midsummer Night's Dream. The Hamburg version of Britten's blatantly homoerotic adaptation of Thomas Mann's novel Death in Venice is a co-production with the Volksoper in Vienna, where it will be staged subsequently.
This is a difficult opera to stage in the early years of the 21st Century amid debates about gay marriage and whether gays should adopt and about child-sexual abuse.
The same week that this new production premiered in Hamburg, there were headlines about separate cases in Britain and America of longtime gay activists being arrested on charges of sex with minors. And in Germany, a federal law was rushed through the Bundestag parliament on the eve of the opera's premiere tightening proliferation and prosecution of under-age cyber-porn.
Against this backdrop, Simone Young's production is quite daring, despite (or perhaps due to) the fact that Thomas Mann is revered in Germany as one of the few Nobel Prize Winning authors this nation has ever produced. His works are compulsory reading for generations of schoolchildren. But are they understood a century later?
Openly homosexual Britten stripped down the (very latently homosexual) Thomas Mann novel to a homoerotic parable. Simone Young strips it down even further to a black-and-white myth about the tug-of-war between Apollo the God of Light and Enlightenment, and Dionysus the God of Transcendant Sensuality. To underscore her point, Apollo is portrayed by a gold-clad Asian counter-tenor David DQ Lee, whilst Dionysus is sung superbly by Nmon Ford, a young baritone who is making a name for himself as one of the finest black operatic stars in Europe and the Americas.
In stark scenes of tone-in-tone blandness, punctuated only by small bits of color as wielded by children with colorful beach balls, balloons and carnival fairy lights, she sets out to show the dilemma that Gustav von Aschenbach faces. He is mired in blandness. He perceives the rainbow of youth in the Polish youth Tadzio. Aschenbach is performed to perfection by German operatic star Michael Stade, and he combines subtle acting talents with a subtle voice to portray the nuances of the character. He must carry the show largely by himself, and he does so admirably.
Like Mann himself, Aschenbach is an artist, a product of Victorian/Wilhelminan prudishness who finds himself in a middle-age crisis. His story ideas have run dry. He seeks new inspiration in escape either to the mountains or the seashore. Should he seek the heady, Apollo-like light air of the mountains in the cold north? Or should he seek the sultry, Dionysiac seaside air in the warm south? That is a key question in this story, and it is a question with Sacred Connotations for followers of Antinous.
Like Hadrian, Aschenbach opts for the torpid warm south. Hadrian ventured farther south than any other Roman emperor, venturing far upstream along the Nile with his Beloved Antinous. It is there, in a particular bend in the Nile in Upper Egypt, that the Beauteous Boy plunged into the Nile — and emerged as a God.
Thomas Mann, having been educated in the Classics, was very much familiar with his Roman deities and he was acquainted with Classical theories of balancing out Apollonic/Dionysiac forces. And Britten, as an Edwardian-educated gay Englishman, was similarly aware of Hadrian and Antinous, as was every educated middle-class gay Englishman of his time in the wake of writings by Edward Carpenter, Oscar Wilde, Walt Whitman and John Addington Symonds. One didn't have to spell it out to make oneself understood.
Today, however, it is necessary to spell it out. It is the tug-of-war between the Rational Mind (as symbolized by Apollo) and the Sensual Mind (as symbolized by Dionysus) who seek control of a gay man's life. You can devote yourself to high-minded art and science but, eventually, Dionysus takes hold of you and forces you to confront the Sacred Nature of your Sexuality. Mann and Britten were talking about the juncture of 19th Century rationalism and 20th Century sensuality.
In the 21st Century it is easy to overlook those nuances and to become bogged down in current arguments over gay marriage and child porn and paedophilia. So Simone Young was daring to bring this production to the stage so mythologically blatant.
She graphically shows a tug-of-war on stage between Apollo (clad in gold) and Dionysus (all in black) and she shows how Dionysus wins. In one stunning scene, she shows Dionysus merging with Tadzio (beautifully danced by Hamburg Ballet School student Gabrielle Frola) and forcibly placing Tadzio on top of Aschenbach's slumbering body. They merge and writhe in a sexual dream-trance of sensuality.
Like many people — even three sniggering gay men in the row behind me at last evening's Hamburg premiere — I used to think it was the story of a dirty old man lusting after a boy.
Now that I am middle-aged myself, I see Tadzio through the eyes of the middle-aged writer. Tadzio is everything pure and beautiful and innocent and unblemished by the hard knocks of adult life.
Aschenbach doesn't want to "have" Tadzio. He wants to "be" him. Or at least be like him. Not old and cynical. But young and full of hope and seeing the wonders of the world for the first time.
Our own Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia recalls the first time he saw Luchino Visconti's classic film adaptation of Death In Venice starring Dirk Bogarde as Aschenbach and Bjorn Andresen as Tadzio. Antonyus says:
"For those of you who do not understand the beauty and the power of what the Religion of Antinous means...what the Mystery really is...I offer you Death in Venice. If you can feel this...then you can feel Antinous in the beauty of your heart.
"I was 15 years old when I first encountered this film...and it helped me to come out of the closet one year later...I was the same age as the boy in the film, my feelings for him then were different than the way I feel now, because he was my age when I first saw him."
"Now, more than 15 years later...it is strange how I have become Herr von Aschenbach, who loves Tadzio. But when I think back upon how I first felt about this movie...I remember how even then, as now, I was in love with Tadzio. I identified with Tadzio. Now I identify with both Tadzio and Herr von Aschenbach. They are two aspects of the same Spiritual Being, which is me or any gay man. Now, years later, I see that the story of Antinous and Hadrian is the same as Death in Venice, and that in Tadzio I have found the power of Antinous and the emotion that we all feel for Antinous...the same breathtaking effect that we see in Tadzio when he turns his head is the same particular look that we see in Antinous.
"Death in Venice is the most beautiful and most tragic of all gay stories...a story on the same level of as the true-life historical story of Antinous and Hadrian...and yet...so much more innocent and pure...and so romantic...albeit by our modern standards a perversion...but anyone who encounters this story knowns that it is a story of the deepest true love."
As I was watching the Hamburg opera production, Antinous touched my soul and gave me his own version of it, in which he plunges into the Nile in search of the mysteries of life and death. The Nile is the Egyptian symbol of the Otherworld through which the sun passes at night along with the souls of the dead. In the Book of the Dead it says the Otherworld (Duat) is dark and airless and that you can't breathe — just like being underwater.
Thus, deceased souls are given magical formulas to enable them to breathe Ma'at or Cosmic Truth when they wake up outside the Matrix of the solid world, like Neo waking up gasping in the old movie The Matrix and unable to breathe because he has never REALLY breathed before. As I watched the Hamburg opera it occurred to me that THAT was what Antinous was trying to tell me.
Learn to breathe the rarified atmosphere of the Otherworld so you can join me here.
Antinous took the plunge and learned to breathe in the Otherworld. He wants us to do it too. And he's not talking about literally dying, like Herr von Aschenbach in Death In Venice who dies in the beach chair before being able to join the pretty boy in the surf.
Antinous doesn't want you to die. He wants you to LIVE. He wants you to take the plunge right now while you are alive. It is what Arch Priest Antonyus Subia means when he speaks of HOMOTHEOSIS — "man-godliness-becoming-the-same".
As a gay man, you are His priest. Let no one tell you you aren't. Let no one tell you you are violating Ma'at Cosmic Truth by claiming an ordination you haven't formally received. You must learn to breathe Ma'at Cosmic Truth by yourself, and Antinous is standing at the shore between the Inner and Outer Worlds, between Sense and Sensuality, between Apollo and Dionysus, and he wants to teach you how to take the spiritual plunge and how to breathe — and live — with him in his own spiritual environment.
He turns, looks at us beguilingly, beckons with the whispered words: "I am man-godliness-becoming-one." He invites us to become one-man-godliness with him.
On May 6th, the Religion of Antinous commemorates the book burnings and the ransacking of the world's first gay scientific institution — foreshadowing the Gay Holocaust.
I am proud to say that I represented the Religion of Antinous at the formal dedication ceremonies in May 2008 for the official Gay Holocaust Monument in the heart of Berlin.
Seventy-six years ago, on this day in 1933, the Nazis stormed and shut down the Institute for Sexual Science which had been founded by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld in Berlin in 1919. In collaboration with the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, the institute was founded for the research of human sexology, primarily for the purpose of repealing "Paragraph 175", which was the German Law that made homosexual acts illegal.
The work of the institute was a reflection of the widespread gay liberation that prevaled in Germany after World War I. It was specifically targeted by Adolf Hitler as one of the foremost "degenerate depravities of the Weimar Republic" which the Fuehrer vowed to eradicate.
Next week, on May 14th, the Religion of Antinous celebrates the feast day of Saint Magnus Hirschfeld. The man called the Father of Gay Liberation died on May 14, 1935, in exile in Nice, France, an embittered and broken man.
He died on his 63rd birthday. A life that had started out with such lofty ambitions ended in disillusionment. He was of Jewish ancestry and began his career as a medical doctor but very soon devoted his life to the study of homosexuality.
In 1897 he founded the Scientific Humanitarian Committee, which was an organization whose publication, called The Yearbook of Intermediate Sexual Types, was devoted to the repeal of "Paragraph 175", a law passed by the Reichstag in 1869.
The work of the committee included ongoing lobbying supported by the scientific studies of Dr. Hirschfeld into human sexuality. This study culminated in the formation of the Institute for Sexual Science in 1919.
Dr. Hirschfeld spent the majority of his career writing and lecturing around the world on the nature of homosexuality and other "intermediate" sexual types, including cross dressers. The word "transsexual" was coined by Dr. Hirschfeld to describe the phenomenon that he argued was a natural extension of human sexuality.
His philosophy centered on the contention that there was a third sex, called the Uranian, which was neither male nor female, but a combination of both that was manifested in homosexuality, which was not to be considered an impure deviation, or even as an illness, but as a natural and phenomenal component of human nature.
For his work, the Nazis targeted Dr. Hirschfeld as an example of decadent Bolshevistic/Jewish influence infecting the purity of the German people, luring the Aryan race into impure and destructive perversity. He was ultimately driven into exile and burned in effigy as an emblem of evil. His institute was ransacked May 6th and his books were publicly burned in a bonfire on May 10th, 1933.
In another ironic twist, homosexual members of Ernst Roehm's SA Stormtroopers hurled these books to the flames in 1933 — and would themselves face persecution and death when Hitler turned against Roehm only a scant year later during the "Night of Long Knives" in June 1934 when Hitler decided that Roehm had become a liability.
The storming of the Institute for Sexual Science was the first step in the persecution of homosexuals, who were later sentenced to labor in the concentration camps, the extreme cruelty of which usually resulted in death.
The symbol of the Pink Triangle, the homosexual form of the yellow star of the Jews, was born after the fall of the forward-thinking Institute. It is the symbol of our repression, just as the rainbow flag is the symbol of our freedom. The storming of the Institute was the beginning of the dark ages which were to last until the riot at the Stonewall in 1969.
Members of ECCLESIA ANTINOI all around the world are shifting into a Gay Spiritual High ahead of two momentous events — the SACRED BOAR HUNT and the SCORPIO FULL MOON. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the Spring Revels are in full swing as May Eve and May 1st approach.
On May 1st we commemorate the arrival of Hadrian and Antinous at the sacred city of Bithynium, the home of Antinous, in the late spring of the year 129. They are depicted on one of the tondos of the Arch of Constantine (shown below right) engaged in a Boar Hunt. This hunt takes place in the ancestral forests of Antinous in Phrygia, and its meaning is closely connected to the Sacred Mysteries of Adonis and Freyr.
It represents the full vigor of his strength, courage and skill as a hunter. This festival is a commemoration of the joy of life, in celebration of indulgence and sensual fulfillment. It is the midpoint of the Antinoine Year, in direct opposition to the Death of Antinous in October. The Sacred Boar Hunt represents the pinnacle of the short, sweet and soaring life of Antinous.
For the Wiccans among us, of course, this date has myriad sacred meanings. Yes, there are gay witches among the modern-day worshipers of Antinous. The Religion of Antinous is first and foremost devoted to The Beauteous Boy, of course. For Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia and for others of us, our hearts are filled to bursting by ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD all by himself.
But this group also includes Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, Hellenists, Kemeticists and followers of all sorts of faiths. I know for a fact that many Antinoians have household altars to Isis, Bes, Dionysus, St. Mary, the Thrice-fold Goddess, Hermes, Apollo and many others. Freyr and the other Norse gods are very much honored by several group members.
So May 1st offers a myriad of Sacred Meanings to The Boy's followers, as does nearly every other special date in our Liturgical Calendar.
So the SCORPIO FULL MOON possesses great Sacred Meaning for those of us who quest for Gay Spirituality. This Full Moon generally coincides (more or less) with May Day and represents the hottest and most passionate Rites of Spring. The Taurus Sun beams warmth and fecundity while the Scorpio Moon plunges into the murky depths of raw lust at the razor-sharp borderline between life and death.
For one brief evening, devils dance with angels as the portals between the world of mortality and the world of immortality are flung wide-open. The barriers between those two worlds vanish, as do barriers between the genders.
Many cultures are aware of this magical transgendered moment. In southern India this week, thousands of Hijras are converging on the Temple of Aravan in the village of Koovagam in Tamil Nadu.
They are reenacting the story from Hindu scriptures in which they spiritually become a transgender form of Shiva and then unite sexually with a male warrior-god.
In a scenario faintly resembling RuPaul's Drag Race, there is a lavish beauty pageant in which Hijras compete to be chosen as the most divinely beautiful.
This festival is celebrated in the days leading up to the sexy-hot SCORPIO FULL MOON which is the Tamil Nadu New Year. The Scorpio Full Moon occurs overnight May 8th - 9th this year. Indeed 2009 is an unusual lunar year in that it is a Year of 13 Moons, with the last Full Moon occurring on New Year's Eve.
Lore has it that during the Mahabharata, the Pandava people were at war with the Kauravas and, in desperation, offered a human sacrifice to the gods to ensure victory.
Not surprisingly, they found it difficult to find someone willing to be sacrificed. Finally, the warrior Aravan came forward offered himself as the object of the sacrifice — with one condition — that he lose his virginity by spending one night of sexual bliss before he was sacrificed.
This task proved even more difficult as no king was willing to give his daughter in marriage to man-god Aravan, only to be widowed the day after the wedding.
Finally, god Krishna transformed himself into an irresistibly beautiful woman and married Aravan. And after spending his one night of hot sex with Krishna in female form, Aravan was sacrificed the next day. He went to the headsman executioner content. After all, he had experienced more exquisite bliss in one night in the arms of a deity who transcends all concepts of male/female sexual imagination than any other mortal man experiences with mortal woman in a lifetime.
The Hijra Ritual mirrors that Sacred Myth. Hijras (or Aravanis, as they are called in Tamil Nadu) are ceremonially married to Aravan. Thousands of Hijras go to Koovagam with their male lovers or husbands and, on the final Full Moon night of the festival, they all experience a night of sexual magic in which the Hijra/Aravani spiritually becomes gender-bending Shiva and her male lover spiritually becomes Aravan.
Then on the next morning, a huge effigy of Aravan is pulled through the narrow streets of Koovagam and ceremonially Aravan is beheaded and his body set to flames, re-enacting the scene from the Mahabharata. Symbolic of their "widowed" status, Hijras dress in white (which is the color of mourning in many parts of Asia), and they wail and gnash their teeth and tear their hair and break their bridal thalis and bangles.
For Hijras this is a very spiritual moment. They have become one with the ultimate transgender deity. They have experienced Divine Gay Spirituality at its most extreme — from the ecstasy of hot sex with a man-god, to the grief of losing the Sacred Love of their lives — and becoming mere mortals again in a benighted society where they are despised.
These Hijras BECOME a transgender deity during this ritual and they truly love their man-god husband for the duration of that one brief night of ecstasy ending in death and grief and the dawning of cruel "reality" the next day. Nothing more clearly expresses the Sacred Magic of the SCORPIO FULL MOON.
Critics, of course, condemn all of this as immoral and a distortion of scripture. The critics point out that a lot of the "husbands" are in fact just johns looking for a whore who will do anything and these men are willing to pay "dowries" to their "one-night brides" in return for no-holds-barred sex. In India, Hijras are notorious for engaging in sexual activities which respectable married women find disgusting.
The same has been said of gay men throughout the ages by those who persecute us and find us an abomination. But I think we know that there is much, much more going on here on a very deeply spiritual level.
Look into the eyes of a Hijra and you will see Antinous looking back.
For a really good look at Hijras in India and at the Aravani Full Moon Ritual, check out the award-winning documentary by German filmmaker Thomas Wartmann Between the Lines about the Hijras of Bombay — led by the indomitable Hijra activist called Lakshmi.
Lakshmi was born a male and her proud Brahman parents still think of her as a son, despite the fact that her mother launders her "son's" saris and bras.
Biologically male, Lakshmi considers herself as neither male nor female, but simply as Hijra — a sacred magical being "between the lines".
One of the most moving scenes in the film is when the filmmaker interviews Lakshmi at her parents' apartment. Father and mother are watching television in the next room while Lakshmi quietly tells the filmmaker why she remains a "dutiful son" out of love to her parents and at the same time is a "doting mother" to the young Hijras who look to her for support and guidance.
In case the audio quality of the YouTube video below is poor on your computer, here is a transcription of Lakshmi's words as she describes how she balances the demands of her hijra daughters against the demands of her beloved parents:
"This is life, Anita, and it has to go on. And you have to keep everyone happy. I have a small life. And it is this way I make it heaven. I can't turn it into a hell. So every new day for me is as if I am getting up in paradise and enjoying it."
The film's interviewer/narrator Anita says: "You're crying ...."
"It hurts me that, some way or the other, I was born as a son. Don't you see?"
So is it a struggle that goes on within you all the time?
"Of course! You know, it is the soul fighting with the physical body. It's my ... I know my identity. I don't want to be a hypocrite in my life. But at the same time, I can't deceive my identity to my soul.
"It's so much! But still you have a grin on your face. You have to live life.
"Isn't it so?
"You have to keep all the things going any way. And I don't know how I do it. God is great!"
Then Lakshmi looks towards to living room where his/her parents are about to have afternoon tea, and she smiles and says:
"Come on. What would you like to have? You're going to have tea, right?"
And the last shot is of a sari and a bra drying after having been laundered by Lakshmi's mother (thinking her son just uses them as "props" in teaching young girls how to dance).
In fact, she dances for money at singles bars to support her hijra daughters.
So it is incredibly ballsy of Lakshmi to have agreed to be interviewed on camera, risking the possibility that her parents could see her. She is an incredibly courageous person in the best spirit of ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD, who slew a bear and a wild boar and, as we shall see in a few weeks, who slew a marauding lion, from whose blood the Antinous Red Lotus blossomed forth from the sands of Egypt.
The festival going on in southern India over the next week-and-a-half ahead of the SCORPIO FULL MOON is a brilliant example of Gay Spirituality in real life.
April 21st is a very special date in the Liturgical Calendar of the Religion of Antinous. This is the day we joyously celebrate The Eroticon.
The ancient festival of The Eroticon is celebrated when the Sun moves into the Sign of Taurus the Bull. But this year The Eroticon is particularly special because Mars and Venus align in conjunction April 21st through 23rd, and then both of them (still in intimate embrace) enter fiery Aries later this week. This Venus/Mars embrace sends out erotic sparks which will be energizing all of us.
Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus Subia knows best what to say on this special day, and I defer to him. I will only mention the highlights for the many new followers of ANTINOUS THE GAY GOD, based on the LITURGICAL CALENDAR.
On this day we honor the great God of Love, Eros-Cupid, in his guise as Antinous-Phanes, the "radiant being of light who emerges from the egg of night".
We also honor the Great God Priapus the divine phallus, the column of male virility, the bestower of the fertility of fields, vineyards, orchards and gardens. Priapus is the axis of the cosmos.
On this date we also commemorate the founding of the city of Rome, Natalis Urbis, personified by the Romans as Our Lady Roma. We celebrate the consecration of her sacred border, and of her birth, and eternal life, and remember that we are her children and we remember the hieroglyphs on the OBELISK OF ANTINOUS which hint at the location of the Lost Tomb of Antinous:
Antinous the God is here!
He rests in this place
Which is in the Border Fields of Our Lady Rome.
And also on this date we remember the Sacred Bear Hunt. While in Mysia in Asia Minor, in the year 129, the court engaged in a Bear Hunt near the city which Hadrian had founded (on an earlier trip) called Hadrianotherae, "Hadrian's hunting ground". It is the modern-day city of Balikesir in a lovely area of wooded forests and lakes in northwestern Turkey.
Hadrian loved animals and is known to have built tombs for his dogs and horses (according to Royston Lambert) and he loved to hunt. Unlike the popular stereotype today of the blood-thirsty hunter who shoots anything that moves, Hadrian was a hunter in the ancient shamanic sense of the word. The same way that the native peoples of North America were. The way that aboriginal peoples everywhere still are. He identified with his prey and understood it and became one with it. Hunting was a form of sacred devotion to Hadrian.
The Bear is the sacred animal of Diana-Artemis, and symbolizes the solitary, forest-roaming character of the Virgin Huntress. In the ferocity of the bear lies the secret of Diana's power, against which Hadrian and Antinous pitted themselves, as shown on the tondo (at right) from the Arch of Constantine.
The grand themes of the Eroticon are Love and Sex and Ferocious Anger. The Beast is always lurking inside of us. The mystery teaching surrounding the Bear Hunt involves getting to know your animal instincts — sex and lust and rage — and to become one with them and to turn them into powerful allies for your spiritual development.Sex and Anger can be powerful allies, since they are filled with energy that we can harness and use to create change in the world. They are two of the most cathartic emotions, and they can also be very effective cleansers of the emotional system.
However, when rage becomes a habit, it actually loses its power to transform and becomes an obstacle to growth. Identifying the role anger plays in your life and restoring it to its proper function can bring new energy and expansiveness to your emotional life.
It is when anger has no outlet and morphs into resentment that it carries with it the potential to cause great turmoil. Like a cornered bear, it turns into a killing machine.
Our feelings — rage, sexual lust, fear — can sometimes present a very challenging aspect of our lives. We experience intense emotions without understanding precisely why and consequently find it difficult to identify the solutions that will soothe our distressed minds and hearts. Yet it is only when we are capable of hunting down our feelings and understanding them and communing with them that we can tame them by finding an appropriate resolution.
We retake control of our personal power by becoming courageous enough to articulate, out loud and concisely, the essence of our emotions. Like a hunter, we spear it and take it home with us instead of allowing it to remain a wild thing which spreads fear and havoc.
Our assuming ownership of the "bear within us" in this way empowers us to shift from one emotional state to another — we can let go of pain and fear and rage and upset because we have defined it, examined the effect it had on our lives, and then we spear it and make it our own. By naming our feelings, we claim the right to divest ourselves of them at will.
Hadrian understood the mystical meaning of the Sacred Bear Hunt.
Flamen Antinoalis Antonyus has expressed this mystical mystery meaning as follows:
Antinous, under Hadrian's guidance, was an accomplished hunter, indeed it is perhaps his natural skill and bravery in the chase that elevated him to the absolute love and adoration of Hadrian. The Emperor was madly in love with hunters, and Antinous was one of the best. Antinous had perhaps been silently stalking and hunting the Emperor's favor for quite some time, and now, in Asia, in the sacred Hunting Grounds of Hadrian, Antinous closed in on the heart of his prey and captured the Emperor completely. In our commemoration of the Sacred Bear Hunt we recognize that Artemis and Antinous are twin deities, and we seek the Dianic-Artemis-Bear within ourselves.
When we become one with the "bear within us" and when we become one with all our animal instincts and powers (the "monkey" inside us, as Antonyus calls it) then we can harness their power to become one with the Great God of Love, Eros-Cupid, foremost of the Gods of the Religion of Antinous. He is the first impulse upon which the world was created, and he is the beauty and perfection of all creation.
The story goes that Marilyn Monroe was his babysitter back in the late '40s when she was a starlet looking for work in Hollywood. The baby's father was a movie and television producer and his mother was a former Busby Berkeley dancer.
That baby would one day become a gay porn heartthrob known to millions as Jack Wrangler. He put his manly macho brand on a whole generation of '70s gay men. Now he has died at the age of 62. Unlike many other porn icons of that era, he did not succumb to the scourge of AIDS. Instead, a life-long chain-smoker, Jack died of emphysema, according to Jeffrey Schwarz, a close friend and the producer of the brand new award-winning documentary biopic "Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon" (film trailer below).
In a surprisingly candid obituary, The New York Times said Jack had parlayed "his chiseled physique to stardom in many gay sex films" — a euphemistic turn of phrase if there ever was one.
He did indeed have square-jawed good looks, sandy-blond hair and a gorgeous bod. But in the fledgling world of '70s gay porn, it was his other "chiseled features" which set him apart from the pasty-faced and amateurishly puny players in other porn flicks of the era. Jack Wrangler, along with iconic Peter Berlin, showed a whole generation of gay men that it was possible to be gay and at the same to look macho.
His trademark flannel shirts open to the navel, rugged workmen's boots and torn Wranglers (whence his stage name) became the almost mandatory uniform of millions of gay men. They were veritable gay clones of Jack and, indeed, the style was derided as the "gay clone" look amongst gay men with more heightened style sensitivities.
Jack Wrangler was one of the first big money-makers for the fledgling gay porn industry. In the pre-video days when gay porn was available only at seamy cinemas in dodgy neighborhoods, a movie advertisement showing Jack Wrangler (or even just his name) was enough to guarantee a full house of pot-smoking Wrangler clones. Seeing Jack up there on the screen in larger-than-life size was an experience which the online Gay-Tube generation can scarcely appreciate.
Among the many gay flicks to which Jack brought his prodigious accoutrements were "Heavy Equipment" (1977) and the classic "A Night at the Adonis" (1978). It was a heady experience to go to the Adonis theatre in Manhattan and cruise the balconies whilst watching Jack having sex in those same Adonis balconies up there on the giant screen of the cavernous old vaudeville theatre.
Proudly boasting that he could "get it up" for anybody, Jack also appeared in a slew of straight porn pics, including "Jack and Jill" (1979) and "The Devil in Miss Jones, Part II" (1982), in which he played Lucifer.
Always insisting he was gay and not bisexual (in contradiction to straight porn industry claims), Jack bragged that he had never had sex of any kind with a female until he did his first straight porn flick. And, being Jack Wrangler, of course he had no problem performing.
But that was the way Jack always was. He defied all stereotypes and all clich?s. He showed that gayness is not restricted to any single behavioral label.
So he shocked lots of people, gay and straight, when he married a woman. It was in 1977, at a restaurant in Manhattan, when Jack met singer Margaret Whiting, who was famous for hits like "That Old Black Magic" and "Moonlight in Vermont". Although she was 22 years older, they hit it off instantly and became soul mates.
"When I met Margaret, no one was more surprised than me when I fell in love with her," he told Gay Wired recently. "We knew right away. We became friends, and when we first started going together — I mean, I was out. I'm not straight, I'm not bisexual — I'm gay. When I got with Margaret, I knew I had to change course. She would have my bags packed and sitting outside the door when I got home at night and things like that. Plus I would go through massive guilt whenever I did go out with a guy and I was with her. So I finally said that's it. I went to her one night and said I'm never going to cheat on you again with anybody. So my sex life became very masturbatory. And I'm good at that — very good at that, in fact."
And anyone who has ever seen one of his classic flicks can verify the veracity of that last statement.
Whiting coached him into work on the legit stage in New York. He wrote and directed cabaret shows, often with Whiting headlining. He directed jazz concerts featuring the work of Whiting's mentor Johnny Mercer.
He was showbiz through and though. He was born John Robert Stillman in Los Angeles on July 11, 1946, the son of Robert and Ruth Clark Stillman, a Hollywood producer and a former movie chorus dancer.
Jack opted for an acting career and, to avert any embarrassment for his parents, he renamed himself after his favorite jeans. Jack was tending bar and performing as a self-admitted "very bad go-go dancer" when he was spotted and cast in the role of a very bad go-go dancer in a play. That put his photo on the covers of gay magazines and in no time his cinematic career was going gangbusters. He made some 85 porn pics, in all.
He was openly gay, but he married a woman. He was a porn icon, but he wrote and directed legit plays and musical productions. He was a tireless AIDS campaigner. He defied all attempts to label him.
"It gets controversial with people always trying to label you, trying to understand you," Jack once told authoritative gay blogger Mike Szymanski. "I just let people think of me however they wanted, and I didn't usually argue. People could fantasize about me however they wanted, that was just fine with me."
Three decades ago John Hurt was brilliant in The Naked Civil Servant, playing the role that made Quentin Crisp the celebrity he had always wanted to be. Now Hurt is back in An Englishman In New York, portraying the elderly Quentin Crisp as the New York gay icon based in Manhattan's funky-gritty Lower East Side in the 1980s and '90s.
John Hurt helped to make Quentin Crisp a media star in the 1970s. Now he has made him a screen legend, very much in keeping with the lifelong ambition of Quentin Crisp, who is one of the Beloved Saints of Antinous, by the way.
That first film not only made Quentin Crisp a celebrity, it made John Hurt a star. So it is fitting that both are back to don the mantle of ageless legend.
The accolades are already rolling in for the film written by Brian Fillis and directed by Richard Laxton. Hurt picked up a special Gay Teddy award when the film screened at the Berlin Film Fest in February. The Hollywood Reporter reviewer in Berlin called it "another splendid performance" by Hurt.
When it premiered at the London Gay Film Festival in March, The Times of London called it "brilliant, moving...."
This month the film makes its American premiere at New York's Tribeca Film Festival, running April 22 through May 3.
As sacred synchronicity would have it, 2009 is the 10th anniversary of the death of Quentin Crisp, who was born on December 25th, 1908, in England and (ironically) died in England during a one-man show tour on November 21st, 1999.
He became a gay icon in the 1970s after publication of his memoir The Naked Civil Servant brought to the attention of the general public his defiant exhibitionism and longstanding refusal to conceal his homosexuality. Hurt's portrayal in the TV adaptation of the book was the breakthrough that made both men's careers really take off.
At an age when most people would retire to a nursing home, Quentin Crisp left his native England and moved to New York City, where he pursued a career as a bon vivant and raconteur. Asked by a BBC interview if he intended to die in New York, Saint Quentin emphatically said: "Oh no, I didn't come to New York to die. I came to New York to LIVE."
Arriving in New York in his 70s, he lived in his accustomed artistic squalor in a Lower East Side walk-up with a view through a grimy window pane of the next door neighbor's grimy bedroom window. Every bit the considerate Englishman, he turned off his bare-bulb light at 11 p.m. and sat in the dark, lest the neighbor complain the glare from the 60-watt bulb (through two filthy window panes) kept him awake.
The new film traces his meteoric rise after his cunning agent, played by Swoosie Kurtz, launches him into a career as a raconteur in an off-Broadway one-man show and he becomes a movie reviewer for a Christopher Street magazine run by Philip Steele (Denis O'Hare).
And the film shows his meteoric fall from grace when, during one of his frequent TV talk-show appearances, he quips that AIDS is "just a fad" which will soon be out of fashion and the gay community viciously turns on him. Quentin, who has never apologized for anything in his life (and is not about to start apologizing now), is perplexed when he is dropped by his agent and editor until his eyes are opened when he gets to know young artist Patrick Angus (Jonathan Tucker), who is dying of AIDS. It is one of the most moving moments of the film.
But in a Hollywood happy ending, Quentin is rescued by performance artist Penny Arcade (Cynthia Nixon), who puts him back on stage, and Christopher Street magazine honcho Philip Steele renews their friendship, paving the way for for a glorious comeback and reconciliation with the gay community in his 90s.
Through it all, Quentin Crisp provides the pithy aphorisms, and John Hurt provides the soulful insights into the doubts and the loneliness which always lay behind the facade of rouge and eyeliner, the billowing scarf and the wide hat.
As might be expected, the best recommendation for this film comes from Quentin Crisp himself, who once famously said: "Any film, even the worst, is better than real life."
JUNE, JULY and August 2009
FEBRUARY and MARCH 2009
Hernestus, Priest of Antinous
The Temple of Antinous
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
PERMISSION MUST BE GRANTED BY THE AUTHOR FOR USE ELSEWHERE