How did you become first aware of this deity?
Anyone with any interest in ancient Rome has probably heard of Antinous. The phrase “Hadrian and Antinous” is like “bread and butter”. One of Adrienne Rich’s early poems concerns Antinous and his relationship to the Emperor. I’ve been interested in ancient Rome since I was a child; it must be decades since I first heard of Antinous.
It was not until fairly recently, though, that I heard of him as a god, a being who had been worshipped following his early death and was being worshipped again today. Between 2002 and 2012, I was pretty active on Livejournal, with connections to both fannish and pagan/polytheist communities. Somewhere during that time, I made a connection with P. Sufenas Virius Lupus on LJ and began to read eir WordPress blog, the Aedicula Antinoi, back when it was still new.
Antinous seems to me to be a god who is active through social media, who has no qualms about using it to reach his people and bring them together. I once had a Facebook chat with two other Antinoans who were twelve hours apart in time zones; I was six hours behind one and six hours ahead of the other, exactly in between.
PSVL once pointed out in an interview (and maybe more than once–I’m not sure I can identify which interview it was) that while Antinous is well known as a minor figure of ancient history, Roman history, queer history, he is not well known as a god. One of my aims as a blogger is to make the Bithynian Boy better known for the divinity he is.
How did you, dear readers, discover Antinous as the Beautiful God?