31 Days of Devotion, day 13

What modern cultural issues, if any, are closest to this deity’s heart?

After repeated assertions in my postings here that Antinous is not simply a gay god, or a god of being gay, or a god for gay men, I must now seemingly reverse myself and say that the welfare of gay men is a cultural issue with which he is very much concerned. Antinous’ relationship in mortal life with Hadrian is not something that simply vanished or became insignificant upon his deification. He was involved in a sexual relationship with another, older man which we believe to have been a loving one, sanctioned by classical Greek customs; he was eromenos to Hadrian’s erastes. He continues to be concerned and involved with men who love other men.

However, it is not only men who love men who concern the god, but women who love women, and people who love people. Antinous is a champion of sexual freedom, of equality in loving relationships, of justice for all genders, all sexualities, all expressions of eros. He is as much a defender of the battered wife who leaves her abusive husband as of the queer teenager banished from their home by abusive parents. Queer people, whether gay or lesbian, asexual, transgender, nonbinary, bisexual, or whatever, are Antinous’ people, whom he loves and protects.

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