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Authors: Robert Joseph Greene

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The Gay Icon Classics of the World

BOOK: The Gay Icon Classics of the World
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Journey and the Jewels - Saudi Arabia

3. And Cupid Also Loved – Rome

4. Haakon of Hearts – Sweden

5. The Wrong Voice Far Away – Egypt

6. Bantu's Song and the Soiled Loin Cloth – Côte d'Ivoire

7. The Five Bows of Shakespeare's Apprentice – Great Britain

8. The Three Wishes – Mexico

9. The Barton – France

10. The Love of Falleron and Ibsen – Greece

11. Halo's Golden Circle – Judea (Israel)

ICON EMPIRE PRESS

THE GAY ICON

CLASSICS OF THE

by
Robert Joseph Greene

The Gay Icon Classics Of The World

Robert Joseph Greene

ICON EMPIRE PRESS
Toronto Vancouver New York London
The Gay Icon Classics Of The World
ISBN 978-0-9869297-3-1
All Rights Reserved © 2011 by Robert Joseph Greene

No part of this ebook may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or by any information storage retrieval system, without the permission in writing from the publisher.

published by Icon Empire Press 552 Church Street #75 Toronto, ON M4Y 2E3 CANADA.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to thank Camilla Greene, Thomas Greene, Kelli-Anne, Caleb Greene, Stanley Bennett Clay, Catherine Adamson (a special THANK YOU!) , Robert Windisman, Bonnie Yiu, Bobby Nijjar, Dan Mohan, John Weger, Stephanie Yuen, Mairi Welman, Brad Harrah, Tim Tewsley, Derek Hewlett, Dan Di Luigi, Scott Ireland, Karol Sienkiewicz, Colin Clode, Genevieve Iacovino, Alexander Hopkins, C.Wood,Dan Mohan, Alexander Hopkins, Ben Besler for their proofreading and editing and/or moral support.

BOOK COVER ART

“St. Francis in Ecstasy”, 1595 (oil on canvas), Caravaggio (1571-1610) / The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut USA

The Gay Icon Classics Of The World
Introduction

For thousands of years, history has robbed us of our identity. Gay men had to keep their homosexuality a secret for fear of death. Many of the stories presented are either directly influenced from the cultures of origin or are pieces of hearsay that I have made into a full story for others to understand.

One perfect example of how I took hearsay and made it into a short story comes from my university years. While taking summer courses at UCLA, I met a girl from the Ivory Coast. When I told her that I was gay, she said that she had never met a gay man before. I asked her if she had heard of anything about gay love; she replied that she once heard of an ancient tribal story about two teenage boys who were banished from a village for kissing each other in public. The story was passed down to her by her grandmother but she didn't remember the details.  It was from this piece of information that I was able to write the story of “The Soiled Loin Cloth”.

I have particularly keen interest in stories from cultures that have deep homophobic views. I feel that seeing gay people exist in their culture will help them realize that love is a universal truth which is not limited to heterosexual relationships.

The stories that I have chosen (and there were many to pick from) focus more on love and understanding rather than lust. In an interview with The Watermark (a Central Florida publication), I explained that most of my stories are allegories meant to give gay men more depth and understanding, to showcase human relations between men that will help readers to think of the spiritual and mental aspects of love over mere sex or lust.

I am a true romantic. At times, I feel that romantics are to gays what Christians were to Romans back in the day: we are something to feed to the lions.

When I was honored by Camp Rehoboth (a nonprofit community service organization dedicated to creating a more positive gay environment in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware) and its related communities, I knew this book was long overdue.  Their monthly newsletter published one of my stories on Valentine's Day. I was featured in “Letters From Camp Rehoboth” for my romantic writings. They had honored me by buying the one unpublished story that I felt really touched me.

It has taken years for me to bring this all together but it is with great pride that I present to you the Gay Icon Classics.

 -Robert Joseph Greene

The Journey and the Jewels - Saudi Arabia
First Published in “Letters From Camp Rehoboth,” February 2006

In the days when Europe fell into the dark ages, and as the world blossomed in the Middle East, there lived a young Arabian prince named Asfar. Prince Asfar was a happy young child who played with his young servant, Ahmed. As the young prince grew older so did his fondness for his obedient servant. Others in the palace saw this fondness between the young servant and the prince. Soon, palace officials felt that this fondness was becoming a forbidden one. When word got to the King of this forbidden relationship, the King quickly disapproved, and silently Ahmed was banished from his kingdom. Ahmed and his family, fearing death, had to flee Arabia during a cold, desert winter's night. The young prince was not told of his servant's hasty departure nor of his father's displeasure.

Young Prince Asfar soon came into manhood. As he grew, his forbidden affections grew from his longing for his childhood servant, Ahmed, to other men. Prince Asfar kept this secret to himself, for the laws of Koran forbade these types of affections. The prince's heart lay empty, for it was longing for Ahmed. His father, in preparing Asfar to take his throne, burdened the young prince with scholarly tutors, physical exercises, and hunting lessons. It was during a hunting exhibition that the young prince won a top prize for bravely capturing a fierce snake single-handedly. The king, so proud of his son,
and seeing how he was growing into such a brave and dashing figure, awarded him with a castle. “With this castle, you will build your harem,” said the king. The prince thanked his father and bowed his head low in the king's honor, but the bow also served to hide the tears that crept from the young prince's eyes. The prince knew that a harem could not fill his empty heart.

One day when Prince Asfar felt he could bear the pain no longer, the young prince confided in an old tutor. He told him of his longing for his childhood servant Ahmed. The old tutor was wise and had traveled many miles in his years. In his lifetime, he had taught several young princes and princesses in many faraway lands. He knew that the young prince spoke of love, and had heard of this love before from another prince in a distant realm. The wise old tutor told the young prince that love knows no boundaries and he knew of another prince like Prince Asfar. The wise old tutor said that the young prince lived in another kingdom across the great desert, over the mountain, on the other side of the sea.

Prince Asfar's longing for this prince was so great that he quickly sold all his worldly possessions, including his newly-awarded palace, to buy provisions for the long journey that lay so ahead. The prince also bought three of the finest jewels in all of Arabia: an emerald, a diamond, and a ruby. “With these jewels, I will pledge my love to this foreign prince,” said Prince Asfar.

The prince was to join a caravan that would make the long journey across the desert. It was departing from a neighboring town only a day's journey from the palace. Prince
Asfar was within 3 hours' reach of the caravan when he came upon a peasant woman laying in the sand in grave pain. The peasant woman realized it was the great Arabian prince and called out for his help. “Help me, great prince. I have been so loyal to your father and his kingdom.” The prince pondered whether to help her now or send someone from town. He knew that if he were to help her, he would miss his caravan. He also knew that should he send someone from town, it would be many hours before the old peasant would be reached, and she might die. The prince was a compassionate prince and quickly got off his camel to help her. He carried her to a doctor on the outskirts of town. The doctor was too busy to aid the ailing peasant woman. “Leave her to die, for she is just a peasant, and cannot pay me for her life,” said the busy doctor. The prince quickly reached into his pocket and offered the doctor a ruby for payment. The doctor eagerly took the ruby and attended to the peasant woman. Prince Asfar stayed by her side, missing his caravan. He kept her company for many days while she recovered. He even confided in her about his great journey. When she was well enough, she told the prince that she knew of a better route through the desert, and shared her knowledge in appreciation for all that he had done.

Now, it was lucky for the prince that he had came upon the peasant woman when he did. Had he been with the caravan, he would have perished with them in a great sand storm. The route suggested to Prince Asfar by the old peasant woman was much more difficult than his original path, yet the prince traveled tirelessly day and night, with very little sleep. He made the treacherous journey with another caravan across the great desert, over the mountain, to the other side of the sea within three months' time.

As he impatiently entered into the great gates of the foreign kingdom, he came upon a guard beating and dragging a poor young lad to a noose that hung nearby. Prince Asfar looked closely at the lad and realized that it was former childhood servant, Ahmed. The prince grabbed the guard and demanded an explanation for such punishment. The guard said that Ahmed was a thief and was to be put to death. Prince Asfar turned to the quivering accused and asked if it was true. Ahmed said that the accusation was false and explained that the guard was a jealous lover. As the prince looked into Ahmed's eyes, he knew that Ahmed was not lying. The prince ordered Ahmed to be freed, but the guard refused. So, Prince Asfar reached into his pocket and offered the guard the emerald in exchange for Ahmed's freedom. The guard greedily took the emerald and tossed poor Ahmed at the prince's feet. So grateful was Ahmed that he pledged his life, once again, in service to the prince.

Overwrought from his long journey, the prince became ill and collapsed. He would have surely died had it not been for the care and treatment by his faithful servant, Ahmed. Whilst under Ahmed's care, Prince Asfar and Ahmed spoke of their wonderful childhoods together. Ahmed often entertained the prince with jokes and games, for the prince was too weak even to leave the bed.

It was a few months before Prince Asfar had enough strength to present himself to the foreign prince. The foreign prince was far more beautiful than Prince Asfar had ever imagined. Prince Asfar told the foreign prince of the nature of his journey. The foreign prince was quite vain and it only inflated his ego to hear of Asfar's loving words, and his great wish for a lifelong companionship with him. “ I welcome you into my arms,” said the foreign prince,
“for you will be the hundredth man in my court. I shall receive your love every hundredth day and sleep with you every hundredth night. Upon hearing such vanity, Prince Asfar quickly stormed out the palace and laid once again at the gates of this foreign kingdom and wept. Soon, Ahmed rushed to his side to console him. It was then that Prince Asfar turned to Ahmed and took him into his arms and said, “It is to you, Ahmed, that I will pledge my love, for you have served me as I will serve you -- forever.” Prince Asfar then reached into his pocket and presented Ahmed with the last jewel: the diamond.

BOOK: The Gay Icon Classics of the World
9.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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