senor-skitso asked: Hi! I love your blog to bits. On the pirate subject, I don't know if it has been mentioned here, or if it is relevant to the blog at all, but I thought it would be good to mention that caribbean pirates, specifically those of the golden age of piracy, besides being cultural and racially diverse, could be described as a self-reliant, functioning queer (mainly but not only) male community. Along with transgender people, homosexuality flourished and found stability and refuge in the open seas.
Okay but like you don’t have to erase queer women pirates, either. There’s a decent case to be made for Anne Bonny and Mary Read to have been bisexual. More here, more here [be warned- refers to them as “sexual deviants” just because they may have been bisexual/transgender.] (Mary, also called Mark Read, may or may not have been transgender, it’s definitely a gap in research as far as I have seen.) In contrast, Chang Shih was probably heterosexual, and Grace O’Malley probably was as well.
Almost all of the literature on gay pirates focuses in on the idea that there were “only men around” and that it “turned them gay”. It really is crap. For example, the ill-titled Sodomy and The Pirate Tradition: English Sea Rovers in the Seventeenth-Century Caribbean. Almost everything you find online is going to be so sensationalized you can’t even sift the facts from the bland puns. But the reality is probably fairly pedestrian (if extremely interesting!), and if the people writing about it can get over themselves a bit I think that reliable information and more reasonable interpretations can start coming to light.
^ I mean, if anything demonstrates that history reflects the writers more than it does the people being written about, this issue certainly falls under that category, IMHO.
Also if anyone has better info on this, please submit it!!!