Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

Categories: History | Society

Brett and Kate McKay, authors of the blog "The Art of Manliness", collect retro photos. After reviewing a lot of pictures, they noticed an interesting pattern — many of the men in the photo are very close. They hug and hold hands. Today they would be called gay, but before this behavior was the norm. Why is everything different now? If you are wondering when exactly the world "turned the wrong way", read our material.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now? A source: The Art of Manliness

Brett McKay is passionate about restoring vintage photos. He collects archival images, translates them into electronic format, colorizes them.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

Having collected a considerable collection, Brett noted that in many photos the men depicted are not shy about close physical contact.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

In those days, a man could pat a friend on the shoulder or even squeeze him in a tight embrace. And he wouldn't be considered gay.

Body language in old photos, position, facial expressions - all this may seem indecent to a modern person. But once such manifestations of intimacy among men were the norm.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

The term "homosexuality" appeared only in 1869. And at the beginning of the 20th century, homosexuality from "practice" became a lifestyle. Now the person no longer "had a tendency to certain sins", but "was a homosexual."

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

At the same time, scientists considered homosexuality a mental aberration, the church a perversion, and politicians wanted to prohibit such behavior at the legislative level. In such conditions, even the suspicion of "incorrect" orientation became an indelible stigma.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

We do not know the sexual orientation of each of the men in these vintage photographs. However, these photos express their freedom: the men depicted here did not think about whether one or another of their gestures would be homosexual. They just showed themselves the way they wanted.

These pictures show the process of evolution of male friendship and its external manifestations. What used to be the norm is now unlikely to allow you to maintain a warm relationship with a friend. Rather, he will stay away from the "strange" friend.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

In the 1920s, visiting a photo studio with a friend was commonplace. Many people came to take a general photo, and the pictures for many years reminded of warm, friendly relations.

The advent of portable cameras has led to a massive spread of fashion for portraits.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

Look at the men from this collection: some are lying in an embrace, others, without hiding warm feelings, holding hands, posing for a photographer.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

Such close relationships between men were largely a consequence of the taboo of society and separation, social and intimate. After all, women spent time among friends, men - in a circle of friends. No one thought that such a friendship was an indicator of a closer relationship with sexual overtones.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

After the Second World War, warm and close relations can only be seen in pictures of comrades-in-arms.

Close contacts and strong hugs in old photos: why was it normal before, but not now?

What was the reason for the fear of being known as a homosexual? The author believes that society is to blame for this, because being a homosexual meant becoming an outcast for society, and no one would want to live alone.

Keywords: Gays | Homosexuals | Friendship | Men | Psychology | Retro photos

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