Although this is just the beginning of this website, I already have a project in the works! It has to do with the high seas, murder, booty, and ships! That’s right! Pirates! Specifically gender non-conforming and homosexual pirates.
The Golden Age of Piracy was a short lived time where piracy was more profitable than honest sailing work. It’s a romanticized period in our time, inspiring movies like the Pirates of the Caribbean and many, many novels.
A lot of the queerness of the time is often over looked by historians and writers alike since it doesn’t match the idea of captured damsels or rough and tough men, or even the more interesting, the rough and tough women who are still seen as women despite their wearing of pants and violent natures, they’re still in search of a man.
However, the reality was, there were not a lot of women on pirate ships, or most ships to be frank and when a sexual feeling individual needed to get off, there was either their hand or their best mate. A lot of pirates chose their best mate.
See, in a male dominated field like this one, being queer wasn’t that unusal. It was commonplace, besides, they were already breaking a bunch of rules, what was one more? Queer relationships came in the form of matalage. Pirates had few legal rights so to ensure their things went where they wanted, their desires met incase of disaster, they would partner up with one of their fellow crewmates and express their needs and desires to them.
Some of these relations were simply legal. Others were often romantic as well. Many pirates sought each other out in times of need for comfort and support. And these matelage were a way to essentially marry your best friend, whom you were often in love with.
Now this project will focus on a few famous matelage and even some interesting gender non-conforming habits of some pirates. It will also be an excellent fun activity or even a teaching tool about pirates and their lives.
Look forward to more updates and, eventually, the final project!