Gay dating through the ages: a glance at how far we’ve come

It’s bizarre to think that the first same sex marriage only took place in 2014. Of course it’s a wonderful liberation, but it does raise questions of what prohibited this right to come into effect sooner, and how far the gay community has actually come. We’re looking back into the past to appreciate the struggle that took place and where the gay community is heading towards now.

Gay dating and lesbian relations can be traced back to pre-history (1700 BCE) through the engravings of phallic male rock art and writings of homosexual activity. It seems the view on gay relationships has continuously changed throughout the years, and we may have taken steps back in the advancement of acceptance throughout the different periods. For example, the Hellenistic age (323 BC) viewed gays in a positive light, and during the Roman age it was considered socially acceptable for one man to desire another. But come the 6th century, gay persecution became widespread and the advancement of acceptation retreated.

In modern times, the progress of gay dating in the UK could be considered by some as equal to a heterosexual relationship. The biggest UK gay movement came in the 1950’s. This was a time in which homosexual behaviour was being recorded as a criminal offense, and gay men were sent to prison. However, in 1954, the Wolfenden Committee was set up to review the UK law relating to homosexual behaviour. It opposed the ‘Homosexual Offence Act’ and recommended the abolishment of gay criminalisation, starting the rise in the fight for gay rights. But, it wasn’t until the late 60’s that gay sexual behaviour was finally decriminalised by law.

Today, gays are able to adopt children and marry. These legal rights may be equal, but we can’t ignore the prejudiced that still remains within certain groups. People who vocalise their ‘disgust’ at gay dating can hinder gays to fully express themselves. This can cause emotional stress and an internal struggle of being able to freely live the lives they want.

If we view the advancements of the gay community across the world in modern times, it seems to tell a different story from the UK. There are still over 70 countries where gays are punished, jailed, and in some cases killed, for engaging in sexual relationships with other men or women. The majority of these countries can be found in Africa, Asia and South America and leads to questions whether a country’s culture or religious viewpoint can prohibit the gay community’s progress. Personal opinions as we discussed before can be a hindrance, but religious views can be a lot more problematic. Trying to change or even slightly alter traditional views can be extremely difficult, and in some cases may not be possible. It is important to acknowledge that there are still gays struggling to live their lives the way they want. We would like to hope that sometime in near future gay dating is accepted everywhere.

Check out our gay dating section if you’re looking for more gay dating advice, it’s full of advice articles and tips to help you on your dating journey. You may like to read about Matt’s (our gay blogger) experience on Match.