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A Male Transvestite Prostitution In 14th Century London: The Testimony of John Rykener

A Male Transvestite Prostitution In 14th Century London: The Testimony of John Rykener


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A Male Transvestite Prostitution In 14th Century London: The Testimony of John Rykener

By Erkan Oruçoğlu

Published Online (2013)

Introduction: Studies of sexuality, homosexuality, and sex in public places, show that homosexual behavior does not give arise automatically, or even necessarily, to a homosexual identity. Homosexual roles and identities are historically constructed. Throughout the history of sexuality, homosexuality and sexual orientations continued to be understood as both acts and identities, also, behaviors, and beings. But, historians and social scientists alike have failed to fit everyone who behaves in a homosexual manner within a definition of “the homosexual” as a unitary type. Actually, it seems, most of them postulate the claims that homosexual identity is in between men and women sexes.

The genealogy of male homosexuality consists of the five categories; effeminacy, sodomy, friendship, inversion, and homosexuality itself. However, most of the studies propound that male homosexuals act as a prostitute, in the role of women, in terms of ‘as a bottom’. A number of studies have suggested that many males who prostitute themselves regard themselves as heterosexual and develop complex strategies to neutralize the significance of their behavior. But, here is a taboo=breaking document from 14th century London, presented here stands practically alone for medieval England as a description of same-sex intercourse, as well as male transvestism. In this respect, I will analyze literally the first person account, the testimony of John Rykener, and try to answer how local authority and officials viewed this personal behavior.

See also The Questioning of John Rykener, A Male Cross-Dressing Prostitute, 1395 from the Medieval Sourcebook


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