three pairs of lovers with space

GREEK LOVE IN THE MODERN NETHERLANDS

 

In the eighteenth century, the Netherlands was one of the countries most viciously intolerant of Greek love, with many suffering the death penalty. Although it became legal in 1811, when the country's incorporation into the French Empire brought it under French law, an age of consent of sixteen was later instituted, and in 1911 this was raised to twenty-one for homosexuality, only being returned to sixteen in 1971. With such a history, the social change that followed in the ensuing few years is remarkable.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Greek love came closer to being socially and legally fully tolerated in the Netherlands than it had anywhere in Europe since the triumph of Christianity in the 4th century. The comparison with just a decade earlier or later is remarkable, and even more so when compared with the English-speaking countries, where increasingly brutal suppression was already being spiced unmistakably with public hysteria.

Nothing perhaps illustrates this better than The House That Paul Built, interviews conducted in three households composed of boys living with their lovers with the knowing approval and financial support of the state.

Edgar, 11, on national Dutch radio in 1981, , in which a boy and his parents discussed the former's ongoing love affair with a man, is in a similar vein, as is Dutch policemen who understood, 1981, about the very positive attitude by the police towards a Greek love affair involving a thirteen-year-old.