Achilles of Greek Mythology

Achilles was a Trojan warrior for the Greek side and, as depicted in the movie Troy, was a man who had male lovers which was not unusual for his time. One male lover of his in particular was named Patroclus, who he was madly in love with; both had fought in the Trojan War.

What’s significant is that during Achilles’ time, gay male love was revered and highly esteemed in Greek culture. Gay male love at the time was important in that when two male lovers fought alongside each other in battle, each was a better warrior. Each would look out for the other, acting as a team; because of this, it was esteemed and helpful in combat for men to be both lovers and warriors.

Today, a phrase that’s well known to many is Achilles’ Heel. The myth of the Achilles’ Heel arises from the fact that Achilles’s downfall came from Patroclus’s death. Patroclus, wanting to be as good a warrior as Achilles, disguised himself as Achilles but was killed in battle. Afterwards, Achilles was devastated and endured a fatal injury in his next battle due to his reduced strength and broken heart. This is significant because it was his broken heart over his male lover that led to his destruction.

The story of Achilles is important for the LGBT community because something that we talk about today arises from two men’s love for each other.