> I recall that he uses the story of Gwydion and Gilfaethwy (having sex with
> each other in the shape of animals -- although the context presents it as a
> punishment) as evidence of homosexual initiatory practices in Celtic warrior
> societies. It's not impossible, but it doesn't come across as strong evidence.
I just now happened to recall the "Story of the Abbot of Druimenaig,
who was changed into a woman" found in _Anecdota From Irish Manuscripts_.
This came up on the list last summer:
This tale is probably much too late -- and is possibly more "medieval
European" than distinctively Irish in spirit -- for it to have much to
say about early Irish or Celtic homosexuality. It may, however, cast
some light on the attitudes of the time regarding gender mutability
and thus the role of the ollamh as the prince's bedfellow and symbolic
"wife". The tale is in language approaching Early Modern Irish and
tells of a man who mysteriously turns into a woman, marries, gives
birth to seven children, and then (unlike Virginia Woolf's Orlando)
changes back into a man.