July 17, 2014 at the Unity Theater Liverpool, UK with the Grin Theater Company:
Aristophanes presents a story in Plato’s dialogue The Symposium in which he states that humans originally had four arms, four legs and a head with two faces. They had three genders represented by their two sets of genitalia: male (2 penises), female (2 vaginas), and androgenic (one of each).
These humans had an incredible strength because they were whole and cartwheeled happily through the days. The gods feared their strength and that they might use it to conquer them. But destroying the humans with lightning as they had done with the Titans would deprive them of the offerings and devotion the humans were presenting to them.
So, Zeus came up with the idea of chopping the humans in halves. It would not just take away their strength; he would also double the number of humans paying tributes. The plan threatened to fail, because the split humans suffered miserably and were about to die. Apollo sewed them up leaving the naval as only reminder of their former shape. Being only half of what they once were, humans would henceforth eternally long and search for the one completing them, be it male or female.
Plato wrote The Symposium in c. 385 – 380 B.C. All characters, who gather in his story for a party, have to deliver a speech in praise of love. Aristophanes starts his part by explaining that in order to interpret the origins of love and how it affects the present time, you had to understand human nature.
While science tells us another story of our Origins, one of evolution, Plato was right in his assumption that it is human nature to be diverse. Well, it is actually nature’s nature to be diverse since the basis, strength and beauty of evolution, just like that of the arts, is diversity. To come back to this conclusion however, took us humans a mighty long time, and in many cases and places even today we haven’t come around to it yet with the most cruel consequences for those affected.
When the Great War broke out in 1914 there was not a single country in the Western World where homosexual acts between men were not punishable by law. It would be decades before the decriminalization and even longer before the LGBT community would start to gain limited civil rights in developed countries. Yet, as long as it its noteworthy what sexual preferences someone has, we haven’t reached the casualness, naturalness, normality, and also privateness the subject actually deserves.
Despite it all, despite being pushed into illegality for something we all have no choice about and something that should be a source of strength rather than stress, men and women of the LGBT community did aid their countries, because in the end it does not matter, who we love or how we love – we fight for it.
With uncountable thanks to all those, who made this very special art attack of From Berlin with Love possible including and not least Grin Theater Company’s Helen and Kiefer.