Today is the final feature in this series, GLBTQ Bare History Month, a part of the celebration of October as GLBTQ History Month here on ReNude Pride. As promised in the first installment of this series, this week’s theme is Skinny-Dipping (swimming naked). There are just some things in life that always withstand the tests of both time and generations and skinny-dipping apparently is one of those activities. Skinny-Dipping or nude swimming or natural swimming is one of those bare activities that is enjoyed and practiced all around the world.
Swimming without the benefit of swim-wear isn’t restricted by cultures or religions. It is universally practiced in all societies and in many cases it isn’t considered an exclusively naturist or nudist activity. Many people who engage in swimming clothes free don’t even think of themselves as being a naturist or nudist and would be highly insulted and offended to be judged that way by others. An amazing number of people who have been swimming in the nude have no earthly idea that they have ever skinny-dipped!
The first image featured on ReNude Pride’s series of posts for Bare GLBTQ History Month is one that I have published here previously. It depicts a group of men labelled Allied soldiers wading into the water during World War II. The nationality of the men, as well as the type of service (army, navy, air force) is unknown. As Australia, Canada and the USA all three celebrate GLBTQ history month during October, it is safe to assume the men were from one of those countries and possibly New Zealand and the UK. Of course the sexuality of the men is unknown and their ages vary. The date of this photo is 1944.
The man in the photograph above is obviously wading into the surf or standing and letting the waves roll onto him. The location were this picture was taken is unknown. His hair style (with the sideburns) and mustache suggest the date of this image as late 1960’s or early 1970’s. His physical development puts him in perhaps his middle to late twenties. As he is the only person in this photograph we have no way of determining his sexual orientation. His stance is one of no body shame so he could very well be a bare practitioner at the time this photo was made.
The man above is in the process of diving into an indoor pool. At the moment this picture was made, he is not skinny-dipping (technically) but he is about to be doing so. The diver himself is probably in his later teen-age years or early twenties. Due to the circumstance of him being in the execution of a dive and the only one pictured, we have no means to speculate as to his sexual orientation. The image dates from the late 1940’s.
The above photograph shows us four teenagers all with their feet soaking in an outdoor pool. They are all squinting their eyes in the sunlight. The picture, judging by the hairstyles, dates from the middle to later 1950’s. This photo was likely not taken in the USA because the “Jim Crow” laws that were prevalent throughout the country at that time would not have allowed such a relaxed mixing of the different races and especially not in a swimming pool. Although the U. S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education outlawed segregation in public schools, integration in recreational and community facilities were still years from being a reality. Unfortunately, in the 1950’s USA, the above image was a scarce rarity for most and a dream for many.
This is the last Friday in October, which we have observed here on ReNude Pride as our very own GLBTQ Bare History Month. As always, it has been a pleasure to browse through archives and publish photos of naked men from yesteryear, especially those who are quite possibly same gender loving or bisexual. Sometimes, with our hectic lives, we’re forced to live “in the moment” and lose sight of how life was once very secretive and dangerous for gay men – and nudists, also. In many places, even today, life continues to be that way for same gender loving men who are also bare practitioners (naturists or nudists).
The images that were featured here by no means share our complete history. As we all know, history is written each and every day of our lives. What is important for all of us to realize and remember is that all of us are a part of the historical narrative of the GLBTQ community and the community of bare practitioners. What part we play depends on us and our circumstances. It is incumbent on each one to try and to leave the most positive legacy possible.
We may not all be rich and famous, but we do have a unique story to share!
Happy GLBTQ Bare History Month!