An English scholar has unearthed a scroll of parchment containing what he says is the earliest English-language writing on the topic of gay rights. Ancient And Modern Pederasty Investigated And Exemplified, a book written by Thomas Cannon in 1749 is a “defense” of homosexuality containing citations from ancient Greek and Roman literature.
The book was suppressed upon publication, with all copies destroyed and the printer forced to flee the country to avoid prosecution. Dr. Hal Gladfelder of the University of Manchester said of the author, “It’s a fair assumption that Cannon was writing for a gay subculture at the time – which has largely remained hidden. Though he lived in anonymity – possibly because of the notoriety of his pamphlet – I certainly regard him as a martyr.”