Having been born with a tiny hole in both earlobes, I’ve sometimes joked that I was a pirate in a previous incarnation. Cosmo Jarvis’s recently released ‘Gay Pirates’ single was Twittered by Stephen Fry, and by all accounts intrigued Elton John. Jarvis, twenty-one, born in the US, and a talented filmmaker, plays the part of a bullied pirate in the song’s video. His attraction to Sebastian, another young pirate (You’re my land ahoy/ You’re my boy) ends with them with hands tied being forced to walk the plank while sharing a lingering kiss. Cosmo sings:
“I’d be under the sea, but you hold me above, ‘cos you’re the man I love.”
While the bloodthirsty deeds of real pirates are well-documented, far less attention has been paid to the recurrence of pirate figures in gay culture. This image can be strong and positive, or dark and disruptive.