Tag Archives: Farinelli

The Elusive Eunuch—Part Two

THE KILLOUGH CHRONICLES | THE INDIA FILES

by James Killough

Please read Part One first.

Let me backpedal even further down memory lane to the very first time I first became interested in eunuchism; even though, like most men who have no transgender aspirations, I had an instinctive aversion to it and wanted at the very least to cross my legs when I thought about losing my genitals, or even better don a pair of titanium underpants to protect myself.  That first time coincided with my decision to abandon acting and become a filmmaker at the age of eighteen.

Stefano Dionisi as the castrato singer Farinelli.

I had an older gay mentor at the time, as many young Gheys do, a sort of nonsexual guru who instructed me in the Ways of Ghey—by ‘older,’ I mean he was twenty-four.  He was a classic of his kind: bitchy, funny, great taste, somewhat aristocratic, edgy, Italian.  He worked for a while as an assistant to a famous gay journalist for the Village Voice, and one day he threw me a book he’d stolen from his boss’s library called Memoirs of a Castrato by Henry Lyon Young.  (He threw things at me a lot, which is probably why we’re no longer in touch.)

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