The Ship that Dare not Speak her Name.
At first glance, this play seems outrageous at suggesting there might have been a homosexual relationship existing between Captain Bligh and Fletcher Christian. However when one realises that most of what we know today, came about as a vigorous publicity campaign by Fletcher Christian's influential and talented brother, our attitude changes, or should change. More
It is a well-documented fact that William Bligh flogged less than most of his contemporaries. However, I defy anyone to attempt a straw poll, asking, 'was Bligh famous for flogging his men?' I'll warrant that most would answer, 'yes, he flogged his seamen mercilessly'. However when we look at individual testaments from the crew, it is not so apparent.
Therefore, if one accepts that impression of Bligh the flogger is false, perhaps other concepts are to. Looking behind the clouding of time and Fletcher's energetic brother, one can see a different story. Consequently, by examining the testimony of surviving mutineers and loyal sailors we find that it is Mr Christian, rather than Lieutenant Bligh that is the villain of the piece.
As Christian had kept Heywood out of the way during the mutiny and desiring that he (Heywood) escape the retribution that Christian expected to arrive shortly, he (Christian) must have compelled Heywood to stay, giving him strict instructions to surrender to the first R.N ship that arrived. (Was this not the act of a man protecting the object of his affection?)
Which is just what Heywood did, moreover when he returned home, (unfortunately his papers were lost as the returning ship hit a reef,) he combined with Christian's able brother to dam Bligh's name.
In any case, as Heywood was to stay on the island and if the other men were heterosexuals. Where was Christian to turn for relief after the mutiny? One of the local women perhaps?
We know that Christian was free of venereal disease before landing, but acquired it on the island However it was not only acquired from females and Tahiti had a enlightened attitude to homosexuality.)
This leads one to examine Bligh's writing about the Mahu (Homosexuals) whom he closely examined as to their genitals, which he wrote, seemed to have shrunk and were pulled back between their legs. Men obtained pleasure from the Mahu and he further wrote a detailed description of these homosexuals, as he did about the phenomenal acrobatics of the Arioi who abused their penises for an audience. However, it is noteworthy that being a Mahu did not involve any shame and many achieved rank and advantages.
So what am I saying, well as you know there are degrees of Homosexuality and I believe that Fletcher Christian was nearer the full homosexual than was bisexual William Bligh, combine this with an extended voyage, where the average age of the crew was twenty six, Christian found someone else younger, but he still played Bligh for all he could get.