When the word pirate gets thrown around in a conversation, you often think about Johnny Depp and the Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise. Maybe you think about Somalia and real-life modern pirates, like the ones Captain Philips encountered in the 2009 Maersk Alabama hijacking. But you’d never think about whether pirates were gay or not.

We know pirates are often thought of as violent criminals who loot ships for money with their pirate ships. US Navy has a long and rich history of anti-piracy missions from 1903 with Capt. William Bainbridge commanded the USS Philadelphia along the Port of Tripoli to 2009 when the US destroyer Bainbridge with a SEAL team rescued Captain Philips from Somalian pirates.

With all of their recorded violent tendencies, you would never have thought about the sexuality of these men. So then, “Were pirates gay?” Join us as we take you through a fairly unique topic about the life of pirates.

The Golden Age of Piracy

Let’s give context to the whole pirate scenario. Yup, we all know that piracy had existed before the 1650s. Still, for the sake of the context of the whole gay marriage among pirates, we’ll start with the Golden Age of Piracy running from the 1650s  to 1730s, where pirates sailed the high seas robbing ships and even sacking entire towns in the Atlantic and the Spanish Main which included the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. Eventually European pirates were even plying the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.