Warren Johansson

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Warren Johansson (February 21, 1934 – June 10, 1994) was a philologist, author and a leading American gay scholar during his lifetime. He was founding member of the Scholarship Committee of the Gay Academic Union. Johansson wrote on homosexual history without disavowing/excluding pederasty, and contributed many entries to the Encyclopedia of Homosexuality (1990), including the entry on pederasty itself.[1]

His first venture into gay scholarship was to co-author Greek Love with Walter H. Breen, who wrote under the name J. Z. Eglinton.[2] He later wrote on the history of Uranian Poetry.


William Percy wrote an obituary for Johansson in Before Stonewall (2002), edited by Vern Bullough, which gives some details about his life. Percy cites an example of Johansson's surprising discoveries: while the British Wolfenden Committee was sitting, Johannson unearthed the by-now-famous citation from Sigmund Freud, to the effect that homosexuals were not sick, and sent it off.[3] Later, he provided expert testimony to legislative bodies in several countries including Luxembourg, Moldova and Argentina.

Johansson apparently ran through a couple of bequests in record time: at one point he was driving a Mercedes in California, but most of the time he was penniless, and slept in public places such as libraries while keeping his few possessions in storage lockers. As Percy points out, Johansson came to see himself as a model of the Talmudic scholar, and thought it only fair that he should receive room and board (from Percy and others) in exchange for providing what amounted to an advanced post-graduate education in gay studies, gratis.

Percy has called Johansson "simply the most extraordinary person I have ever known."



  1. Johansson on Pederasty
  2. Eglinton, J. Z. (1964). Greek Love. O. Layton Press. p. 298. "[Signed articles] are by Dr. Warren Johansson; those unsigned are by me."
  3. Johansson, Warren (1990). Dynes, Wayne R. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. Garland Press. p. 434. "In a statement printed in the issue of October 27, 1905, he asserted that 'like many experts, I uphold the view that the homosexual does not belong before the bar of a court of justice. I am even of the firm conviction that the homosexual cannot be regarded as sick, because the individual of an abnormal sexual orientation is for just that reason far from being sick. Should we not then have to classify many great thinkers and scholars of all ages, whose sound minds it is precisely that we admire, as sick men? Homosexual persons are not sick, but neither do they belong before the bar of a court of justice. Here in Austria, and to a greater extent in Germany, a powerful movement is on foot to abrogate the paragraph of the penal code that is directed against those of an abnormal sexual disposition. This movement will gather ever more support until it attains final success.'"