On the other hand, the lack of data confirming homosexual practices in Kemet should not be surprising given the Afrikan worldview. The entire structure of Kemetic society indicates that the proper alignment for all relationship was based on the complementary interaction of masculine and feminine forces. In this worldview and cosmological schema homosexuality has no place.
Throughout all their tombs and temple walls the Kemeyu art rarely show erotic scenes, as they have addressed sexual energy in its divine manifestation associated with life and fertility. Afrikans never exclude human sexual intercourse from its divine manifestation, the two are inseparable. Even in the period of cultural decline when limestone fragments of drawing called ostrakons appear and the art is directed at the baser aspects of human sexuality, there are still no scenes of anal, oral, or same-sex intercourse, behaviors usually associated with homosexuality. The data presented as evidence of its acceptance is fragile and more than anything else is a projection of the Western imagination. More burdensome than projection is the problem of interpretation.
We will examine one case that various writers have offered as proof of homosexuality in Kemetic culture. However, it must be made clear the argument here, is that homosexuality was considered culturally unaccepted behavior and not that incidences of it never occurred in Kemetic society.
They cite Kemetic mythology as evidence of the acceptance of homosexuality. One of the most important neteru in Kemet, Set, some contemporary writes have identified as homosexual. As evidence they offer: his depiction in different forms--sometimes as a gender-variant male; a variant in the mythology in which Set gives birth to Horus’ child; his attempt to rape/sodomize Heru; and his lack of a relationship with his wife Nebhet.
Set’s depiction in different form is insufficient proof of his sexual preference or orientation. We must also reject the argument of his lack of a relationship to his wife as indicative of a lack of interest in women and therefore by default homosexual behavior, since there is another variant where he tries to have intercourse with Auset. Those that identify him as bisexual, are equally incorrect. Again, Western projections fail adequately to address the situation and we must term to Afrika for a suitable answer--Set, like all neteru, was twinned (androgynous). The principle of twinness applies to man as well as neter. Looking at other Afrikan cultures offer a clue to Set’s energy and role in Kemetic society. Various Egyptologists have called set a “trickster” deity, which allows us to cross-reference him with other Afrikan trickster deities. Eshu of the Yoruba will provide an excellent case in point. Though Westerner equate him with their “devil” or evil and he does deceive humanity, at the same time he is a “humble servant” to Oludumare (Supreme Being). (And Set after his final defeat and judgement by the Ennead becomes the faithful neter that propels Ra across the horizon). Eshu is rampantly sexual. His upward spike of iron often accompanying his icon serves as a phallic symbol. Though usually symbolized as a male, the actual Eshu shrine in Nigeria consist of both male and female Eshu–Eshu is twinned. He like Set, is highly sexual, twinned and more importantly, a devoted force of the Supreme Being. Thus, Set’s gender-variant identity is only a problem for those that do not understand the importance of twinness in Afrikan thought.
To address the other aspects of Set and Heru’s relationship requires an examination of the myth. According to it, at one point in their epic struggle for the throne, Set invited Heru to his place of residence. During the night Set becomes erect and puts his member between Heru’s thighs. Heru put his hand between his legs and catches Set’s ejaculation. Upon Heru showing his mother Auset Set’s seed in his hand, she which she cries out, seizes his hand and cuts it off. She has Heru take out his member and produce his seed, which she takes to Set’s garden and places it on lettuce, his favorite vegetable. Set comes to the garden and eats the lettuce and unknowingly became pregnant with Heru’s seed. Hoping to defame Heru and deprive him of the throne, Set invites him to the Ennead tribunal where he tells them because of his act of aggression against his nephew, Heru has forfeited his claim to the throne, thus making him the rightful heir. The Ennead (the tribunal) spits in Heru’s face in disgust. Heru laughs informing the Ennead that Set has tricked them and that in truth Set has been impregnated by him. Once Tehuti reveals that Set is carrying Heru’s seed, the Ennead awards the throne to Heru.
Any attempt to interpret Kemetic cosmology/mythology literally is doomed to fail. But even a literal and liberal interpretation would not result in the conclusion reached by overzealous writers. For example, since when does Set giving birth to Heru child qualify him as a homosexual? Moreover, Set’s attempted rape we must view as an act of aggression and not one of homosexual love. It was meant to dishonor Heru and not as an act affection. As we have seen in Kenyan society anal intercourse is considered rape, an act of aggression, as they identically perceived it in Kemet. Interestingly, even the intercourse in the myth was interfemoral and not pederastic, demonstrating the strong disapproval of that behavior in Afrika societies. Set’s behavior was disorderly and self-centered, behaviors that suggest his immaturity and unfitness to rule Kemet, therefore to treat him as a homosexual misses the symbolic meaning of him behavior and also to the chagrin of the homophiles, it casts the homosexual in an unfavorable light.