top of page
  • Goose

UniQ: Did you know there’s girldick in the Louvre?

Words by Goose (she/they)

It’s true. Check it out:

Isn’t she pretty? Look at her, so peaceful. Just a girl taking a nap. Wish I was brave enough to nap in public.

She’s called the Sleeping Hermaphroditus. She dates back to Ancient Rome, but her original sculptor is unknown. The mattress she sleeps on in the Louvre was sculpted separately, by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 1600s. There’s also a copy of her in the Vatican, and a number of national museums around the world. 

In ancient myth, Hermaphroditus was the child of the gods Hermes and Aphrodite, born a handsome young boy and through divine shenanigans morphed into a divine being between genders. Her form is inspired by Venus, goddess of beauty, with a notable twist.

They aren’t the only trans-adjacent sculpture out there—frequent depictions of Dionysus/Bacchus in Greek and Roman mythology show the god of drink and partying as a genderfluid being, and most other gods have shapeshifted across genders once or twice in the old stories.

I remember seeing Hermaphroditus for the first time, scrolling absentmindedly through a Tumblr feed when all of a sudden she graced me with her presence. It was a revelatory moment—a soft “Oh, she looks a bit like me”, followed by “Oh, she looks a bit like me in the Louvre”. She’s a work of art, naked but not meant to be sexy, just a beautiful, resting body.

I feel a lot about her. I’ve written poetry about her, I need as many people to know about her as possible, to know and see that beautiful trans bodies have always been around, and even in ancient times we were seen as works of art.

a 2nd-century Bacchus, also in the Louvre


bottom of page