|Guido Reni's Saint Sebastian (c.1616)|
I made another interesting discovery this evening looking at the table of saints in the book Fantasy Wargaming, ed. Bruce Galloway, also published in 1981. The Higher Powers table, which begins on page 244, lists "Archers, soldiers, homosexuals" as the Areas of Interest and Patronage for St. Sebastian. It also lists "persecution" as the Area of Disfavor for this saint.
Derek Jarman's classic gay film Sebastiane was released in the UK in 1976. It is certainly possible that some of the Cambridge University gamers that collaborated with Galloway to produce Fantasy Wargaming were familiar with the film. But I doubt that in the early 1980s many of the non-LGBTQ faithful were paying a great deal of attention to this aspect of the saint - unless they were art students. Sebastian was the first gay saint adopted/appropriated by the LGBTQ movement.
And that may be it. I just picked up this book after work, so we'll see in the next few weeks whether there are any other references in the text. But I can't help but think that just mentioning this aspect of the saint in 1981 - without any further comment - was still a very bold move in gaming for the time.