The Classic Maya, like many peoples in the ancient world, paid keen attention to male youths as a key age/gender grade, and, in the Maya example, to those who would inherit a courtly world of privilege and domination. Detection of glyphic texts and images relevant to male youth reveals them to be a major interest of elite Classic society, participating in tribute, dances and battle. This transient status, marked by infancy and juvenility on one end, adulthood and ancestral status on the other, led to the production of drinking vessels and sundry goods owned by ‘great youths’, presumably those soon to marry or enter adulthood. Homosocial and homoerotic impulses conditioned male youth among the Classic Maya, if in ways that remain only faintly or intermittently visible. The probability nonetheless exists that this evidence represents a thin slice of Classic society, skewed by elite concerns with reproducing elite attributes across generations.