I always was sceptical about claims, which always took everything that insinuated homosexuality, at face value. There is one huge unanswered question that immideatly pops up in my head, whenever I read about that. Men kissing each other is disgusting to behold by most hetereosexual men. How can soldiers respect their commander or civilians their politicans, if they saw them kissing some with some other man? Even if it was a young, less many man? I believe that human nature doesn't just change so drastically over time. So I am sceptical about claims do. Even if they didn't see them kiss or have sex, they probably hear about it some way and probably would have made jokes about "x being a fa**ot that takes it up the bum or is constantly touching up his boy companion" either as a joke or as an expression of their disgust.
It's the same with claims about female soldiers, which in cases like during the German Migration Period were more like Camp Guardians and cheerleaders, but who would attack their own team, if they retreated. Or Shield Maidens, who took care of their equipment of Soldiers. But that aren't really frontline soldiers that were expected to see combat. In fact that is what motivated the Germanic Tribes to fight and not run away. Because your wive, daughters, the entire future of your people are on campaign with you.
This is just pure speculation, but what if most cases were just misunderstood close friendship? My reasons are that today still many people either jokingly (bromance), willfully or seriously misunderstand close, brotherly friendship between guys to be gay. Again this related back to my point that human nature wouldn't be so drastically different. Genetically we are basically the same as the Ancient Peoples. What if close friends just jokingly called each other lovers and that just got lost in translation? I mean if it was so obvious that the lovers part was just a joke, would anyone have bothered to write it down: "Actually it's just a meme, most men aren't serious, when they call their best friend their gay lover." To the dismay of historians, things Ancient Historians regarded as very obvious, weren't written down.
Also when we look at Greek-style pederasty, we see something interesting. Penetration wasn't supposed to take place. It was shameful. This reminds me of basically a more extreme hazing prank, where it's technically not gay, because penetration didn't take place. And whose to say that in practice it didn't evolve into just clothed humping or just placing the penis between the knees for a few seconds, instead of an actual sex act with ejaculation in mind?
Also it gets kinda funny in a meta sense, when we look at war propaganda and how some people take it as face value, because in a different value system this might be seen as good? IIRC the Romans wrote some very shameful things about the Celts. Like their women were all whores, who would sleep with any foreign men they came across. They young men as well.
I believe that of course homosexual bevahior existed, even if it might not have been regarded as such in some cultures. Like where it's seen as only gay, if you are the passive partner. (but who knows what might have been going on behind closed doors and the public's speculation) Especially Mediterranean cultures, because we can witness that culture surive even to this day, like in the Muslim World, where they somehow managed to combine this with anti-gay sentiment. Honestly when I looked at that, I began to look at the anti-gay message of early Christanity in another light. If you lived in an enviorment like that, then it makes sense to call out that behavior as sinful. Even today lots of young men and boys get traumtaized by this absuse, which is hard to put a figure on. It probably also has something to do with the degree to which women are treated. In more western, european cultures women had still different roles, but they weren't necessariyl regarded as "lesser value". So the trend seems to be the more women were shut out of public life, the more this behavior took place in cultures.