Emma Vickers
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Playing away
in Queen and country
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The concept of playing away refers not only to geographical space but also to gender subordination. Self-evident queer men and women represented the most visible embodiments of same-sex desire in the services. This chapter explores the experiences of these men and women and the dynamics of the relationships that they forged with their peers. It illuminates the often contested intersection between queerness and rank. The chapter focuses on the activities of queer officers as observed by those who served alongside them. In contrast to the 'good fellow', the chapter discusses those who, by 'playing away', fractured the acceptance of their comrades. B. Millard, who served in the Army, recalled one young lieutenant who had tried to take advantage of his batman. The visible evocation of masculinity and femininity also worked to reinforce military masculinity and femininity.

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Queen and country

Same-sex desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939–45


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