This book demonstrates a fruitful cross-fertilisation of ideas between British queer history and art history. It engages with self-identified lesbians and with another highly important source for queer history: oral history. The book highlights the international dimension of what to date has been told as a classic British tale of homosexual law reform and also illuminates the choices made and constraints imposed at the national level. It embarks on a queer critical history, arguing for the centrality, in John Everett Millais's life-writing, of the strange-to-us category of unconventionality. The book aims to expose the queer implications of celebrity gossip writing. It offers a historical analysis of the link between homosexual men and gossip by examining the origins of the gossip column in the British tabloid press in the three decades after 1910. The book provides an overview of the emergence and consolidation of a number of new discourses of homosexuality as a social practice in postwar Britain. It explores a British variant on homophile internationalism before and immediately after the 1967 Sexual Offences Act by mapping Grey's cross-border connections while noting strain against transnational solidarity. The book focuses on evidence collected by the 1977 Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship to illustrate how gay men conceptualised the place of pornography in their lives and its role in the broader struggle for the freedom.
Society gossip, homosexuality and the logic of revelation in the interwar popular press
This chapter has a rather gossipy agenda. Its aim is to expose the queer implications of celebrity gossipwriting. It might seem unnecessary and maybe even a bit offensive to assert that homosexual men make good gossips. In many ways, the ‘gay gossip’ is a common enough construct that it has fallen into the realm of cliché, used as a way of denigrating homosexual men as prone to engage in feminised, malicious behaviour that is, at its worst, seen to be corrosive to the social order. This stereotype has even been carried to the level of self-parody, seen
’s War’ narrative. Counter-posed to this was the ‘Churchillian’ narrative, which utilised traditional, often rural and heroic images from the more distant past, and was linked to a conservative view of the war’s objectives. 13 The quotation used is as follows:
Surely one reason why the last twenty years now seem a tragic farce, even here at home, is that during this period we did not change values but merely cheapened them. It will be remembered as the era of nightclub haunting princes and gossip-writing peers. The masquerade still went on, though now the