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New approaches and perspectives
Editor: Brian Lewis

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.

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British queer history
Brian Lewis

borders. Yet none of them would dissent from the proposition that the nation state is crucially important in framing the discourse, practices and experiences of queer history – not even David Minto, who comes closest to troubling the boundaries of ‘British’ queer history. His chapter is built around the papers of Antony Grey, secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society, and in particular Grey’s correspondence with homophile organisations in continental Europe and the United States in the 1960s. Minto reminds us that in the pre-Stonewall decade, before gay liberation

in British queer history
Tommy Dickinson

for homosexuals between 1957, when the report was published, and 1964 when the Director of Public Prosecutions intervened, and requested that the police ‘ease off ’ these individuals.6 Resistance to homosexual law reform was observed in a number of ways and many reformers were ironically using the same language of illness, sin and despair as those opposing legal change.7 However, British society was undergoing a rapid if uneven transformation by the mid-1960s. The homosexual may have been considered unusual, 201 ‘Curing queers’ but the unusual was in vogue, and

in ‘Curing queers’
The homophile internationalism of Britain’s Homosexual Law Reform Society
David Minto

remained illegal almost everywhere, much to the chagrin of its homophile activists. The trip had been more than a year in the planning, although US homophiles had mooted bringing over Grey, the secretary of Britain’s Homosexual Law Reform Society (HLRS), long before that. Dorr Legg, a co-founder of Los Angeles group ONE, had eventually sealed the deal by waiting until the Sexual Offences Bill cleared Parliament and by bankrolling the venture. With sodomy laws still on the books in all but one state, Legg envisioned Grey’s visit as not only enabling strategic

in British queer history
Tommy Dickinson

Departmental Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution, chaired by John Wolfenden, was set up on 4 August 1954 to appraise the law affecting homosexuality from the point of view of making it less draconian.131 Davidson argues that some of the fullest and most compelling evidence to the Wolfenden Committee in favour of homosexual law reform came from medical witnesses.132 Drs Inch and Boyd from the Scottish Prisons and Borstal Services aired grave doubts as to the value of imprisonment in reforming sexual offenders and favoured the decriminalisation of homosexual

in ‘Curing queers’
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Law reform, homosexual identity and the role of counter-culture
Lucy Robinson

didn’t like. You would stand by them’.2 Homosexuals were given a shared legal and medical identity. But as the characters outlined here show, political responses to this bond differed significantly. The different characters discussed here serve to undermine any artificial assumption of coherence amongst gay men and their politics. For example MacInnes was clear in his distaste for ‘English Queerdom’3, and the Homosexual Law Reform Society defined itself against the more radical organisations. Whatever the Royal Commission on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution said

in Gay men and the Left in post-war Britain
Chris Waters

further investigation into the social life of the homosexual. Moreover, such practices often persisted long into the postwar years. Even in the 1960s the focus of the newly established Homosexual Law Reform Society usually remained on the plight of the individual homosexual and the need for tolerance, understanding and legal reform; discussion of the underground, social world of the homosexual was generally avoided. The image of the isolated, solitary homosexual as a ‘sad young man’, to borrow from the work of Richard Dyer – divorced from any broader social life, given

in British queer history
Rebecca Jennings

within the community over dress, social behaviour and sexuality reflected a deep concern with the image represented by the lesbian community to itself and the wider society. Such concerns focused on a politics of privacy, representing lesbians as ‘ordinary’ people with a right to personal expression in the private sphere, which was similar to that espoused by the bar subculture and homosexual law reform societies. The articulation of a collective lesbian identity 135 Initially formed by a group of four or five lesbians, the magazine was dominated by its editor, Esme

in Tomboys and bachelor girls
Sonja Tiernan

, the Campaign for Homosexual Law Reform. The Campaign group comprised mainly law students, and they secured their first legal advisor among Norris’s colleagues at Trinity College. Mary McAleese, then Reid Professor of Law and later President of Ireland, served as their legal advisor from 1975–79. McAleese’s successor, Mary Robinson, was also appointed as Reid Professor of Penal Legislation, constitutional and criminal law, and the law of evidence, and became the first female President of Ireland. Norris sought and received the support of established politicians and

in The history of marriage equality in Ireland
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Rebecca Jennings

, the archive added further material to its collection, including the extensive papers of the early homosexual campaigning organisation, the Albany Trust. It was in this period that the notion of a sound archive was first discussed.The archive had been offered a number of tapes of interviews, radio programmes and meetings relating to homosexuality and homosexual law reform, and, in August 1982, Julian Meldrum wrote to Jackie Forster, in her capacity as director of the lesbian magazine, Sappho, saying ‘we are tentatively of the view that the best way we as a group can

in Tomboys and bachelor girls