localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Behind the Candelabra is a 2013 film about Liberace’s relationship with a young man called Scott Thorson. Starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon this story is a biopic based on a book written by Scott Thorson about the experience.

I’m not going to dwell on the film in the sense of its quality- although I will say with actors like those two in the lead roles what can you expect but reasonably good performances- but about why it made me rather uncomfortable watching it.

Cut because I talk for a long time about this )
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
A little over 10 years ago, I posessed a collection of old issues of Gay Times. When we were about sixteen, a friend of mind paid for a year (maybe two year?) subscription in advance, thinking that there would be rather more wank material than there actually was (it remains a sad fact for him that there are no really just genuinely there-for-the-sex-pics gay equivalents of other 'Lad's Mags' to be found on the shelves of any of our local shops). He used to bring them into school for me, in their discretely white plastic envelopes, and I would read all the articles, make notes of the film festivals (and, if we're being brutally honest here, drool a little myself at the ocassional 'underwear model' photo shoots and the salacious phone lines at the back- anyone who has read my little fic The Vocabulophile will get the idea of the type of thing that you used to find there, and rather more embarrasingly, the sort of silliness that gets me rather steamed). The collection proved very useful over the years for my BA dissertation, though a few years ago I bravely recycled the vast majority as I realised that hoarding magazines in the bottom of an old cupboard was a dangerous thing to do coming from a family hardwired to have issues with 'stuff'.

Of course, working on a similar project for my MA I do rather regret having recycled away that large looming resource and have been buying the odd copy of Gay Times, Attitude and a new publication I rather like called Winq- the latter two can only be found in 'The Big Tesco' where Gay Times occasionally appears in Morrisons.

I have yet to see a gay magazine in Asda. Just saying, I do make a note of this kind of thing.

Anyway, back then in, say the early noughties, the personals column at the back of GT used to say things like 'SA M, 40 WLTM SA older male for fun & more. No fems.' or 'M. 19, Slim, good looking, WLTM SA older gent'

SA, or Straight Acting, was pretty much the key word in every sentence. Its continuing presence said a lot to me about issues about masculinity, about ideas of 'fitting in' about the gay scene as a whole. NOW I thumbed through a copy on my desk yesterday and the personals column has shrunk considerably (after all, we now have apps and a lot more online abilities), the advertisers usually in their 60s and 70s and, from the issue on my desk, looking for, or are, TV or CDs. THere is truly not a single requet for 'straight acting' or 'straight passing' on the whole page.

Things continue to change and evolve, in all cultures, including subcultures. And I continue to be fascinated in seeing these changes- in 10 years again will everyone be looking not for TVs but for Camp, when so many theorists tell us Camp is dying if not already dead? Or will everyone in 20 years time be looking for leather daddies, otters & bears? Will they have all the polari? Or will there be no gay magazines at all only fashion and housekeeping and sewing and hobbyist things that no longer look like a toyshop aisle where 'Men's Hobbies (cars, computers, weirdly in Morrisons, Private Eye) , are sharply separated from 'Women's Hobbies' (which are not called that of course, they're called 'Lifestyle' mags (Home & Garden, Celebrity gossip, fashion, beauty, weightloss (to be beautiful), decorating, cooking etc).
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Mrs M. came this weekend, as did the Radiator Man, so we now have all rooms that needed new radiators have them, and all rooms that needed wallpaper in, wallpapered. With that and the blinds which went in this week everything is starting to take shape a bit more. The only hard thing is the fact that somehow there always seems more to do. The next priorities are:

- CARPETS.

- cutting and installing picture rails (previous owners had removed them, mum says is ridiculous)

- finding out what we need to do about the pipe in the utility room (it needs..moving or something. I barely understand these things)


these are the key things now and we can start slowly bringing things in. I suggested to mum if we empty one of the bookshelves and take that in and put on it the books I'm unlikely to need urgently (so none of my study books) that would make a sizable dent in the amount of heavy things that need to be transported. After that I have to start working on things like broadband connections and sorting out the energy supply (prepaid meter is all very well when there is no one living there but it is economically unsound. I dislike things that are economically wobbly. Aside from that every time we turn the hot wate on I start thinking about money trickling away with the water I'm washing the dishes with, which is just unpleasant).

So yes. Stuff is moving. Life is crazy. I have so many commitments coming up I can't BREATHE and OH YAY DISSERTATION STUFF IS STARTED so I spent some hours this afternoon wading through my newest Sinfield. It's interesting but I'd forgotten quite how slow going reading-with-a-view-to-dissertation-stuffs can be. Every sentence is scrutinised and many copied out long hand and meticulously on the chance I will need to come back to it in a flurry of crazy-eyed inspiration. I am trying so hard to narrow my topic down but it's like an unstoppable force. I go to myself, you will focus on effeminiacy and then the little bit of me goes oh yes, yes, yes, fabe, fantabulosa, Jules and Sand, Graham Norton, Wilde, the fashion parade, oh and of course by definition resistance, hyper-masculinity bear culture and didn't you read an interesting book about queer culture around emasculation and its relation to colonial opression to non-white-british queers and you should probably include that and i wonder if these stereotypes die or just sink a bit you should talk about the 'gay best friend' on sale in tesco's and gok wan and how does that juxtapose with the matt of bromley types of previous voyages and is meterosexual man really dead in the water and what is a hipster anyway cybercultures and identity construction has this had an affect on queaniniess. should we celebrate it as our history and becoming as dyer thinks or sinfield kind of thinks we should bury it dead but at the same time theatre and luvvies and don't forget to talk about ian mckellen and derek jacobi and that new thing on itv where the camp has reverted to theatrical queen and and and ...'

*dies*

AND SOMEHOW I NEED SOME SORT OF SENSIBLE, FOLLOWABLE NARRATIVE OUT OF THE CRAZY RAINBOWS IN MY BRAIN.

( -quote from Kennedy in The Fitz - "are they big bendy rainbows? -/quote- )


So somehow after I read a bit of some pretty Wildean things I came downstairs watched Disney's Hercules for the first time ever (conclusion: I wasn't really missing much) and iced some ghost-shaped fairy cakes I made yesterday which went a bit wrong.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
OH MY DEAR HEAVEN WHAT A WEEK.

This was the week of the student exams, which is always hectic and frantic and crazy and I've spent two days up at 5am and on my feet all day. I have also been house sitting which is always a bit...odd because one feels obliged to keep one's posessions in a specific limited space, surrounded by someone else's home. Additionally I am NOT WELL and prone to whinging in between coughing fits about how unwell I feel. Got up at 5.30 this morning and came home from work at 3.00 because I just couldn't hack it out for another couple of hours. Just came and fell into my own bed.

Anyway as I don't (and mostly shouldn't) talk about work on here too much instead I will admit that although I meant to go to bed really early last night I didn't because I was watching The Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story on BBC4 (it is on iplayer now, everyone, YOU MUST WATCH THIS IT IS GORGEOUS). Oh, it was just wonderful. It is a TV docu-drama (think Kenneth Williams, Fantabulosa with Michael Sheen) about the marvellous, madcap, super Kenny Everett who was just amazingly clever and quick and lovely. I don't know if it's just him or a combo of Kenny and the actor playing him but OH HE IS SO PRETTY with such lovely eyes!

And hey, if you don't know who he is YOU SHOULD and bonus: Freddie Mercury inside!

So yeah, I had to stay up to watch it, because KENNY EVERETT. <3

Tomorrow, we are going to the house to do work on it. I can't tell you how much, as much as I know the sooner we get a move on the sooner we can Move In, I just want to have a day of Staying In Bed Drinking Lots Of Fluids and Flu Medication.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I am Having A Week. I've had rows with Tesco's customer service, the pollen count is insane and there's a lot of pressure for a big family (suprise) event that reminds me why I both absolutely love being in a big family, and at the same time why it's a pain in the neck! (Someone should observe us and then write a big HP fic replacing us with Weasleys, we're probably more chaotic!)
So rather than whinge incessantly about how stressed I am I'm going to write about books.

I recently bought three e-books from Riptide Publishing online. The conversion rate of dollars to pounds in my favour, but also because the other month when I was not spending anything and also in the middle of lent so had no fanfiction to distract me, I went through every book I thought I might like on the site and read the extracts!

The first one I read was Portside by Elyan Smith cut for spoilers ) Overall, I liked it but it is more a short story than a novella in my view.

Next I read Second Hand by Marie Sexton and Heidi Cullinan and Covet Thy Neighbour by L.A.Witt

cut for discussion potential spoilers ) So in conclusion, I liked both of them, but I really really liked Second Hand. A LOT. I just wanted moooorrrreee.
localfreak: (Mr Toad in Rehearsals Cosgrove Hall)
So on Friday I toddled around town doing a few jobs in the morning and then went to visit [personal profile] still_lycoris and [profile] robert_frogg we had pizza and watched the DVD of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and then on Saturday we caught the train to Manchester and WENT TO SEE IT ON STAGE.

It was wonderful! The costumes were absolutely amazing, as were the effects and it was just lovely and beautiful and also rather hot. (Mmm some of those dancers!! WOW.)

So that was just fabulosa. I have now seen, in less than a week, two excellent theatrical shows involving men in corsets. :D :D :D! Win.


localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I don't talk much these days about gender identity/queer stuff. Or maybe I do, but I don't necessarily feel I do, partially because yeah as much as I queer therefore I am a lot of the time I feel like other people, the really loud, brave, dynamic people like Stephen or the people on genderfork or twitter have more of a right to that kind of soap-box than people like me, the localfreak.

However sometimes it is really striking how ignorance just continues. I am used to, even blind to, the heteronormativity and binary genders in television advertising, in conversations at work (both jobs) and so on. At Pride a couple of people did ask me what I identified as but to say 'genderqueer' basically got blank looks, and that's quite the shame (especially considering one of the people asking me was a rotund gay bloke who got talking to us because one of the ladies we were with initially thought he was a lesbian...it was an easy mistake to make).

But it's the internet stuff that really gets me. The insidious, cold, insitutionalised bits like this particular nugget.

Okay, for those who don't know, whily anyone in the UK as far as I'm aware can access BBC Iplayer to catch up on programmes, you can also create an account on there where you can save favourite programmes and so on. Fine. On Channel 4's 4oD you can do much the same thing...ONLY if you register you can also watch various seasons and series' of programmes that were broadcast a long time ago. If you sign up.

On trying to sign up, however, this happens:

Image under a cut because of size )

Yes. And THEN in order to contact them online to give feedback? The Title fieldis mandatory and offers only 'Mr, Mrs, Miss and Ms'

Is this really the same broadcasting service that showed me Make Me A Man and the films like Boys Don't Cry?

The thing is, I know it's ridiculous. I'm not even that interested in much of their programming- a DIY programme and if they show it Big Bang Theory which I still haven't really watched despite everyone telling me I should. But it's like a punch to the gut. I am good at being insidious, casual about my personal genderqueeryness (to be honest, if it wasn't for the fact that it annoys me as a mandatory field I would just put male in- I identify as male regardless of how I present generally) I'm good at ignoring those boxes and skimming through them with a casual 'NOYB' (None of Your Business), but here The System says I can't.

Frustrating.

Okay now that rant is out I can go back to what I SHOULD be doing which is checking train times for a trip to Liverpool tomorrow- no wild parties this time, I'm taking the mother out to the Art Gallery.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)


So...this is where I was yesterday (I don't know the guys in the picture by the way, I snapped a lot of pictures of pretty people or tried to at any rate). Yeah. So some friends and I went to Pride. Owing to me working I missed the parade which is sad- I think next year I really really want to see that, but apart from the fact that I was not nearly drunk enough to be able to have a dance (and am too tight to buy overpriced but 'cheap' lager- or any drink purely for the point of getting drunk, it's too dull) and such it was all good. It was lovely to see so many rainbows and happy people and everyone just in an upbeat and lovely mood. I also got to find out where the gay quarter is although we didn't really get into any clubs because the crowds were just mental but it was fun. I got a skill and two crossed swords glitter art on my arm in rainbow colours.
localfreak: (Drunken Sailor)
My room is still a little grey box of rubbish, which is at least partially my fault. Mum has done some sugar-soaping the other day but the tail end of this week in work has been seriously emotionally and physically draining. Not only is it Induction week, with all the usual chaos that entails, Thursday was C's last day and so there were handover meetings before and then on the day we were running round sorting out her send-off at that but then I got told that the Newbie Temp is going to start on Monday.

The reason that we are having a Newbie Temp is because C's job hasn't actually gone out to advert yet due to various things. This means that I will be covering much of her work (and under pressure to do really really really well doing this) and so some of my work is now going to go to the Newbie, who will sit at my desk on reception and do many of the more rotten and distracting things like setting up rooms and telling people where the toilet is. So yay! temp! It's just that this meant on Friday in addition tomy usual jobs I was rushing to make him up some sort of guide and a little bit of information for him to be able to have a look at and refer to, and also make plans to wipe out some of my monday schedule to train him, and clear my desk which was messier than usual because C had been handing over many of her files to me on Thursday and I hadn't sorted out where to put them all yet.

Phew. So yes. A bit mad!

Today was a very chilled day, which probably isn't great as I should have got more done. I did however get a good haircut ready for Pride next weekend! (wooooohhh)! And I started putting a few books on ebay, as part of my 'I need to make space on the bookshelves' project for all the refugee books from my room. I haven't put many up yet though, only a tiny few, I will need to be clear-headed to properly go through the rest- I did resist bravely buying a new poetry book whilst with my mum in Rivendell today too, which I count as a win for me vs the hovel. Now if I could only get the hovel to spit back the awesome poetry book with the green lady on the front which disappeared about ten years ago... Anyway I'm still knackered from staying up late to watch the Olympic Opening Ceremony (GIANT VOLDEMORT BEING CHASED BY A THOUSAND MARY POPPINSES! :D I liked it!!) so I spent the evening watching the women's football (GB vs Cameroon) and drinking Wychcraft. Quite a good evening really
localfreak: (Wolverine)
Despite not collecting Astonishing X-Men (apart from owning number 1) it was practically a given that I would be purchasing number 51. Aside from just general Northstar love ("I am GAY!"- trufax quote) my purchasing it was guarenteed for two major reasons, the first being the irrational collector desire to not miss out. I don't spend half my time watching the auctions for Incredible Hulk #181 ticking up to £500.00 without sighs of regret that I was not even alive in the 70s. Honest. Okay yes I do and damn it I was not missing out on this one! The second is of course my passionate love of all things gay. I listened to the first gay sex scene in The Archers with open mouthed adoration, despite not regularly caring about either I watched a week of Coronation Street just to see the first gay kiss (disappointing) and tuned in to The Archers at Uni just to hear the First Gay Wedding. It kind of had to be.

...time for the small, petty, disappointed ramble, because although the story is lovely...I was a bit deflated:

SPOILER AND IMAGE HEAVY CUT )
localfreak: (Wolverine)
Me: Hey, you have some shares somewhere don't you? How do shares work?
Them: I do have shares. But not exactly. They're not mine.
Me: Er?
Them: They're in my name but they are units under subsection S I G.
Me: So they're not shares?
Them: They're units.
Me: *taps ear* I think my babel fish has died. I have no idea what you just said.

And thus ends my lesson in the confusing world of financial thingummies.

The week has been crazy, we've been facilitating the student exams (that was Wednesday and Thursday but the day before was setting up the ward and the day after was catching up on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday's work), and then Friday was also a staff-awards-ceremony-thing so have had no room for collapse. In a few weeks C is leaving us for her new job. *sob sob sob* I don't know how we'll manage without her, and the pressure is on too because I need to write a poem for the occasion. Anyway there's going to be a whole thing and these girls are glam-our-us. So I've been trawling for clothes because most of my old stuff is too big and I've cleared out a load. I don't really like clothes shopping but today was pretty damn successful. Either I've managed to get an outfit for the thing OR if the one I have in mind is too casual I have the main bones of said outfit and am sure I can find something in the wardrobe to make it posher, and the planned outfic will be my Pride outfit.

Yes. I'm FUCKING GOING TO LIVERPOOL PRIDE! *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE*

Ahem. Yes. I was furious because the past two years I have wanted to go and have been in work and when I looked up the calendar this year I am also in work. BUT because the library now shuts at 1pm it looks like I can go home get ready and catch the train in and will only have missed the first couple of hours. Sent Shaunie a message and he has rough plans with his harem of various lgbtq & straight peeps to go so I shall be tagging along. I'm hoping to find more people I know to go too but there's still plenty of time.

August 4th people- if you're coming pride tell me and we'll meet and stuff. It'll be awesome. I've never been to a pride or anything before and I will be all sociable and stuff. There were some guys fundraising for it today in the city centre who were lovely.

Yay.

I also spent an obscene amount of money on clothes including a Primani Batman T-Shirt= FTW. Sadly, they didn't have any Marvel in only Thundercats which I never watched. Then I went to worlds apart, manfully resisted buying a Daredevil T-Shirt....and then spent that money on MORE WOLVERINE instead. I bought: Wolverine #306, #307 UK Essential X-Men #32 and the book Wolverine Weapon X - Adamantium Men. Mwahahahahahah. Also I've ordered Astonishing X-Men #51 with the wedding between Northstar and Kyle because I HAVE TO OWN IT YES.
localfreak: (carryon)
I want to take a moment to write about a topic that I've, thus far, kept my mouth well shut on: gay marriage. More specifically, gay marriage and the Catholic Church.

I know. If you're like me your immediate response to the above sentence will be either "Oh no, another person babbling on about it? As if I don't get enough of that!" or a feeling of deep trepidation, because whatever happens, whatever I write is likely to upset someone, and they probably won't agree with me.

Putting it under a Cut Because Long )
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I was working at the library today. I promised myself: "No, Mike, you will bring back the two books you have finished but you will not borrow any more non-course related books."

I picked up The Cybercultures Reader when I was on floor one, but that was okay, as I think I will need it for this next essay.

Then I went to floor three. And borrowed Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik (the next Temeraire) and also Wolf Gift by Anne Rice had just come into shelving.

So I brought two books back and came home with three. Terrific. In addition to that abebooks sent me a money off voucher which I have used to order Baudrillard's Simulacrae (course related, so okay) and also Robbie Ross: Oscar Wilde's Devoted Friend and Rum, Sodomy and the Lash: Piracy, Sexuality and Masculinity. The latter two have arrived.

I have asked Mum to hide them on me for I fear when faced with books I have LONGED for quite some time over I would not be able to excercise my usual iron self-control.

Now I have an enormous pile of books to read, most of which I have forbidden myself from looking at until I plough through a pile of journal articles and other research for essay prep. Dammit.

localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
This essay is killing me quite a bit. I did my first draft today and managed to confuse myself half way in. I think I've sorted myself out mostly though. A few more reference dives before the next attempt. My problem is that sometimes I read something in passing ages ago and obviously I've no reason to note it down at the time but then suddenly mid-way through an essay or project it suddenly becomes DEEPLY VITAL and I can't remember who said it or where it came from or in what book etc. And this leads to a lot of hunting. Thank God for Google. It doesn't solve everything (TV and Radio interviews are my bane in this kind of hunt) but it helps.

Trying to write this essay is a little like trying to explain a series of Venn-diagram spheres that, instead of crossing over smoothly, bump into each other like dodgem cars. So you've got Hegenomic Identity: White Male Hetero Middle Class and then you've got things like Black Macho Masculinity (as per Black Panther Movement etc) which is Black Male Heterosexual Working Class, and then you have to deal with where these are in relation to Black Heterosexual Women, and White Heterosexual Women, and Black Homosexuals, and White Homosexuals and then you think you've managed that and suddenly go Oh Shit! Class! and then have to ferret out all the work on the invisibility or lack of agency of Black Heterosexual Middle Classes and it all just becomes one great bowl of cheerios that I appear to be drowning in.

Or that's how it is in my head at the moment anyway. I am evidently in training for my Crazy Eccentric Badge.

Wibble.
localfreak: (Kutner's Blog)
I have bought myself a kindle! It is sweet and adorable and I know it makes me an absolute hypocrite but you can do all sorts of useful things on it for textbooks (like HIGHLIGHTING QUOTES without PERMENANT EFFECTS) and also it was an issue of cost effectiveness. In the past few weeks alone I have requested two more books from the library and ordered three 'old favourites' from amazon, abebooks and ebay- for some the kindle price beat any other hand down and so I first got the app for the computer and then went a bit mad about CARRYING IT ROUND WITH ME NOW PLEASE.

So yes. I have one. It is very cute. I have no idea what I'm doing but I expect I'll get the hang of it.

Struggling through my next lot of readings has recently had me feeling exceptionally dunce-like. I just don't understand the prose style and what they want me to do and how it relates to anything ever. So it was quite lovely to see that on my discussion piece about the last lot of readings (which I acutally enjoyed doing, and have now picked as my essay question) someone had finally replied. Only to find out it wasn't a student but a lovely helpful senior lecturer who has given me hints of other articles (including some of his own) to read. *squee*. There are not enough hours in the day at present for the sheer amount of stuff I'm reading. It may actually be improving my linguistic abilities (or at least reminding me to utilise them) which is also a plus!

In Other news:

I've been having a sore foot for a while and a friendly phsyio has now had a look (much to my prudish embarrasment) and it turns out the....tendonny bit over the bridge of my toes has collapsed making part of my foot flat. Hence the uneven gait and pains when walking. Yowch. So she is going to give me some excercises to do and in the meantime I am to walk barefoot when possible. This would be far easier if it wasn't Absolutely Perishing Cold. But there we go. Yay. I'm actually happy just because I now have a reason why. The big reason I didn't get on with my GP last time I plucked up all my courage and went is because he didn't seem that arsed about finding out why things hurt/were funny. It was all 'take painkillers if it hurts' which, yes, true, that will temporarily solve the issue but I could have fathomed that bit out myself. I always want to know WHY and HOW and it's frustrating when other people don't seem to give a shit about stuff like that.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
Continuing on from yesterday I found myself trolling some of the archive material gathered up by Rictor Norton who was interviewed on the Sexual Subcultures programme I mentioned yesterday. There are many delights to be had in these annals- even alongside the tragedies. One woman, discovered to have been serving as a soldier for many years, was not cast out but kept on as general helper, for her gallantry received a small pension and was buried with the other Chelsea Pensioners. Which was just awesome.

But the big one that caught my eye today was a report of A Sodomite Club in Warrington in 1806. Four men were hanged as a result (at Lancaster at "the new drop erected at the back of the castle in Lancaster" which I have seen!!). But what really got me was the reports mention a public house, frequented by the men involved and I think I have FOUND it. It's not too far, just a different turn off one of the roundabouts on my way to work. Now, of course, I could be completely wrong and the only real way to find out will be A Visit and potentially asking some excitable questions of the current owners. I have a real wish to do so at some point. It's all rather exciting. Up in t'north, as with most things, the history is slightly less detailed - or at least it's harder to find- than about the south. The newspapers, even as they were back then, were either exceedingly local (limited number of those the earlier you go) or else were of a London focus ( Arguably, little has changed eh?)

Anyway it's got me all rather excited and cheery, even though it's such a sad thing because ultimately people died for this piece of history to be recorded.
localfreak: avatar which I have used as mine since scarboard days 10 years ago (Default)
I love my mother. I know, I know, complete old quean here but really. At some point today she randomly picked up that on the Voices from the Old Bailey programme on Radio 4 (a troll through the archives, social history etc) they were doing an episode that mentioned:

a cross-dressing man
Mollies clubs
a song called BUMOGRAPHY

and her firs thought, was that she HAD TO TELL ME TO LISTEN.


I did, on the iplayer, and is AWESOME:

Linkage- Voices from the Old Bailey Servies 2, Episode 2: Sexual Subcultures

About:Amanda Vickery uses court cases to explore the lives of gay men and cross-dressers in the 18th century. Lesbians did not appear in court as lesbianism was not against the law - but we find and record an 18th century lesbian love song, as well as the hilarious 'Bumography'.

The 3 court cases in the programme range from the tragic to the hilarious. First, the case of a milkman caught in a raid on a gay brothel - and sentenced to death. His father-in-law appears in court to plead for him - it turns out the milkman is a widower, with a daughter to raise. But to no avail: he hangs for the crime of sodomy.

The second case is blackmail, and reveals the vulnerability of all men at the time to accusations of sodomy. The third stars the hilarious 'Princess Seraphina', a cross-dresser with a bevy of female admirers who turn up in court. It gives a priceless insight into 18th century camp.

Three contributors discuss the cases: leading gay historian Rictor Norton, whose books and website have a cult following; Helen Berry, historian of sexuality, whose book on castrati is published later this year, and Professor Peter King, historian of crime. They open up a debate about how far there was a clearly-defined gay identity in the 18th century.

Recorded on location in Lincoln's Inn, where barristers have been beavering away for centuries. But outside their chambers, this was one of the naughtiest places in London - a notorious gay cruising ground, and site of the 'bog-house', the public toilets which were a place of assignation. The music used in this programme was arranged by David Owen Norris, from original 18th century ballads.

Produced by Elizabeth Burke A Loftus Audio production for BBC Radio 4.


My cup. It overfloweth. And is filled with queans, queers and buggery. :D

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