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Queer History (A Timeline)
# 16 : Sunday 11-11-2012 @ 23:47
No wonder Germany invaded
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# 17 : Saturday 23-3-2013 @ 18:57
# 18 : Wednesday 17-4-2013 @ 23:27

I suppose I knew I was gay or that something was up so to speak, I was about 14-15 and fought against it for a while. I just knew it was wrong even though I read about it and tried to learn about it. I did tell my mother and she got me to a psychiatrist.” P.A Maglochlainn
“Even at the age of 15-16 I had sort of rationalised that I didn’t want to be any different from what I was. My whole outlook of the world was coloured by my sexuality.” Doug Sobey
“I found a book that dealt with the topic in my final year in Queens and up until that time we had no guidance whatsoever except, don’t!” Jeff Dudgeon
In 1967 the Labour Government passed the Sexual Offences Act in England and Wales. This act legalised homosexual practices between two men over the age of 21 in private. Northern Ireland was not included in the legislation.
“The tabloids used to compound this with a mix of telling lies and talking about dirty old men in raincoats.” Jeff
“For the churches it was very much a sin, it wasn’t a sexual orientation, it was a sin in which you could confess and be absolved. The attitude of doctors and the medical profession in Belfast was that it was an illness. At the City Hospital they were still using aversion therapy, which is now considered disreputable. ” Doug
Belfast city centre remained closed off in the evenings during the Troubles of the 1970s and few ventured into the city centre.
“We capitalised on the Troubles because there was no nightlife in the city of Belfast it was completely bleak. Everything closed down except the gay venues.” P.A
“In the closed off part of Belfast, if you saw anybody moving after 6 o’clock at night, it was either a British army soldier, either in uniform or undercover, or it was a gay man.” Jeff
“I just stood there for an hour petrified but amazed. It was my first experience of a gay disco. I didn’t do anything or go with anybody but I was glad that I went and absorbed what was the very, very beginning of the Belfast gay social scene.” Gerard Walls
Division and sectarianism was rife during the Troubles, but for the LGB community, ideologies and politics were most often set to one side.
“Working class Protestants and Catholics were mixing in a way that they could never have done in any other part of Belfast. I think your sexuality overrode your religion or political background.” Doug
The LGB community began to set up much needed services. One of the first was a much needed counselling, befriending and information service. A phone service was established, Carafriend, by students in Queens University.
“It was a means of helping all those people who had no means of escaping their isolation and wouldn’t have talked to anyone unless they were also gay”. P.A
Jeff reflects on his case, taken to the European Commission of Human Rights in 1975. The court hearing was in 1981 when it was agreed that Northern Ireland’s criminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting adults was a violation of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which says: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society …for the protection of health or morals….”
Judgement was given in Dudgeon’s favour on that aspect by 15 votes to 4. The case had taken six years, before the Homosexual Offences Order was passed in 1982.
“We knew it was coming, it was sort of anti-climactic at that stage. All the work had been done. We had been acting like we were legal anyway that is people within the organisations. I think for the mass of the people it did say something very important that, no longer was it illegal for men to have sexual relations.” Doug
The ruling had a huge impact internationally.
“Every country in Eastern Europe currently trying to decriminalise or change its laws, the Dudgeon case is used. It even got quoted in U.S Supreme Court when the Texas Sodomy Law was overturned.” P.A.
“It established for the first time ever in law, a right to a private life for not only gay people but for straight people, all 260,000,0 million inhabitants of the European community.” Jeff
The interviewees reflect on further campaigns to gain equality.
“I think the big change came in 1997 with the election of a Labour Government which was prepared to put through laws that would make gays equal to non-gay people. As a result all sorts of legislation were changed in the 1990s and early 21st century.” Doug
“We moved from being a group of people who had been decriminalised and tolerated into a group of people who are integral to society and were part of life. We moved from toleration to acceptance to equality and it’s essential to maintain that position.” P.A

# 19 : Thursday 2-5-2013 @ 00:11
This is interesting. The first positive (?) article about homosexuality in an Irish publication, from 1967. (The author is about 66 now if he is still alive.) etc ...
# 20 : Thursday 2-5-2013 @ 01:46
June 28 - July 3 1969 - Stonewall Riots New York, USA.
Gay Liberation is born.
The modern era for LGBT people begins.

The rest, they say, is history...

# 21 : Saturday 27-7-2013 @ 22:36
Two articles in today's Guardian

Someone said :

A letter to … my great-uncle Richard

I never met you, and no one ever talked about you, except Mum from time to time, late at night, when we were alone together, and we had drunk a few glasses too many. She never talked about you with Dad or my sisters. Yet I have always been aware of you, and this weekend I will think of you again. You lived in the wrong place, Berlin, at the wrong time – the 1930s – with the wrong sexual orientation, although they didn't call it "gay" in those days. You were way ahead of your time in believing that this shouldn't be a barrier to enjoying a full and happy life.

Like me, you became a lawyer and used your skills to work for gay equality. You were remarkably brave to get involved with Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Research and to campaign for the decriminalisation of gay sex in Germany, although you didn't see it that way at the time.

But it meant that the Nazis could find out about you when they shut the institute in May 1933 and seized the names and addresses of supporters. You were unlucky to have a brother-in-law – Mum's adored father – who was a loyal Nazi party member, and who had become rich by means no one talked about either. He was involved with supplying the Wehrmacht and had to be above suspicion. You had become an embarrassment, maybe even a liability, to the family.

Mum heard that you "disappeared" at some stage in 1934 or 35. You were arrested, but she was only a girl at the time and nobody told her why. What is clear, though, is that when they came for you, nobody in the family tried to help you.

When there was no more news about you from whichever camp you were in, nobody made any further inquiries. You were considered a non-person. Did you survive? Unlikely, given the way gays were worked to death in the camps and certainly none of your family ever heard from you again.

Your brother-in-law, my grandfather, loved England and regretted the war with the country. He would have been pleased that his only daughter married an Englishman, and that her children would grow up English. He did not long survive its ending, so I never met him either.

But when I learned about you in my early 20s, as I was trying to come to terms with my own homosexuality in a world that was still hostile, you inspired me. Dad always blamed Mum's side of the family for my "condition". When I went on my first momentous Gay Pride march back in the early 70s, and others in later years, I was doing it for you too. When I visited a concentration camp in the 90s, I also shed some tears for you.

You, and grandfather, would have been amazed that earlier this month the British parliament passed a law to allow gay people to marry, going further and faster for gay equality than Germany, where today you would feel much more at home. He would not have been too happy that his only grandson turned out to be gay and much more like you than him.

Nor would he have been too pleased that I have a lovely partner, whom I will soon be able to call my husband, who is non-Aryan, and who feels as fully at home in my family as I do in his. But I'm sure you would be delighted and so this weekend, when we raise our glasses in celebration, we'll drink a few for you.

Your great nephew,


The second one is more recent history

Other Lives

Michael Brown

Michael Brown, who has died aged 82, was an active gay rights campaigner across six decades. He joined the Homosexual Law Reform Society in 1958, the year it was formed, and had been writing letters campaigning for the legalisation of homosexuality under a pseudonym since 1954. The anonymity was necessary because it was not until 1967 that homosexuality was decriminalised and he would otherwise have risked his own safety.

Michael's activism was inspired by his anger at the injustice gay men faced at the time; his sense of impotence at living a double life in fear of being discovered; and the hope that change would benefit others too.

Michael was born in London. His parents divorced when he was very young. During the second world war he went to an orthodox Jewish boarding school in Wales, then later went to Christ's college in Finchley, north London. He practised as a dentist until the late 1970s and then worked as a market research interviewer.

After 1967, Michael became disillusioned with the mainstream Albany Trust and Campaign for Homosexual Equality. In 1970, he found a new direction when he discovered the nascent Gay Liberation Front (GLF), which radicalised him with its brand of publicity stunts for maximum impact. Though never in the public eye in the way of some of his colleagues, he saw himself as planting ideas in the minds of others as opposed to being an organiser. This was typically modest as he co-founded various organisations including the Jewish Gay and Lesbian Group and the Jewish Aids Trust.

I first met Michael in Bolton in 2008. We had both just completed the annual Walt Whitman walk, an informal celebration of the American poet in which walkers follow a route around the town, reciting his poetry and sharing wine. (For some gay men Whitman is very special as the "dear love of comrades" from his Leaves of Grass has clear implications for same-sex attachments.)

Michael told me he wasn't sure where the gay community was headed 41 years after legalisation, and felt there was still much to be done. Michael reminded me that the GLF was not about law reform, but about liberation – both sexually and in the wider ways people treated each other. In 2011, he was honoured with the Oyston award, presented by the campaign for homosexual equality for his achievements in the advancement of LGBT issues.

Andrew Edwards

# 22 : Sunday 28-7-2013 @ 12:29
Someone said :

The Emperors Constans I and Constantius 11 establish what is probably the first law in the Roman Empire directed against consensual sex acts between men. Reflecting the Roman abhorrence of adult citizens who allow themselves to be penetrated during sex, the edict specifies capital punishment for men who nubit in feminam ("mate as if a woman").

The height of hypocrisy given Constans I was gay.
# 23 : Tuesday 30-7-2013 @ 12:46
Ah, you gotta love Wikipedia. It states as fact that Contans was homosexual. The sources it gives are the late Roman historian Eutropius, and an American "historian" called Alexander Canducci.

Eutropius actually says that Constans was "ad gravia vitia conversus" (prone to grave vices). He doesn't specify to which vices he was prone.

Canducci, author of such great works as "History's Greatest Lies!" and "Why The World Is Screwed Up!" Is not a professional academic historian and gives no source for his assertion that Constans was homosexual.

It's a good example of why people should be warned not to treat Wikipedia as a reliable source of information.
# 24 : Tuesday 1-10-2013 @ 22:00
# 25 : Wednesday 2-10-2013 @ 11:12
Someone said :
An interesting look at 1980s Dublin

That's interesting alright.
# 26 : Thursday 5-12-2013 @ 21:40
From 1984

# 27 : Sunday 8-12-2013 @ 05:29
i wish i was around when men could just have sex with each other whenever they wanted although not so much in japan...
# 28 : Sunday 8-12-2013 @ 23:21
Someone said :
i wish i was around when men could just have sex with each other whenever they wanted although not so much in japan...

Can they not still do so?
# 29 : Monday 9-12-2013 @ 15:26
well gay men can but it seems very hard for bi men to without putting women off or getting stick from their friends.
# 30 : Thursday 20-2-2014 @ 21:49
I din't know about this bit of history of the Irish gay scene

3 Beresford Place, behind the Custom House on Dublin’s Northside, boasts an interesting history. As a hotel from the 1930s to the mid 1940s, it was a popular meeting place for gay men in the capital. This predated 1950s and 1960s gay-friendly pubs, Rice’s and Bartley Dunne’s, and was several decades ahead of gay community centres, the Hirschfeld (1979) and pubs, The George (1985). etc ...
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