Abstract In the early twentieth century a large network of organizations, co-ordinated by the Association for Moral and Social Hygiene (AMSH), campaigned for changes to the law on sexual offences. In particular, they sought to strengthen age-of-consent law for the protection of young girls. Their efforts resulted in a Criminal Law Amendment Bill in 1921 which would have raised the age of consent for indecent assault and removed significant weaknesses in the existing legislation which made prosecutions difficult. However, there was active opposition to the Bill, often anti-feminist in tone. An amendment creating an offence of ‘gross indecency between females’ was introduced by these opponents. If enacted, it would have made all sexual activity between women criminal. The amendment, designed to directly attack the Bill and its feminist supporters, not only led to the Bill’s failure but also posed difficulties for the AMSH and others in formulating a response. Above all, lesbianism was considered publicly unspeakable, as the parliamentary debates themselves made clear. What answer could respectable women therefore make? This article explores the responses of the Bill’s supporters, particularly the AMSH.
Using latent class analysis (LCA), we examined patterns of participation in multiple scenes, how sexual risk practices vary by scene, and psychosocial factors associated with these patterns among 470 gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBM) recruited from Toronto. We calculated posterior probability of being in a class from participation in nine separate scenes. We used Entropy, the Bayesian information criterion and the Lo–Mendel–Rubin likelihood ratio test to identify the best fit model. Fit indices suggested a four-class solution. Half (50%) of the GBM reported no or minimal participation in any scene, 28% reported participating in the dance club scene, 16% reported participating in the BDSM, bear, and leather scenes, and 6% reported participating in circuit, party and play, and sex party scenes. Compared to GBM who did not participate in scenes, GBM participating in the BDSM-Bear-Leather scene were more likely to be older, white, to report higher sexual self-esteem, and to engage in condomless anal sex; Party and Play scene members were more likely to be of Asian origin, and to use drugs before and during sex, whereas Dance Club scene members were more likely to be younger and to report lower self-esteem but higher hope. LCA allowed us to identify distinct social niches or micro-cultures and factors characterizing these micro-cultures. GBM differ in their risk for HIV and STIs according to characteristics associated with participation in distinct micro-cultures associated with scenes. Tailored interventions may be needed that focus on reducing HIV risk and promoting sexual health in specific contexts such as the BDSM-Bear-Leather and Party and Play.
This article offers a reading of the groundbreaking book Bareed Mista3jil: True Stories, a collection of the narratives of Lebanese queers. Here, I argue, a burgeoning collective queer experience is being mapped from the conditions of Western imperialism and globalization, from the legacies of a colonial past, and from everyday life in postwar Lebanon. Resisting the urge to reduce Arab queer identities as either Western or traditionally Arab, the article suggests that though Western constructions of sexualities have certainly been influential, these identities are also responding to the local and cultural context. If we attune our readings to the affects that underlie the stories in this collection, it becomes clear that the emotional strategies to survive and negotiate the difficulties of postcoloniality are different from the strategies of post-Stonewall pride culture. Rather than stifle shame with the insistence of queer pride, this community is creating itself by expressing its suffering from the effects of shame and social humiliation. The narrative thread that comes through is not pride but hope. That is because shame, as Elspeth Probyn contends, gives access to what is most important and, as Eve Sedgwick has argued, is a resource for imagining change.
Shot over seven years in Rankin County, Mississippi, this series of photographs documents change and continuity: new structures on the landscape, new prominence for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) citizens. Together we had decided to pursue a documentary film on Jheri Jones, a key figure in my queer history of Mississippi, Men Like That ( 1999), and the producers needed images for pitches and treatments.
This study outlines the rise of gay consumer culture from 1945 to 1969—an examination of the production, sale, and consumption of physique magazines, paperback novels, greeting cards, and other items available through gay-oriented mail order catalogs. It agues that purchasing such consumer items validated gay men's erotic attraction to other men, contributed to their sense of participating in a larger community, and provided particular class-, race-and gender-based models for what it meant to be gay. It examines how physique magazine publishers, in their legal struggles with censorship laws, marshaled a ground-breaking rhetoric of legal rights and collective action that led to the first gay judicial victories establishing the right to market such commodities. It demonstrates that a national gay commercial market preceded the development of a national gay political community and that the development of that market by a small group of gay entrepreneurs was a key, overlooked catalyst to the rise of a gay movement in America.