The Tearoom: the gay cruising 

The TearoomThe game is a foot, but that is probably in some peoples dream.  The Tearoom being referred to here is that of the men’s toilet, where before the law was changed, and indeed even afterwards, men who wanted ‘gay sex’ use to frequent and attempt to have sex or do a pick up without the police catching them.

Often the police use to have sting operations using ‘molly boys’ or ‘honey traps’ where they used young men (sometimes underage or new policemen) to frequent these areas, lead the man on, and then arrest him.

This practice is still being used today by ISIS, as can be seen the article ‘Islamic State’s secret flirting squads expose gay men for trial and execution’ published by the Daily Star Sunday, In may 2015

To add to this, Sean McGouran brought to my attention that there was a ballet / dance about such things Joseph Mercier’s Cruising, Clubbing Fucking: An Elegy – he mentioned that he had performed in Belfast a number of times (at the OutBurst festival).

He and dancer Sebastian Langueneur ended up in their birthday suits…

 

TRAILER Cruising, Clubbing, Fucking: an elegy from PanicLab on Vimeo.

Further reading:

 

Robert Yang has created a ‘dick pic simulator’ and a game about consent and BDSM. Now he’s tackling the risks surrounding gay sex in the 60s

Source: The Tearoom: the gay cruising game challenging industry norms | Technology | The Guardian

Forrest Reid – the magician

Forrest Reid - the magicianForrest Reid was born on (Saturday, as it happens) June 24, 1876, at 20 Mount Charles, Belfast it was (still is) a ‘private road’, a volume of Reid’s autobiography is entitled Private Road (the other being Apostate).  Reid’s father died when he was a child.  He had invested in foolish speculation, and his death left the family in dire straits.  His mother, an Englishwoman with exotic, aristocratic ancestors, including Katherine Parr, Henry VIII’s last wife, refused to ‘down-size’ and the family survived on a very basic diet – mostly rice pudding

   Reid attended Belfast’s ‘Inst’ (the Royal Belfast Academical Institute) and was a good student – particularly of English, but he went to work in Musgrave’stea firm – the Musgrave family were entrepreneurs – the greater part of their fortune being made in metal industrial and domestic heating devices.
   Reid’s frugality may be a reason why he was able to attend Christ’s Church College in Cambridge in 1905.  He was, at 29, a ‘mature student, of ancient (Greek) and modern languages.  He regarded his sojourn in Cambridge as a “rather blank” period – he had no friends from his sojourn there.
   He did meet EM Forster, who became a life-long friend, and whom Reid visited every year.  He travelled to England as an (apparently ferociously competitive) croquet player and stayed with Forster in his Cambridge rooms.  He must have made the acquaintance of Forster’s circle.  Benjamin Britten was part of that circle until his expulsion (BB had made it clear that the composer had the last word on texts to be set.  He had been given increasing complex texts by WH Auden in the 1930s and early ’40s.  Post Peter Grimes, his first major opera, he felt self confident dealing with authors.  Forster became the Great Old Man of English Letters and tried to brow-beat BB, who turned to more amenable librettists).
   Reid had a great love of Italian opera and a huge record collection – with which he ‘entertained’ his neighbours in Ormiston Avenue off Castlereagh Road (the Castlereagh Hills were not built over until the 1960s) often late in the evening.  Many of Reid’s books are set in the unnamed, but clearly obvious County Down – the county ‘proper’ begins with the Castlereagh Hills.  His other favoured landscape was that of Donegal.
   Reid produced a critical study of WB Yeats in 1915 (he did not note the Great War in progress at the time – WW2 was beneath his notice too), as was the decade of political violence in Ireland.  He produced a book about British book illustrators of the 1870s and a not-very-critical study of Walter de la Mare (now even more thoroughly forgotten than Reid himself).
   Reid’s novels have been reprinted by Valancourt Books of Richmond, Virginia over the past decade.

Valancourt Books

PO Box 17642
Richmond VA [Virginia]
USA
Forrest Reid - one story

Screening of ‘Against the Law’ in Downing Street

 

UK Government

The Rt Hon Justine Greening MP
Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities
requests the pleasure of the company of
Cllr Jeffrey Dudgeon MBE
at a screening of Against the Law
at 10 Downing Street
on Tuesday 11th July 2017 at 6.30 pm for 7.00 pm

Against the Law tells the story of Peter Wildeblood and one of the most explosive court cases of the 1950s – the infamous Montagu trial.
Along with the Conservative peer Lord Montagu of Beaulieu and their friend Michael Pitt-Rivers, Wildeblood was imprisoned for homosexual offences after his lover gave evidence against him under pressure from the authorities.
With his career in tatters and his private life painfully exposed, Wildeblood began his sentence a broken man, but he emerged from Wormwood Scrubs a year later determined to do all he could to change the laws against homosexuality.
His high-profile trial led the way to the creation of the Wolfenden Committee on sexual law reform which eventually resulted in the passing of the Sexual Offences Act 1967 – changing the lives of thousands of gay men with its partial decriminalisation of homosexual acts.
This powerful new drama forms part of a season of BBC programmes marking the fiftieth anniversary of that landmark change in the law. Starring Daniel Mays and directed by Fergus O’Brien, it is interspersed with moving testimonies from a chorus of men whose love and lives were against the law.

 

Screening of 'Against the Law' in No 10 Downing Street

Against the Law