Risk, Embarrassment, Democracy! Glasgow’s ‘Queer’ Scene, 1955-2008

By the mid 20th century Glasgow was home to a growing non-heterosexual population, and wherever such groups exist there are platforms for social engagement. When I interviewed 2 dozen gay and bisexual men in the mid 2000s, stories emerged which detailed the history and development of the queer scene in Glasgow. I have already produced…

Gay Men, Cults of Toughness and Masculinities in Scotland

I recently revisited some of the interviews I undertook with gay and bisexual men from Scotland while putting together a postgraduate seminar on masculinities. One theme emerging from these interviews related to masculinity and effeminacy. Some of the men I spoke to remarked on the powerful cultural concept of the ‘man’, of the ‘otherness’ associated…

Same-Sex Partnerships, Families & Heteronormativity

I recently spoke at the ‘A History of Working-Class Marriage in Scotland, 1855-1976’ Spring Workshop held at the University of Glasgow, in conjunction with the Centre for Gender History. The Workshop – ‘Beyond Tradition?: Non-traditional marriages, partnerships and families in Scotland: Past and Present’ –  explored continuity, change and the multiple forms of partnerships and…

What Ever Happened to Red Harry?

Harry Whyte, who was born in Edinburgh in 1907, has chiefly one claim to fame: in May 1934, when employed by the Moscow Daily News, he wrote to Joseph Stalin to enquire whether it was possible to be both a homosexual and a Communist Party Member. What prompted Whyte’s appeal to Stalin was the decision…