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…

Buggery, Body Snatchers and Bewitchings

Throughout early modern and modern history homosexual acts have been the focus of condemnation, religious outrage, penal sanctions and considerable suspicion. In the 16th century further connections between the act and sinister superstition were made, contradicting earlier works which suggested that even demons drew the line at buggery. The new narrative claimed that witches, in…