Drag: A British history

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Drag is an art form that’s seen a great deal of success – and a little controversy – in recent years. Yet, as Jacob Bloomfield argues in his book, Drag: A British History, it’s also entertained British audiences for decades, stretching back to the music halls of the Victorian era and revue shows of the Second World War.

The Trials of Oscar Wilde: Sex and Scandal

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“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.” As his most popular work, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, hints at, Oscar Wilde’s life was a complicated one. Perhaps the most famous gay martyr in history, Wilde is often presented as a sacrificial victim destroyed by a bigoted and puritanical establishment.

But the story of how Wilde came to prominence, and eventually sued his lover’s father for libel, is one as surprising as it is complex. Join Tom and Dominic as they explore Oscar Wilde’s journey from the heights of brilliant success to the depths of notoriety and suffering.

Hadrian & Antinous

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A mysterious death on the Nile, an unconventional love affair, a Roman-Greek hero turned God – the story of Hadrian and Antinous is full of intrigue. Join Tom and Dominic as they delve into the world of Roman romance, where gender binaries and modern moral arguments do not feature, and look into the possible theories of how Antinous’ body ended up in the Nile…

Tokugawa Iemitsu

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Through the life of 17th century Japanese shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu, the Bad Gays podcast explores the role of same-sex relationships in Japanese court culture of the time, the radically different meanings of age and gender in different times and places, and a gay teen romance that ends, alas, with being stabbed to death in the bathtub.

Oscar Wilde on trial

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At a time when male homosexuality was illegal in Britain, celebrated playwright Oscar Wilde became embroiled in a scandal that ultimately saw him put on trial for “gross indecency”. As Professor Joseph Bristow tells Lauren Good, it’s a story of danger and betrayal, which not only tells us about the writer’s life, but also about the prejudices of society at the time.

Which LGBTQ+ histories get told – and which get overlooked?

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Uncovering and telling the stories of LGBTQ+ people in history can be rewarding, important work, but it’s also often challenging and complex. How far is it possible to understand the sexualities of people in the past from our 21st-century vantage point? And which stories do we forget about? To mark LGBT+ History Month in the UK, Matt Elton hosts a panel of experts – Florence Scott, Fleur MacInnes, Tim Wingard, Channing Joseph and Anthony Delaney – to discuss issues of representation in the past.