- The Secret History of Australia's Gay Diggers | Sexuality
- Today's selected stories
- World War II Photos
- Sunday (11 November) marks 100 years since Armistice Day and the end of The Great War.
Although he never declared it in his lifetime, Edward was homosexual. Their relationship ended in when Mohammed was forced to marry. Mohammed paid tribute to his lover by naming his son Morgan. He continued to write novels and plays, and was nominated for 20 Nobel Prizes for Literature. Edward died in May Toupie Lowther , known as 'Toupie', was born in in London. The group travelled to France, taking their own cars or those donated by other women. In France the unit stayed close to the German front line to collect the wounded.
Bobby was killed in the attack. In May Joseph was injured again, and once more found himself trapped in no man's land alongside the dead and wounded.
The Secret History of Australia's Gay Diggers | Sexuality
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Today's selected stories
Anxieties about homosexuality reached fever pitch in the second world war with the rising influence of psychology and its promise to make better armies. Occasionally historians strike it lucky in the archives and stumble upon quite extraordinary evidence which compels us to re-evaluate what we think we know about gay life in the forces. My discovery of an official investigation into a large effete subculture among American sailors in New Caledonia in is a case in point.
The islands were home to some 40, US troops in the war making it the largest base in the South Pacific outside Australia. They cruised for sex in parks and hotels and lemonade stands. Men fell in love.
Others were heartbroken. Some sailors necked in public.
World War II Photos
This indiscreet behaviour led to rumours. Scuttlebutt sparked the interest of naval commanders. The authorities pounced.
Investigators interviewed sailors at length in a months-long operation. Many men were forced to resign. Armies offered much more than male-only sex. Confidently queer personnel inducted comrades like James Lord, documented in his memoir My Queer War , into new ways of doing and being gay on the home front in Boston. Many self-identifying gay men embraced woman-like identities and a receptive sex role. This feminine presentation is alien to contemporary queer cultures that valorise muscles and machismo.
Field joined his camp comrades seeking out butch masculine soldiers for sex and companionship. Queer men and the worlds they created flourished in an institution lauded for its masculine credentials. Indeed, the war provided a massive boost to gendered identities as manly troops with no other form of release proved receptive to feminine behaviour patterns.
The war relaxed the rules around sex. Young men segregated together and facing possible death took their pleasure where they could find it.
Sunday (11 November) marks 100 years since Armistice Day and the end of The Great War.
Millions of men freed from the conventional expectations of society suddenly found themselves far from home with only other young males for company. Sex was easily available for those who wanted it. Ty Carpenter, an actor with the US Special Services, recalled just how free and easy loving could be in his memoir Stars without Garters!