Category Archives: gay

Tom Daley Comes Out — As Happy

In the affect­ing, intimate-yet-professional YouTube clip above, a slightly red-eyed and emo­tional Tom Daley, the Olympic medal win­ning British diver and best thing to hap­pen to Speedos since Mark Spitz, says he was mis­quoted in an inter­view earlier this year in which he appeared to deny he was gay (albeit insist­ing he wouldn’t be ashamed if […]

The Global Glory Hole

Mark Simpson on the endur­ing allure of anonym­ous sex in an age of gay mar­riage and ‘anti-social net­work­ing’ I was six­teen when saw my first glory hole. Or rather, saw my first filled glory hole. It was in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, a public-spirited, snob­bish spa town well-served by shiny Victorian lav­at­or­ies. The throb­bing, fleshy wall-fitting in […]

End of Gays?’ — Kindle Single essay

Back in the 1980s, when the Conservative Government of Margaret Thatcher banned the ‘pro­mo­tion’ of homo­sexu­al­ity, gays were still semi-criminal – as well as immoral, ridicu­lous, dis­gust­ing, dis­eased and after your kids. The UK’s ban on homo­sexual pro­pa­ganda failed – spec­tac­u­larly. Gays have been pro­moted more rap­idly and gid­dily than almost any per­se­cuted, des­pised group in […]

How to Spot a Sodomite

Mark Simpson reviews some fam­ous Victorian bum holes in Neil McKenna’s Fanny & Stella (the Independent) “I had never seen any­thing like it before… I do not in my prac­tise ever remem­ber to have seen such an appear­ance of the anus, as those of the pris­on­ers presen­ted.” So test­i­fied Dr Paul in shocked tones at the trial of […]

Camp For Beginners

Mark Simpson inter­views David Halperin about his con­tro­ver­sial new book How To Be Gay at  I’ve always been a big fan of Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, and Doris Day. But it was a secret, shame­ful love — until, that is, David Halperin’s new book, How to Be Gay (Harvard University Press), finally gave me the strength to […]

Harry Daley: A Beat Poet

I’ve just fin­ished read­ing This Small Cloud, a won­der­ful posthum­ously pub­lished mem­oir by Harry Daley, a London cop­per in the early part of the 20th Century. Daley had a weak­ness, as you do, for young box­ers and gang­sters. And an intol­er­ance for Mosley’s Blackshirts, whom many of his col­leagues sym­path­ised with. The Bloomsbury nov­el­ist E.M. Forster […]

The Last Gay Picture Show

From tor­tured law­yers, drag queens and cow­boys to Mickey Rourke — on the Fiftieth anniversary of Victim the film that star­ted it all, a con­cise his­tory of the birth, boom, and bust of the big gay movie by Mark Simpson (Out magazine). A tor­tured, be-quiffed Dirk Bogarde, backed into a corner by his wife’s ques­tion­ing, shouts: […]

The End of Heterosexuality (As We’ve Known It)

By Mark Simpson A bullet-pointed column in the NYT by Charles M. Blow exam­ines a sea-change in atti­tudes towards homo­sexu­al­ity sug­ges­ted by a recent Gallup poll which found that, for the first time, the per­cent­age of Americans who per­ceive “gay and les­bian rela­tions” as “mor­ally accept­able” has crossed the sym­bol­ic­ally import­ant 50 per­cent mark. Also for […]

Why Straight Soldiers Can’t Stop Acting Gay on Video

Way back in the last cen­tury, before the Interweb swal­lowed everything, my friend and accom­plice in lit­er­ary crime Steve Zeeland were vis­it­ing, as you do, Camp Pendleton, the giant US Marine Corps base in Southern California with some jar­head friends. We spent the after­noon watch­ing the Marine Rodeo — scores of grin­ning fit Texan boys […]

The Tories’ New Section 28

by Mark Simpson (Guardian CIF, 25 March 2010) Whatever happened to the Tory party of the 1980s that refused to use tax­pay­ers’ money to prop up fail­ing indus­tries mak­ing things people didn’t want? That told us sternly, usu­ally in a hel­met of hair-lacquer, “the mar­ket must decide”? It turns out the Tories aren’t so laissez-faire if […]