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Call the Midwife  [message #68999] Mon, 02 February 2015 15:21 Go to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13497



We have a reasonably banal TV series, Call the Midwife, based on the real experiences of a midwife in London during and after The Blitz. The books are now exhausted, and we have reached 1960 using screen writers who have developed the original theme. It's Sunday evening TV, a mixture of schmaltz and social justice of the day.

Yesterday, the series decided to focus on the stigma of homosexuality. It did it poorly initially, albeit dramatically, and took me back to my own fears about being queer. The man was married. There the similarity ends. He was arrested by being entrapped by a 'pretty policemen' in a gentleman's toilet, prosecuted, and sentenced to be cured with stilbestrol. "You will take this until you are cured," intoned the judge.

In the community the neighbours hurled insults at his wife, and he attempted suicide by car exhaust fumes. His wife hurled insults at him, too.

I had not anticipated being affected by Sunday Night TV, but it was as though I was living it. I was going to say "again", but I never quite lived it.

The political background is the Wolfenden report, published in 1957, which meant I great up amidst a great discussion about those fucking homos. There was no political appetite for it at the time, so the broad recommendations were enshrined in law in 1967 here.

This show brought back my teenage pain.

It was also deeply uncomfortable to be watching it in company with my wife. I felt that she probably espoused the screen wife's reaction. Brokeback Mountain was an easy watch together, and disappointing. It was a lousy film. This banal TV series was well done and the very banality emphasised the attitudes of the era

[Updated on: Fri, 06 February 2015 17:21]




Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Cottaging  [message #69000 is a reply to message #68999] Mon, 02 February 2015 15:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13497



By "poorly initially" I mean that the entrapment scene lacked reality, or did in my view. I have my doubts that a casual gentlemen's encounter in toilets involves kissing, and I have more doubts that a policeman would appear to return the kiss. It seems to be to be much more a trouser fumbling experience. But what would I know. I have never cottaged. It repelled me as a teenager and repels me today. It is one major reason why I never came out, fearing that was all I was to be fit for as a queer.



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Cottaging  [message #69020 is a reply to message #69000] Fri, 06 February 2015 12:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver   

Really getting into it
Location: Canada
Registered: December 2003
Messages: 869




Great programme; been watching since it debuted in 2012 through the local NPR/PBS television station here in Toronto.  Have missed the last several episodes, so I'm going to have to eztv it and locate them for a one-time sit-down viewing marathon.

Whilst my experience coming out gay was not that of yours, we both lived through the same period in time as portrayed in the programme.  Will be interesting to see just what my take on "his" experience is.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada
Re: Call the Midwife  [message #69024 is a reply to message #68999] Sat, 07 February 2015 21:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ChrisR is currently offline  ChrisR   Brazil

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Location: Western US
Registered: October 2014
Messages: 136



I learned a new word today: 'cottaging'! (With apologies to Jim and Empire of the Sun)
Re: Call the Midwife  [message #69025 is a reply to message #69024] Sat, 07 February 2015 22:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
timmy   United Kingdom

Has no life at all
Location: UK, in Devon
Registered: February 2003
Messages: 13497



Quote:
ChrisR wrote on Sat, 07 February 2015 21:17I learned a new word today: 'cottaging'! (With apologies to Jim and Empire of the Sun)

--
I believe US usage is 'tea houses' and the visiting thereof?



Author of Queer Me! Halfway Between Flying and Crying - the true story of life for a gay boy in the Swinging Sixties in a British all male Public School
Re: Call the Midwife  [message #69026 is a reply to message #69025] Sun, 08 February 2015 03:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver   

Really getting into it
Location: Canada
Registered: December 2003
Messages: 869




More properly "Tea Rooms".

"Tea Houses" were, and are, just that.  "Tea Dances", and I don't rightly know if they continue to be held, or not, were non-alcoholic afternoon (generally between 14:00 and 16:00 Hours) Taxi Dances held weekends at many 1950's, 60's and 70's gay Beer Halls and Taverns, especially those that had both a up and downstairs venue where one or the other could be dedicated to the endeavour without endangering the more traditional custom.  In Toronto, popular sites for these afternoon affairs were upstairs at the St. Charles Hotel (directly across the road from the then extremely popular with the gay crowd Café Normandie at the Westbury Hotel), The Milk Bar (upstairs at The Parkside Tavern which shared public washrooms accessed through the side-entrance staircase and located in the basement and scene of many a torrid and anything but contretemps assignation), downstairs at the 511, The Parliament and the Jarvis house Taverns to name a few.

Toronto and, to a greater extent, Montréal in the late 1950's and early 60's were emerging with extensive underground networks of walkways and by-ways interconnecting major aboveground office and shopping structures all of which continue to exist today and in many cases have been expanded covering even larger areas than first envisioned.  This produced in Toronto for example a non-related network of below-ground, heated in winter dry in inclement weather and away from prying eyes, public washrooms affording some degree of privacy for a variety of sexual escapades.  Whilst not a frequent player myself, I had one very close airline steward friend for whom "Tea Rooms" had become almost an addiction.  One merely had to position themselves adjacent to any one of the two-dozen or so mens-rooms on Bloor Street East and West of Yonge Street between St George and Jarvis Streets any afternoon when John was not flying and as sure as God made shooting sherry and little green apples he would make an appearance treading the Bloor Street Track as it was then known.  Similar "tracks" connected Union Station with The Royal York Hotel, Citybank Tower, Metro Convention Centre, Metro Hall, Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto-Dominion Centre, Scotia Place, The Richmond-Adelaide Centre, City Hall, The Eaton Centre, The Bus Terminal, Ryerson University, MacDonald Block, The University of Toronto and a host of lesser entities, providing fertile ground so to speak for illicit encounters which largely avoided the watchful eye of the police.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada

[Updated on: Mon, 09 February 2015 09:07]

Re: Call the Midwife  [message #69030 is a reply to message #68999] Sun, 08 February 2015 18:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ChrisR is currently offline  ChrisR   

Likes it here
Location: Western US
Registered: October 2014
Messages: 136



Geesh! I've been in Toronto's underground a few times and had no idea that it was built for anything other than letting the locals keep shopping during snowstorms and the third world war! Live and learn.
Re: Call the Midwife  [message #69031 is a reply to message #69030] Sun, 08 February 2015 20:17 Go to previous message
The Gay Deceiver is currently offline  The Gay Deceiver   

Really getting into it
Location: Canada
Registered: December 2003
Messages: 869




To think it all began when they connected the then Richmond-Adelaide Centre with Toronto City Hall.  What earlier was envisioned as being just a few blocks now covers some 20 square miles.  Just imagining all those Tea Rooms and their Glory-holes simply boggles the imagination.

Warren C. E. Austin
The Gay Deceiver
Toronto, Canada
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