Blotting paper will never be the same again

12121602

Matt Houlbrook | LGBT History UK | 14313

In his book “Queer London”, writer Matt Houlbrook relates the story of “Cyril”, which he gleaned from reading dusty court files. Cyril was a young gay man in London in the early 1930s, during the time when male homosexuality was completely illegal in Britain. Cyril was a regular attendee of a basement club in central London. One evening, there was a raid. Cyril found that some of the men he had been talking to were in fact plain clothes policemen. Cyril was arrested and taken to Bow Street Police Station.

Cyril was subject to the humiliating ritual of having his cheeks rubbed with blotting paper for evidence of make-up (he wore lipstick and rouge, which was the fashion of the time). He was imprisoned pending trial then brought to trial at the Old Bailey for aiding and abetting in keeping a disorderly house. Cyril was let off.


SP

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s