Its cringeworthy title aside, Britain’s Channel 4 this week broadcast a fascinating look at gay life in the 70s and 80s in which host Rupert Everett tours demised gay bars and cruising sites, pondering whether things were more fun when gays were outsiders to mainstream British society. The Telegraph reviews:
Everett idiosyncratically explored the changes in gay life in the half-century since the decriminalisation of male homosexuality. “I can only imagine what my father would’ve thought as he took the 8.17 train from Witham into Liverpool Street and read the news that homosexuality had been legalised,” Everett pondered, in gloriously plummy tones. “Not knowing that across the country, I was sitting in my school shorts, plotting and preparing for a long career as a screaming queen.”
Much has been gained in the journey towards mainstream acceptance, yet has the rebellious, outsider spirit of gay culture been lost along the way? Our host thought so, as he spoke Polari slang and reminisced about cruising leather-clad men in alleys. He zipped around the country to meet LGBT people from all walks of life: “gangsta gay” rapper Jai’Rouge, actors from youth soap Hollyoaks (“It’s like porn!” Everett exclaimed delightedly) and Essex carpenter Steve, who cheerfully puts up with lots of “banter” on building sites.
You might want to watch the bootleg clip below right away before it vanishes from YouTube.
(Tipped by JMG reader Kent)