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Fighting Proud: A Gay History of the World Wars

At the end of World War Two the British public wanted to get back to ‘normal’. The gay men who had served their King and country found themselves subjected to a vigorous enforcement of the draconian law that would put them into prison if they were found guilty of indecency. But servicemen living in close proximity were made aware that men who chose to have sexual relationships with other men were not suffering from sexual perversion or a deadly disease, nor were they cowards or the stereotypical limp-wristed effeminates. ‘Fighting Proud’, a new book by Stephen Bourne, is about equality: being equally brave, scared, decisive, uniformed, wounded, and equally dead. War is the great leveler in which we are tested, tried and traumatised. No one ever emerges from war quite the same, whether it is battleground, air raid or that telegram with its irrevocable news. Fighting proud is heart-thumping and rousing; loving proud should be the same. In this episode, Stephen Bourne discusses the role of gay servicemen in the world wars, as well as the challenges of publishing gay history.

 Read more Read less Duration: 27 min