The double life and the closet tend to be associated with a time before the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967 and the Gay Liberation Front call to ‘come out’ in the early 1970s. Though the social and cultural terrain in Britain has certainly shifted, this lecture shows how and why various kinds of secret have continued to matter to many queer people and have made their lives liveable. Based on new research and interviews for the recent Queer Beyond London project, Professor Matt Cook looks at how people’s backgrounds, families, and the places they live have made a portable closet a comforting, desirable, and even enjoyable queer accessory in the years since gay liberation.
Professor Matt Cook is Professor of Modern History at Birkbeck, University of London. He is the author of London and the Culture of Homosexuality (2003) and Queer Domesticities (2014) and was principal investigator on the Queer Beyond London project (2016 – 2018).
The public lecture is organised by the University of Lincoln College of Arts as part of this year's LGBT+ History Month activities. It is free to attend and open to students, staff, and members and the public.
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