It's Not Unusual: A History of Lesbian and Gay Britain in the Twentieth Century

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Indiana University Press, 1997 - Social Science - 224 pages
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""Alkarim Jivani has fashioned a lively introduction to our queer brothers and sisters across the Atlantic."" -- Bay Area Reporter, San Francisco, CA

""An interesting primary source for comprehensive gay and lesbian collections."" -- Library Journal

It's Not Unusual is a lively, anecdotal account of lesbian and gay Britain told through the testimony of those who lived through it all. What it was like to attend West End premieres in the Twenties with a monocled, cross-dressed Radclyffe Hall. What signs and signals lesbians and gay men used to recognize each other in the Thirties. How London became a ""vast double bed"" during the blackout. Why camp humor defused tension among soldiers under fire during the Second World War. What it felt like to undergo ""treatment"" at the hands of psychiatrists armed with injections and emetics during the repressive Fifties. How, in the Sixties, the long battle for law reform was fought and won. How gay men and lesbians partied through the Seventies and rallied together in the Eighties, and what issues concern them in the Nineties.

The clothes they wore, the books they read, the music they enjoyed, the slang they used, the people they loved, the things that made them laugh, and the things that made them cry are all vividly recalled. The result is a poignant and powerfully told history that casts a new light on Britain in our century.


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It's not unusual: a history of lesbian and gay Britain in the twentieth century

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London-based journalist Jivani presents an anecdotal history of gay and lesbian life in Great Britain from the end of World War I to the present. Like Between the Acts: Lives of Homosexual Men 1885 ... Read full review


Introduction 9
PART ONE 191839 11

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About the author (1997)

Alkarim Jivani is an editor for the London arts and entertainment magazine Time Out. Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and educated in Tanzania, Kenya, and the United Kingdom, he graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in philosophy and literature. He lives in London with his partner.

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