Odd Men Out: Male Homosexuality in Britain from Wolfenden to Gay Liberation, 1954 – 1970


  • Author Name: John-Pierre Joyce
  • Publication Date: 28/08/2019
  • Format: Paperback

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SKU: 9781912881673 Categories: , Tags: , ,


Odd Men Out is a social, cultural and political history of gay men living in Britain during the 1950s and 1960s. It follows a chronological narrative and covers a number of thematic issues in detail, starting with the establishment of the government’s Committee on Homosexual Offences and Prostitution in 1954 and ending with the emergence of the British Gay Liberation Front in 1970. During this period new perspectives on sexuality were beginning to emerge, and the book looks at contemporary public, political and legal attitudes towards homosexuality and gay men. 

The book also focuses on the emergence of gay identities, the opening up and the limitations of social spaces and contacts, the operation of the law, and the legal reform process up to and beyond partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967. 

The book is based on new and original research, and there is an emphasis on the personal experiences of gay men and other witnesses to the period through a range of written, oral and broadcast evidence. These witnesses include well-known individuals who made significant contributions to the political, social and cultural debates of the period. The book uses a wide range of sources (many of which have not previously been examined) and offers a fresh angle on new as well as familiar themes.

John-Pierre Joyce lives in London and is an experienced writer, journalist and teacher. This is his first book, based on ten years of research. He has previously written on the subject of male homosexuality in Britain for other publications, including History Today. He also advised on the short film, The Colour of His Hair (2017), directed by Sam Ashby, premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, and winner of Best Documentary at the London Short Film Festival.


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