Homosexuality

A gay journey of self-discovery

6 August 2022 9:00 am

Seán Hewitt, born in 1990, realised that he was gay at a very early age. ‘A kind, large woman’ who…

The women’s lips are pursed; the men’s are kissable: Glyn Philpot at Pallant House reviewed

25 June 2022 9:00 am

Of all the photos of artists in the studio, the one of Glyn Philpot being served a martini by his…

A bitter sectarian divide: Young Mungo, by Douglas Stuart, reviewed

14 May 2022 9:00 am

Douglas Stuart has a rare gift. The Scottish writer, whose debut novel Shuggie Bain deservedly won the 2020 Booker Prize,…

The making of a poet: Mother’s Boy, by Patrick Gale, reviewed

5 March 2022 9:00 am

Charles Causley was a poet’s poet. Both Ted Hughes and Philip Larkin considered him the finest candidate for the laureateship,…

Gay and abandoned: A Previous Life, by Edmund White, reviewed

22 January 2022 9:00 am

Edmund White’s new novel opens, somewhat improbably, in 2050. This imagined future, however, springs few surprises on the reader and…

Have we reached peak human rights?

7 January 2022 2:30 am

After the Colston debacle, you might be forgiven for having missed the other legal story that broke this week. The…

Were the Sixties really so liberated?

18 December 2021 9:00 am

Lolita, the Lady Chatterley trial, the pill, Christine Keeler, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, love-ins, Oh! Calcutta!, the Oz trial…

Enjoyable in spite of the National's best efforts: Under Milk Wood reviewed

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Before the National Theatre produced Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood they had to make a decision. How could they stuff…

Nostalgia for seedy nightclubs reeking of sex and poppers

17 April 2021 9:00 am

Gay bar, how I miss you. Barely any lesbian joints have survived the online dating scene, and Grindr has replaced…

A beastly cold country: Britain in 1962

30 January 2021 9:00 am

Like this author, I was happily snowbound at a beloved grandparent’s house during the big freeze that began on Boxing…

The joy of a cancelled Christmas

19 December 2020 9:00 am

Among the greatest bores right now are those friends who insist on telling you, usually as if it’s some kind…

The next generation of gay men will be far more boring

19 September 2020 9:00 am

Last week we broadcast my BBC radio Great Lives episode on Kenneth Williams. The effervescent comedian and presenter Tom Allen…

Walt Whitman’s poetry can change your life

9 May 2020 9:00 am

To describe a new book as ‘eagerly awaited’ is almost unpardonable. Yet Mark Doty’s What is the Grass: Walt Whitman…

Why are musicologists so indifferent to their subjects’ love lives?

2 May 2020 9:00 am

People often say that the battle for male gay rights has been won, at least in the West, and that…

Guilty pleasures that fail to satisfy: Cleanness, by Garth Greenwell, reviewed

25 April 2020 9:00 am

In Henry and June, Anaïs Nin asks her cousin Eduardo if one can be freed of a desire by experiencing…

Gorgeous and electrifying: And Then We Danced reviewed

28 March 2020 9:00 am

The film you want to see this week that you mightn’t have seen if you weren’t stuck at home is…

obama buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg is a slightly less gay version of Obama

26 February 2020 4:22 am

On Valentine’s Day, Mayor Pete and his hus-bear Chasten managed to once again charm absolutely no one, barring a few…

A surefire international hit: Lungs reviewed

2 November 2019 9:00 am

No power on earth can stop Lungs from becoming an international hit. Duncan Macmillan’s slick two-handed comedy reunites Matt Smith…

Polari, the secret gay argot, is making a surprising comeback

22 June 2019 9:00 am

Imagine you’re a gay man living in the year 1950. Not unnaturally, you would like to meet another gay man.…

Naomi Wolf is holed below the waterline

15 June 2019 9:00 am

What is it about Naomi Wolf that inspires such venom? Perhaps that she’s American, brash, media-savvy and not averse to…

How long before Baby Sussex slips down the line of succession?

11 May 2019 9:00 am

Endangered species The UN claimed a million species of plants and animals could become extinct. If they all died out,…

Tchaikovsky: an uneasy mix of desire for fame and a loathing for the familiarity of strangers

Love me or go to hell – Tchaikovsky’s message to his public

12 May 2018 9:00 am

This is a wonderful and moving book of correspondence and biographical documents promising one Tchaikovsky in its subtitle and introduction,…

They say Enoch Powell had a fine mind. I’m not so sure

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Enoch Powell has been in many minds this month. It’s the 50th anniversary of his famous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech…

Wilfred Owen’s troubling obsession with young boys

6 January 2018 9:00 am

This year is the centenary of the Armistice to end what Siegfried Sassoon called ‘the world’s worst wound’: the first…

Cottaging in the age of Grindr

25 November 2017 9:00 am

There are nights when, crossing the dark parkland by my house, I see a man beneath a remote streetlamp. He…