Films and Filming: The Making of a Queer Marketplace in Pre-decriminalization Britain

Bengry, Justin. 2013. Films and Filming: The Making of a Queer Marketplace in Pre-decriminalization Britain. In: Brian Lewis, ed. British Queer History: New Approaches and Perspectives. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 244-266. ISBN 978-0-7190-8894-0 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Looking at the international film magazine Films and Filming, which ran from 1954 until 1990, I uncovered a deliberate and strategic policy of identifying and cultivating queer consumers long before the 1967 Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual acts between men in Britain.

Published and edited by homosexual men and assembled by a largely queer staff, Films and Filming’s producers deliberately coded the magazine for men like themselves, with little or no interest in lesbians. Throughout its life, Films and Filming’s articles on censorship of homosexual themes in film, references to sexually ambiguous male actors like Rock Hudson and Dirk Bogarde, humour, sexual innuendo and homoerotic photo spreads all reinforced for many that Films and Filming was queer. From its initial issues in 1954, Films and Filming sought what we would today call the ‘pink pound’, or Britain’s queer market segment. Commercial advertisements promoted queer-friendly and queer-owned businesses; the first issues included ads for Vince Man’s Shop, the notorious Soho men’s boutique. Discreet ‘bachelor’ ads from men looking for same-sex partners began appearing in the mid 1950s. These were soon a key feature of the publication’s pre-decriminalisation years, later becoming more explicit adverts for sexual partners and queer prostitutes. By the 1960s, some readers were so sure of the magazine’s queer audience, they even sought to buy or sell homoerotic magazines and films through its classified ads. Advertisers and readers both recognised that the tone and focus of much of the magazine’s visual, editorial and feature content spoke directly to queer men as one of the magazine’s intended audiences. Readers, too, actively participated in the magazine’s queer project, submitting and responding to personal contact ads that confirmed their place among Films and Filming’s growing and lucrative readership.

Item Type:

Book Section

Keywords:

Films and Filming, queer press, homosexuality, capitalism, press, media, United Kingdom, England, lgbtq

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

History

Dates:

DateEvent
2013Published

Item ID:

22251

Date Deposited:

10 Nov 2017 11:20

Last Modified:

10 Nov 2017 11:20

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/22251

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