In 1950s suburban England, a friendship bloomed between Jeremy Seabrook and Michael O’Neill – both gay men coming of age during a time when homosexuality was still a crime. Their relationship was inflected by secrecy and fear, and when the prohibition on same-sex relationships was partially lifted in 1967, they were already well into adult life; the shadows that had distorted their adolescent years were never wholly dispelled.
This is the subject of Private Worlds: Growing Up Gay in Post-War Britain, the new memoir by Jeremy Seabrook. Lyrical, candid and poignant, it is a tale of sexual identity, working-class history and family drama.
Jeremy joins us on the show this month to talk about life in 1950s Northampton, the advent of Gay Liberation in the 1960s, and what we can learn from a past shadowed by oppression and concealment in relation to today’s struggle towards LGBTQIA+ freedom.
Private Worlds is 40% off for podcast listeners. Use the coupon PODCAST at the checkout.