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Friday, June 24, 2016

This Day in Gay History

Your country wants you!
1850 – Horatio Kitchener, the 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and British field marshal was born on this date (d.1916). Brits howled in outrage at the publication of Douglas Plummer's Queer People, a general history of homosexuality that sought to prove to the English people that Gayness was not limited to Oscar Wilde and a few assorted French couturiers. The book named names, among them, Kitchener, one of the great heroes of English Imperialism.

The proponents of the case point to Kitchener's friend Captain Oswald Fitzgerald, his "constant and inseparable companion," whom he appointed his aide-de-camp. They remained close until they met a common death on their voyage to Russia. From his time in Egypt in 1892, he gathered around him a cadre of eager young and unmarried officers nicknamed "Kitchener's band of boys." He also avoided interviews with women, took a great deal of interest in the Boy Scout movement, and decorated his rose garden with four pairs of sculptured bronze boys. According to one biographer, "there is no evidence that he ever loved a woman."

A contemporary journalist remarked that Kitchener "has the failing acquired by most of the Egyptian officers, a taste for buggery". J. B. Priestley noted in his book on "The Edwardians" that one of Lord Kitchener's personal interests in life included planning and decorating his residences. He was also known to collect delicate china with a passion (such allusions to an 'artistic temperament' were a common code for implying homosexuality at that time).

--more at This Day In Gay History,  based on: The White Crane Institute's 'Gay Wisdom', Gay Birthdays, Gay For Today, Famous GLBT, glbt-Gay Encylopedia, Today in Gay History, Wikipedia, and more …

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