Queer Constellations: The Histories of Rural Gay Men
Criminal archives are the most common source of gay histories, as male homosexuality was illegal until 1967. Through searching assize records on Ancestry, and investigating court reports via the British Newspaper Archive, we identified rural occupations for some of the men placed on trial. By comparing these occupations to objects in our collection, we aim to show that these men were more than just a conviction. They were ordinary people living ordinary lives.
This online exhibition accompanies the play The Stars are Brighter Here, a production staged at The MERL between the 7th and 14th July, and a physical exhibition, Queer Constellations, on display in the museum’s Nook, exploring queerness in the countryside through objects and artworks.