Broadly have been looking at what they think is the dead language of Polari. Well, comatose, anyway.
Although largely died out, some Polari is still spoken in the UK to this day. “Blowjob” is a case in point: Some speculate that the Polari word was derived from American slang introduced in Britain following the Second World War. Other terms such as “naff” (bad), “bevvy” (drink), and “camp” (effeminate) continue to be used colloquially. Polari is the language you didn’t even know you were using.
The history of Polari is murky, as Jo Stanley and Paul Baker explain in their book Hello Sailor!: The Hidden History of Gay Life At Sea. They trace Polari’s origins back to Thieves’ Cant, a secret language used by thieves. Gay men in London pubs and taverns would use Cant to socialize and make sexual contacts. In fact, “trade” (meaning “sexual partner” in both Cant and Polari) is still used by many gay men today to mean the same thing. As the years went on, Polari picked up words—usually Italian in origin—from circus and travelling communities, prostitution rings, sailors, beggars, and the theatre world, where the language was predominantly used for most of the early 20th century. Polari proved popular amongst choir boys, dancers, and actors, many of whom were gay.
More of a “cryptolect” (a form of slang or argot used exclusively avoid certain detection or judgement from others) than a fully formed language, gay men would drop Polari terms into conversation: If the listener responded with Polari in turn, you could identify each other’s sexual orientation surreptitiously.
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Valerie Ediage, pictured, a charity volunteer, claims he faces deportation because he has not done enough to prove he is gay. Mr Ediage arrived in the UK six years ago and said his life would be at risk if he returned to Cameroon. Homosexuals in the country can be jailed for up to five years.
The 30-year-old said he moved to the UK to escape persecution over his sexuality and now lives with his partner, who is also from Cameroon but was granted UK residency. He is awaiting the outcome of his latest asylum application but said he already supplied evidence including intimate photographs with his partner and support letters from gay friends.
As World Aids Day approaches – as you are aware, it is 1st December – stories about Aids and HIV are beginning to appear in the media.
HIV infections are growing rapidly among young, gay men in China.
Until 2001, China classified homosexuality as a mental illness and there is almost no public discussion of gay issues or rights.
Nanchang, a city of five million, said the HIV infection rate among students at the city’s colleges grew by 43% annually in the past five years. More than 80% of the new cases were the result of male same-sex encounters. There were 135 HIV infections and seven deaths across 37 colleges. The figures came as a shock.
In the 1980s and ‘90s, Beijing depicted AIDS as only existing in the West, the result of decadent, capitalist lifestyles. After an explosion of AIDS cases in Henan province among farmers who had sold blood to unlicensed blood banks, the government began acknowledging the seriousness of the disease. HIV originally affected only drug users in China, and a decade ago, men who have sex with men accounted for less than 1% of new HIV infections in China. In 2015, they made up 27%.
In the U.S. gay and bisexual men account for about 67% of new HIV diagnoses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Exeter now has its own gay orchestra, which is now the third gay community orchestra in the UK. Conductor Tim Pither and two friends, have created the new symphony orchestra. So far it has already recruited nearly 30 members who will be meeting and rehearsing for the first time on Friday, October 7.
They will have just two days to polish off their first performance which will be a free concert at Exeter Community Centre, in St David’s, on Sunday, October 9, at 3pm.
Good luck to all concerned.
The Australian government says Labor is standing in the way of marriage equality after talks regarding the gay marriage plebiscite between Attorney General George Brandis and his Labor counterpart broke down.
Senator Brandis met with Labor’s Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus and Shadow Assistant Minister for Equality Terri Butler today to discuss how Labor could be convinced to support the plebiscite enabling legislation in parliament.
Ugandan police prevented organizers from holding a gay pride parade on the orders of a government minister.
Frank Mugisha, a gay rights leader in Uganda, said police blocked organizers from staging the event at two locations outside the Ugandan capital, Kampala.
More than 100 LGBT people turned up for the event today at a beach on Lake Victoria. Most of them were ordered into minibuses and escorted by police to Kampala.
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The homes of Oscar Wilde (pictured), Benjamin Britten and Anne Lister are being relisted as part of a gay history project undertaken by Historic England, Pride of Place.
Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said buildings and places were witnesses to events that shaped society, but lesbian and gay stories had often been neglected. “Too often, the influence of men and women who helped build our nation has been ignored, underestimated or is simply unknown, because they belonged to minority groups. Our Pride of Place project is one step on the road to better understanding just what a diverse nation we are, and have been for many centuries. At a time when historic LGBTQ venues are under particular threat, this is an important step.”
Proposals to introduce a new law to pardon gay men convicted under historical gross indecency laws will be brought forward “in due course”, the government has said. It could see thousands of men pardoned for crimes of which they would be innocent today.
A government spokesman said it was “committed” to the proposal. “This government is committed to introducing posthumous pardons for people with certain historical sexual offence convictions who would be innocent of any crime now. We will bring forward our proposals in due course.”
A bomb threat was emailed to Australia’s only gay and lesbian radio station, a sign of just how divisive the debate over gay marriage has become, says the station’s president. Jed Gilbert took to the air this evening to reassure JOY listeners after a threatening email was sent to the station on Tuesday night.
The station managed to remain on air while the building in Melbourne was cleared by Victoria Police about 7pm. About 30 staff and volunteers were on site. The station also has more than 300 volunteers.
Controversial anti-gay American pastor Steven Anderson is being deported from Botswana‚ the country’s government announced today. He has been declared a Prohibited Immigrant.
Anderson arrived in Botswana on Friday and the country’s Lesbian Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana delivered a petition to their government on Thursday asking it to ban him from the country. Today, they did.