Author(s): Matt Cook
Queer Domesticities is about the ways in which queer men have made, experienced and described their homes in London. It is about how they did those things in relation to trenchant stereotypes which cast them as either sissy home boys or domestic outlaws, and in relation also to the immediate pressing contexts of the places they lived through choice or force of circumstance. Matt Cook's book takes queer history indoors and shows additional ways in which queer men orientated their sense of themselves – behind closed doors and apart from the more public bars, clubs, cruising grounds, courtrooms, and protest and pride marches that have more often drawn our attention. In this way it casts in historical perspective the new interest in the home lives and styles of gay men which has come with legal change on civil partnerships, gay marriage and adoption and with TV and media depictions of gay men with particular domestic flair. The book rests on oral histories and unpublished diaries of relatively unknown men and on reassessments of famous and infamous figures, including artists Charles Shannon and Charles Ricketts, architect and romantic socialist C.R.Ashbee, early reformer George Ives, interior designer Oliver Ford, writer and editor J.R.Ackerley, 'stately homo' Quentin Crisp, playwright Joe Orton and film-maker Derek Jarman.