Private Worlds

Growing Up Gay in Post-War Britain

This is the story of two gay boys growing up in a provincial town when sexual activity between men was still criminal. This meant that our relationship was inflected by secrecy and fear, and although we were inseparable companions, we never came out to each other.

The shadows that distorted our adolescent years were never wholly dispelled, and this had serious consequences for a friendship that was both intense and rancorous, full of suppressed longing and unspoken jealousies.

We were twenty seven when homosexuality was partly decriminalised, but liberation came too late to mend the damage that shame and silence had created.

Wonderful…for anyone who has ever dreamt of leaving a small-town childhood behind them, this is going to wring your heart. It certainly did mine.’

Neil Bartlett, author of Address Book

Published 20 April 2023 by Pluto Press, available to pre-order here.

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