Day 2 of our London Homotopia.tv round up and we caught up with Writer and Historian Neil McKenna who will be coming to Homotopia this year to talk about his new book Fanny & Stella.
Neil explained, “Fanny and Stella were Frederick Park and Ernest Boulton, two young men who used to dress up in women’s clothes and on the evening of Thursday 28th April, 1870, they were arrested as they left a theatre in drag. They thought, and everyone else thought that it was just a casual arrest, that they had been rounded up because the police thought they were prostitutes. Infact, when they appeared in court the next morning, they discovered that they had been followed for over a year, so the case against them became bigger and bigger. Eventually, a year later, they found themselves on trial for more or less their lives, in Westminster Hall, before the Lord Chief Justice. The Attorney General himself prosecuted the case.
It was an extraordinary event, it captured the nations imagination, and it was a story that went round the world. Basically, it was the first time, that gay sexuality in the modern industrial age, where the state versus gay sexuality had come head to head”.
Catch our full interview with Neil on www.homtopia.tv shortly.