Homosexuality

Tchaikovsky: an uneasy mix of desire for fame and a loathing for the familiarity of strangers

Love me or go to hell – Tchaikovsky’s message to his public

12 May 2018 9:00 am

This is a wonderful and moving book of correspondence and biographical documents promising one Tchaikovsky in its subtitle and introduction,…

They say Enoch Powell had a fine mind. I’m not so sure

28 April 2018 9:00 am

Enoch Powell has been in many minds this month. It’s the 50th anniversary of his famous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech…

Wilfred Owen’s troubling obsession with young boys

6 January 2018 9:00 am

Wilfred Owen’s troubling obsession

Cottaging in the age of Grindr

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Why do gay men still seek anonymous public sex in the age of Grindr?

‘Les Modes se suivent et ne se ressemblent pas’, 1926, cover design for Harper’s Bazaar

The time is right for an Erté revival – a new hero for our gender-anxious times

18 November 2017 9:00 am

Erté was destined for the imperial navy. Failing that, the army. His father and uncle had been navy men. There…

The Muslim world is more tolerant of homosexuality than you think

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Islamic societies are less antithetical to gay sex than you might think

Blue and Yellow Macaw, c.1834

Edward Lear: where art and nonsense collide

14 October 2017 9:00 am

Peter Parker on the modest, melancholy and astonishingly gifted painter and author

How The Spectator fought to decriminalise homosexuality

29 July 2017 9:00 am

How The Spectator fought to decriminalise homosexuality

What should Tim Farron be allowed to believe?

24 June 2017 9:00 am

‘If he can’t be in politics,’ the Archbishop of Canterbury tweeted last week after Tim Farron resigned the leadership of…

Amusing, surprising, diverting and uplifting portrait of John Betjeman at Theatre Royal

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Sand in the Sandwiches is the perfect show for those who feel the West End should be an intellectual funfair.…

David Sedaris — doyen of deadpan drollery

27 May 2017 9:00 am

The bestselling humourist and New Yorker essayist David Sedaris is renowned for an almost hypnotic deadpan drollery and maybe especially…

The cops should have said: it’s just Stephen Fry, what did you expect?

13 May 2017 9:00 am

Coming to a workplace near you, perhaps — masturbation breaks. The policy was first recommended by a psychologist at Nottingham…

In a notorious case of 1822, the Bishop of Clogher was discovered soliciting the soldier John Moverley in the White Lion public house, off the Haymarket. The bishop was deprived of his see, skipped bail, fled to France and ended up living incognito in Edinburgh until his death in 1843

London’s gay past will always be a mystery

13 May 2017 9:00 am

It needs guesswork and intuition to write a history of gay London – because for centuries no one was talking, says Philip Hensher

The EU leaders’ tactics are intended to affect our general election

6 May 2017 9:00 am

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s main Brexit negotiator, tweeted on Monday: ‘Any #Brexit deal requires a strong & stable understanding…

Tim Farron is a Christian, so of course he’s not allowed an opinion

29 April 2017 9:00 am

Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I don’t remember the BBC running a documentary 100 days into Barack Obama’s first…

Frankly dreadful: ‘The Renaissance of Venus’, 1877, by Walter Crane

Would the artists in Tate’s Queer British Art show have approved of being included?

15 April 2017 8:00 am

‘There is only one thing worse than homosexual art,’ the painter Patrick Procktor was once heard to declare at a…

Forbidden love and the beautiful game

18 March 2017 9:00 am

Nowadays, most of us living in the liberal West agree that there can never be anything morally wrong with love…

Fantastic interpretations of the inkblots might imply either madness or high intelligence and creativity. Rorschach was convinced the tests could distinguish between the two

Could the Rorschach tests spot a Nazi?

4 March 2017 9:00 am

There may be something in the Rorschach tests, says Philip Hensher, but can it really be measured?

Denton Welch with baroque angel at Hadlow Road, Tonbridge, 1937

The embarrassing love letters of Denton Welch

4 March 2017 9:00 am

On the Whitsun weekend of 1935 an art student called Denton Welch was knocked off his bicycle by a car…

Thick as thieves in Georgian London

25 February 2017 9:00 am

‘To get a confession from a proud male factor, it is always better to call for a poet than a…

Police must apologise to those falsely accused of sex offences

4 February 2017 9:00 am

This week, 49,000 gay men were granted posthumous pardons. Had Harold Macmillan’s government taken notice of this magazine in 1957…

How we overcame Aids against all the odds

21 January 2017 9:00 am

This month, 30 years ago, I wrote a draft of what was to become soon afterwards the first comprehensive human…

Josette Day and Jean Marias in La Belle et La Bête, one of Cocteau’s most visually stunning films

Jean Cocteau: confessions of an opium addict

7 January 2017 9:00 am

All biography is both an act of homage and a labour of dissection, and all biographers are jealous of their…

My husband’s affair with Michael Gove, and other things that didn’t happen

19 November 2016 9:00 am

A few weeks ago I discovered that while he should have been focused on the fight of his life during…

Donald Trump represents the new normal – on both sides of the Atlantic

19 November 2016 9:00 am

Trump’s victory is the latest manifestation of an enormous paradigm shift