Tuesday, 18 October 2011


Tearoom. Front (and back) cover.

'Tearoom' by William E. Jones reports on the actions of undercover police officers who covertly filmed unsuspecting gay men as they met and had sex in a public toilet in Mansfield Ohio, back in 1962. 
It's a disturbing insight into the attitudes of law enforcement, and the official language of the time towards gay men, and it only goes to illustrate how loaded references.. 'sex deviates' ...'perverts'... can provide an official guilty verdict before any court appearance ever takes place. 

The grainy Kodak images drawn from original footage are not surprisingly voyeuristic, and are placed along with the 'mug shots' of many of the 67 men arrested and convicted over the weeks of the police observation.

The penalty for the offence? 1-20 years!
Fortunately the sodomy laws in the state of Ohio were revised soon after the mass conviction, with most of the guys serving between 1-3 years.

It's a tough, and captivating document, and it provides a real, tangible sense of life under the kind of oppressive anti-gay laws that some in society still

Lest we forget.

Published by 2nd Cannons Publishing

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