Britain was a very different place in 1958 - especially if you were a gay man.
The 1950s homosexual was spoiled for choice as to just which niche strand of sexuality he chose to indulge in, all laid bare in a remarkable government report from the time.
'The Homosexual Society' by sociologist Richard Hauser was commissioned by the Home Office and its general tone is set on its inside cover which reads:
He makes concrete proposals for preventive measures in the present breeding-places [sic] of homosexuality, and for the better handling of the problem [sic] when it occurs.
- Homosexuality was illegal.
- In 1954 there were 1,069 gay men in prison in England and Wales.
- Chemical castration was offered as an alternative to imprisonment, the fate that befell Alan Turing amongst others.
- Homosexuality is legal.
- Gay marriage became legal in 2014.
- And it's not just the UK...
Anyway, rampant historical homophobia aside, the report does make for a fascinating if completely ludicrous read and insight into social attitudes at the time.
As highlighted by stand-up comedian Ivan Kirby, the best/worst thing about it is its comprehensive list of the different types of homosexual.