Together they narrate the story of Adam's realisation of his true identity while growing up in Egypt, his decision to leave his native country, his journey from there to a cramped room in Glasgow, and his ongoing struggle to assume his new identity as a man. By the turn of the nineteenth century, at the end of a year period in which both the subculture and its collisions with the world of culture had produced increasingly confident gay styles, the distinctive features of the gay theatre of our own century had been set. It has provided one of the most powerful defence mechanisms to our marginalisation: Fuller, whose play At St Judas New York, climaxes in the forced suicide of a best man in love with the groom at a society wedding. Homophobic details and narratives continued to be common in mainstream film and television.
It is still the most challenging and the most gay of our theatres; most importantly, it is the only art form which has actual premises — buildings and stages — dedicated to an exclusively gay public.
Alternately advising and battening down a group of fourteen-year-olds with a mixture of naivety and Scouse nous, Joe keeps his homosexuality a secret from the insult-slinging Year Nines. They imagine, attack and talk about the world in gay language. This formative period was not, however, characterized by a collective sense of gay culture. And the very essence of acting is depicting the lived experience of someone else. Drag continues to be a popular tradition, with its inimitable and vital mixture of artistic and political awfulness with rare artistry. Between these two ideals of autonomy and integration lies a spectrum of cultural operations devised by those who have supported, challenged, appropriated and exploited the existing order.
But to demand that only gay actors play gay roles is not the way to correct an inequality. The most continuous and the richest theatrical tradition built upon these early works has been that of the drag artists — though their work has been the least honoured and the least documented, because it is a popular i. Perhaps the most exciting work is that of those artists in whom the new confidence made possible by the expansion of the subculture, and by the radical politics of liberation, has collided head on with the older traditions of drag, vaudeville, cabaret and the sex industry. Joe must fend off the advances of her rapacious, wisecracking mum, only to find himself entangled with her uncle. Obviously Hollywood has run out of gay actors! The sexuality of a character is not their defining characteristic.