Newspaper article from 1960s advises to ‘spot a homo’


Published in the Sunday Mirror the article offers a ‘useful’ advice to spot expected homos. It warns: “You can and will meet them in London’s Bond Street, Tokio’s Ginza, Rome’s Via Veneto, Glasgow’s Sauchiehall-street, the Road to Mandalay and the street where you live…” Discussing Soviet Union spy John Vassall, the paper expresses disbelief that a tribunal suggested it was difficult to know his sexual orientation.

The advice it offers is that “basically, homos fall into two groups- the obvious, and the concealed.” “OBVIOUS: Those who dye their hair, touch up their lips, and walk with a gay little wiggle could be spotted by a One-Eyed Jack on a foggy day in Blackwall Tunnel.” CONCEALED: They wear silk suits and sit up at chi-chi bars with full bosomed ladies. Or they wear hair sports jackets and give their wives a black eye when they get back from the working men’s club. They wrestle, play golf, ski and work up great knots of muscles lifting weights. They are married, have children. They are everywhere and they can be anybody. How then are we ever going to pick them out?”

According to the article there are 5 types of homos: “1. The middle aged man, unmarried who has an unnaturally strong affection for his mother. 2. The man who has a consuming interest in youth. He is ready to give ALL his spare time to working and talking with boys and youths. 3. The crawler. The ‘umble man, the man who is always saying he’s nothing and everybody else is marvellous, the man with the fixed and meaningless smile on his face. A prime suspect. 4. The fussy dressed. When one, two or three button jackets are in he is the first to wear them. His shirts are detergent bright, his tie has the latest knot and is always just so, and he can never pass a mirror or a shop window without a sly glance at himself.” He goes on to say the “over clean man” is the next “prime suspect.


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