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January 7, 2016

Homosexuality & Homoromanticism During the Victorian Era: 28 Vintage Portraits of Gay Couples From the 19th Century

The Victorian Era marked a huge shift in the treatment of homosexuality. Prior to the 19th century, the theory had been that if no one discussed it, it would disappear altogether. An individual's sex life was also treated as a very private matter, so people were reluctant to speak discuss it outside of courtrooms. The British had been in complete denial about the presence of homosexuality within their country

During the 19th century the silence in England was broken, and police began actively fighting the "problem" of homosexuality. The witch hunts and mass hangings began, and the number of convictions rose. However, the laws were selectively applied and thus were not a great threat to gay men, as long as they were discreet and avoided scandal.

Gay men were commonly seen by society as perverts who had chosen their sexuality, or as diseased individuals whose sexuality was caused by their upbringing and biology, and not something they were born with. Doctors and psychologists, believing that homosexuality could be cured, tried methods such as hypnosis and aversion therapy.

A late 19th century gay couple

A middle-aged gay couple in the late 1800s

Young men in the 1880s

An affectionate pair from the late 19th century

Gay couple in the 1850s-60s

Gay couple in the late 1800s in America

A gay couple, 1878

Gay couple, ca. 1870s

Gay men from the 1800s

Gentlemen lovers in the 1870s

Male couple in America, 1875

Male couple in America, ca. 1880s

Men with hats and cigars hand in hand

Oscar Wilde and Lord Alfred Douglas, 1893

Two gentlemen in the late 1800s

Men with hand in hand in Victorian Era

Two men in Victorian Era

A male couple with hats and open waistcoats, ca. 1850s-60s

Two unidentified Union Army soldiers, 1864

Two young gentlemen, ca. 1850

Unidentified soldiers in Union uniforms holding cigars in each other's mouths, ca. 1860s

Victorian old lovers

19th century male lovers with flower hats

A couple in the 19th century

A couple of lovers in the late 1800s

Gay couple , ca. 1860s

Young lovers, ca. 1890s

A gentlemen couple hand in hand, ca. 1890s



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