Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Letter Of The Week: Infamy! Infamy!

Gay people depicted on British stamps, a definitive list: Emperor Hadrian, Kenneth Williams, Freddie Mercury, King James I, Antony Sher, Ian McKellen. Gay fictional character: Albus Dumbledore (depicted twice). More or less bisexual people: Shakespeare, Lord Olivier, Dame Daphne du Maurier, Alexander the Great, Virginia Woolf, Mary Wollstonecraft, David Bowie. Then there is that treacherous category, "never married": Admiral Robert Blake, Marea Hartman, Eleanor Rathbone, Robert Boyle, MR James, Joan Mary Fry, the last two appearing in the series that includes Alan Turing, whose commemoration sparked this discussion. It is certainly surprising that Royal Mail has yet to get around to Oscar Wilde.
Regarding gay actors (Many gay actors still fear coming out, 7 April): Alec McCowen was out gay long before young whipper-snappers like McKellen and Callow. I once asked him about surviving as a gay actor. "Oh, all actors are more or less gay," he said, adding after an exquisitely judged pause, "with the possible exception of Jack Hawkins."
W Stephen Gilbert
Corsham, Wiltshire 

Letter to The Guardian.
Continuing this fascinating debate.
I presume he means the Carry On stamps - here's a Carry On Cleo one.  


  1. If my history is right [ it usually is ] then James the first..was openly gay..

  2. He was.
    But also married wiv kids, if memory serves...

  3. He was also 'the witchfinder general.' who not only put his name down to torturing and murdering so called witches...took an active part in some of the acts.

    On a lighter note..how about a stamp featuring Fred Urquhart for his lit genius and humour?