Are You Musical? (under construction) is an enquiry in three parts into the character of Henry Labouchere MP (1831-1912), who in 1885 persuaded a British Government to criminalise all sexual intimacy between men regardless of age or privacy.
The consequence was 132 years of police persecution of tens of thousands of people who were discovered to be resisting binary role-play: gay men, bi men when involved with other men, trans women when involved with men and, by extension, lesbian women and trans men and those among us who are intersex.
People are still trying to be rid of the Labouchere law and various preceding and subsequent British laws against LGBTQI+ people in thirty-four sovereign Commonwealth countries that were formerly run for private commercial profit by the City of London, with assistance from British lawmakers, some Christian Churches, and exported British police chiefs.
Part 1 begins with a radio broadcast overheard by the author during the onset of Corona virus restrictions in Britain.
Through music we enter the 18th century as it struggles to end the ‘middle season’, the era of sexual superstition and violent monarchy also called the Middle Ages which began in 31 AD.
I first saw this cartoon on 2 May 2019 just after Chewbacca died. Chewbacca – the life companion of Han Solo in Star Wars. A non-binary relationship, indeed, an evidently interspecies one. We’re relaxed now about the varieties of love, but we weren’t relaxed in the lifetimes of the two men here. The standing one in the battered hat wielding a very-tightly-furled umbrella is Henry Labouchere MP (1831-1912).
(Illustrations & Notes to follow)