Boys and Homosex: Danger and Possibility in Queensland, 1890-1914

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Smaal, Yorick
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Sleight, Simon, Robinson, Shirleene

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2016
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On a Sunday evening in mid-1897, Wade and Walt were caught committing sodomy in a room at Cloughly’s Hotel, situated somewhere in the western reaches of Queensland.1 This discovery was nothing exceptional. In a frontier world disproportionately populated by young men in their sexual prime, ‘unnatural’ crime appeared regularly enough before the colonial courts in urban and regional areas. At first glance, this case appears similar to other matters involving men and boys heard before judges and juries. Walt, age unknown, but certainly an adult, had been working at the hotel for about six months when the offence took place; Wade was a boy of 11 who was visiting his aunt, the proprietor of the premises. One evening, the two residents ended up in a room together, partly undressed and in a compromising position.

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Children Childhood and Youth in the British World

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Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)

Law and Society

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