chapter  5
34 Pages

‘SIMPLY THE THING I AM SHALL MAKE ME LIVE’: 1969–1981

Even the commercial playhouses of New York and the West End are not immune to the forces of political and cultural change. Both in this theatre system and in its radical, studio alternatives the signs of the changing perceptions of homosexuality were clearly on view: in the world beyond the theatre some American states repealed their sodomy laws; in England and Wales, in 1967, homosexual acts in private between two consenting adult males over 21 were exempted from prosecution. In 1973 the American psychiatric association ruled that homosexuality could no longer be classified a mental disorder. Both the American and the British civil services terminated their ban on the employment of gay men and lesbians, though in Britain’s case with significant exceptions.