Offensive words belong to history

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February 3, 2017 by Carmel

While researching The Undertaker:Masquerade I needed to know what a homosexual man would have been called at the time. In 1859, when the book is set, buggery was a crime in the UK.  The death penalty for this crime was abolished in 1861.  As most of the book is set in Scotland, the term I was using was ‘Nancy boy’ but I found out that this term wasn’t used until after WWII.  Supposedly loose women were described as gay, but homosexual men were referred to as invert, sodomite and molly and occasionally poof.  I hate writing about this because I find the words so offensive, but when you write historical fiction it has to be true to the time.  It has always been my thought that people apply labels to others out of their own insecurity.  Name-calling happens from the playground to politics, and in books, but it’s not part of my life.  I take people as I find them.  When you are a writer you have to deal with people’s foibles and indiscretions – it’s what makes interesting characters.

The Undertaker:Masquerade will be released this month.


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