Was Henry Lawson bisexual?

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David Campbell
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Was Henry Lawson bisexual?

Post by David Campbell » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:56 pm

Frank Moorhouse has just published a new book on Lawson called The Drover’s Wife (Knopf) and in it, according to an article he wrote for the SMH over the weekend (see link below), he examines the possibility that Lawson was bisexual. Moorhouse says that the “biggest surprise” when researching his book was to learn of Lawson’s “effeminacy”, something apparently acknowledged by the poet himself and others at the time. An aunt reportedly said he “should’ve been born a girl”.

Moorhouse writes: “On the evidence, Lawson struggled with the conventional masculine role and, I believe, the unresolvable inner tensions of his sexuality. I speculate that his effeminate personality contributed to his abuse of alcohol, which can be both a relief from and, a form of, emotional absence within a relationship.”

It’s all conjecture, of course, but it does cast an interesting light on the poet’s generally unhappy life, and, among other things, Moorhouse draws on some poems and one particular relationship to support his argument. Given some of the extreme attitudes thrown up by the current debate over marriage equality, it’s hard to imagine the challenges faced by someone unsure of their sexuality a century ago.

David

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/boo ... z6lam.html

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Stephen Whiteside
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Re: Was Henry Lawson bisexual?

Post by Stephen Whiteside » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:43 am

Very interesting, David. I think the same speculation could apply to the life of C. J. Dennis with equal validity.
Stephen Whiteside, Australian Poet and Writer
http://www.stephenwhiteside.com.au

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Brenda Joy
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Re: Was Henry Lawson bisexual?

Post by Brenda Joy » Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:03 pm

Just last weekend a psychologist friend put forward in conversation, the researched findings that there are seven levels of sexuality. At one extreme the Alpha Male and at the other the Alpha Female and in the middle the Homosexual. That leaves two categories between AM and HS and two categories between HS and AF that have some tendencies of the opposite sex. A fascinating subject for anyone interested in persuing it.
The sexuality of any person (artistic or otherwise) is only relative to the degree of suffering that being different has caused (or is causing) that person, which is what David focussed on.
Sing HU to open your heart.

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