Sunday 2 November 2008

Hello, Sailor

Trawling the website of Homotopia, a highlight of the Liverpool City of Culture [sic] celebrations, I came across this fascinating piece about an exhibition based on the lives and experiences of gay seamen (fnaar fnaar), particularly in the Merchant Navy.

Contrary to the opinions of some militant gays out there, who only want to see gay men portrayed as "straight acting" and attack camp as a sign of "weakness", these are the stories of real men, real heroes - serving their country in the face of war by day, and donning feathers and spangles by night!

I especially loved the maps the boys painstakingly drew up for each port they visited - charting the clubs, bars and cottages worth visiting across the world. And the fact that they gave their quarters nicknames such as "Balmoral" (where the queen lives) made me hoot!

I really hope that the lovely Jo Stanley realises her ambition, and this exhibition does go on tour. I would be fascinated to see it make an appearance in Greenwich Maritime Museum...


  1. Dolores, it's 2021 and I've just seen this, 13 years on! You've given the world a very easy way to access this exhibition (which is now over). Thank you. And yes, thank you, I DID get my dream. The exhibition traveled to Canada's Museum of the Atlantic, And many curators from museums all over the world went to see the exhibition In Liverpool as part of their CPD and to work out how other museums might stage something similar.
    Great website, Dolores.

    1. Heavens. It's great to know that even all this time down the road, the stuff I post is still of some value. Fabulous to hear that the Hello Sailor exhibition was such a success. In these difficult times, it certainly has cheered me up.

      Good luck with future ventures - maybe one day, you never know, the exhibition may get the renaissance it deserves and will indeed get a showing in the National Museum in Greenwich! Jx

  2. I hope your blog is going to stay up for a long time, Jon. A link is just
    being created to it from my Wikipedia page right now.
    Re usage: I agree. Yes, my friends and I keep on being amazed at how enduring and useful blog items from 20 years ago are! It assures me that I should carry on!
    You may be pleased to know that 3 exhibitions internationally have been inspired by Hello Sailor recently. I now chair a Rainbow Seas in museums online group to help spread the expertise.
    Kind wishes, Jo.

    1. Hello again, Jo. I am honoured!

      Thank you for the welcome update - and no, I have no intention of voluntarily ever closing this blog. Keep up the good work! Jx


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