Often times in history our clothing has been used as a subtle means of communication. This entry from Encyclopedia.com uncovers the facts around fashion and homosexuality and how gay men and lesbians have used what they wear to not only give themselves a self-identity but to let others know their sexuality in times that were otherwise severely oppressive for them.
It's interesting to see that now, as men, we're borrowing from the same playbook as women used to protest the roles assigned to them by patriarchal societies. We're starting to realise that those same systems of oppression also negatively affect us too.
From the article:
"Male homosexuals continued to cross-dress in both public and private spaces throughout the nineteenth century. In the 1920s, the Harlem drag balls offered a safe space for gay men (and lesbians) to cross-dress. Similarly the Arts Balls of the 1950s in London offered an opportunity denied in everyday life. Cross-dressing performers, commonly known as drag queens, used women's clothes to parody straight society and create a gay humor."
"In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the adoption of male dress was a means for many women, including many lesbians, to protest the status of women and the roles assigned them by patriarchal societies."
"Popular figures, such as soccer player David Beckham, are avid consumers of clothes and even acknowledge their debt to gay men's influence on fashion."
Posted: 3 February 2023