Toronto
1 min

Harlot’s Web

Queer Silents is a mind-blowing site containing lots of information about little known queer cinema of the silent era.

There are separate categories (gay, lesbian and trans) to choose from, and you’ll want to go to all of them. Gay Silents features the German 1919 film Different From The Others. It’s about a gay musician and how his sexuality is used against him. The protagonists are openly gay and it’s the first film to call for a repeal of anti-gay sodomy laws and equal rights for queers. Wow!

The 1914 satirical trans film A Florida Enchantment sounds like a hoot. A neg-lected woman discovers a casket containing a 100-year-old secret, a way for a woman to become a man and vice versa.

Clarence the sales clerk coming on to a cowboy in A Wanderer Of The West and guards wearing silver lamé loincloths, fishnet stockings and pom-pom wigs in 1923’s Salome are dripping in camp. And don’t start me on the wonder that is Louise Brooks!

As the site points out, “These films weren’t veiled in innuendo and suggestion, they were quite openly explicit.”