Gloria Brame, Ph.D.

Fellow Feeling: vintage postcard

Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | July 29, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History
Tags: vintage gay, vintage homoerotic

This card is dated ca.1910 -- yes, 100 years ago -- and displays a playful frankness about gay attractions. There also seem to be some shadowy police figures in the distance, suggesting the danger of expressing those feelings openly.


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I could be wrong, Gloria, but I think you may be reading way too much into this.

The character on the left is an indigent, and around the turn of the century, the "bum" was a source of mockingly good satire, especially when the joke is aimed at the nouveau middle class. My (granted, uneducated) guess would be that the image was just that of the bum playing a simple prank: the man on the right cant see his girlfriend's left hand because it's no doubt buried in the voluminousness of her dress, so he thinks he's holding *her* hand, not his.

Likewise the policeman in the distance: that's a stock cartoon item, of the rotund cop who's ineffectual (and probably knows it and doesnt care) -- it's another wink at the viewer that the bum feels safe doing this because were he caught, he could run far faster than the cop could ever dream.

I could be wrong (and probably am), but looking at similar things of the period, I think it's pretty safe. Fun image, tho.

Gloria Brame | July 29, 2010 1:54 PM

Perhaps you're right, Sean -- I do tend to see the sexuality in everything ;) But the "fellow feeling" comment was suggestive to me for sure. Also, wouldn't the girl have to be double-jointed to reach around and touch like that? :) Just saying.....

Wonder what others think!

"I have(caught)a fellow feeling(touching)you", perhaps?

Interesting, and I prefer the queer reading even if it's not the author's intent.

The "indigent" has (what appears to me) a look of surprise on his face.

It definitely looks like it's a deliberate hand holding -

I guess what throws me is that the man on the right is well dressed and the man on the left isn't.

Who knows? I like it and I'd like to see more vintage postcards like this.