Dutch gay novels of the 50s and 60s
Between the late 19th century and the beginning of the Second World War (1889-1940), around 22 homosexual novels are written in the Netherlands. Some of these novels relate to the modernist movement that occurs around the turn of the century, while another half are strongly based in psychiatric theories of homosexuality, in the homosexual rights movement of those years, or in a mixture of these perspectives. There had been an upsurge of novels with emancipatory and informative aims before 1911 and even more so at the end of the Great War – in which Holland did not participate (1904-1911 and 1916-1923). In 1911, an anti-homosexual law, article 248bis, was enacted in the Netherlands which instated a different age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual relations between minors and adults; remaining 16 for the former and being raised to 21 for the latter. The article is seen as a political response of Christian parties to greater sexual and literary visibility and activism and was part of a broader set of moral laws on contraception, abortion, pimping, pornography, and sex work. This legislation also led to increased levels of activism and visibility, including more gay novels and the start of the first homosexual rights movement: the Dutch chapter of Hirschfeld’s Wissenschaftlich-humanitären Komitee (NWHK – the Scientific-Humanitarian Committee) in 1912.
After 1945 the Dutch social situation changes. These changes become especially evident after 1960 when the sexual revolution radically transforms Dutch society and its sexual culture through secularisation, democratisation, individualisation, and the advent of new political groups such as Provo and the rise of sexual reformist and gay movements. This article will discuss the rise of the gay (erotic) novel in that period and the associated changes in contents and contexts. The number of such novels rises dramatically: from 22 before 1940, 4 in 1940s, and 10 in the 1950s to some 36 in the 1960s. This amounts to the same number of books in 10 years as in the 72 years prior! My main question to address is how did gay novels change in the time of the sexual revolution, or broader, between the end of the Second World War and 1970? As the topic has been discussed for the century before this time period, it is now possible to compare the results of these previous analyses with what happened in the 1960s, with the first clear result being the sharp rise in the sheer number of these books.
In this context, by gay novel is meant a book that, for a large part, is devoted to male same-sexual issues and has one or more protagonists that are (presumed to be) homosexual or queer. Included are stories of male homosexuality in a book or magazine. There are other books not included in this calculation where some secondary characters are gay or where the plot may include homosexuals, but where this topic is not part of the story line. This article focuses only on gay male novels and not on lesbian novels, and is about books written originally in Dutch from the Netherlands and Flanders, rather than translations. Next to these novels, gay poetry was also published in this time period, but this body of work remains outside my topic.
The article starts by discussing the turn of the century history of homosexuality, uranian or third gender novels, and then continues to address the period after the Second World War to end with the 1960s. In order to better understand the conditions that gave rise to these changes and characteristics, the novel will be placed in the context of Dutch homosexual history.
The social context before 1940
At the end of the 19th century, the Netherlands witnessed, as in other European countries, new kinds of debates on: prostitution, sexual laws, erotic literature, medicalisation of perversion, and the contents, causes and prevention techniques related to homosexuality. After a period that sex work was ‘medically controlled’ (meaning that police registered prostitutes and doctors checked them for diseases), pimping and bordellos were gradually forbidden after a long debate on ‘legalised lewdness’ from the 1860s to the 1890s. New legislation in 1886 raised the age of consent to 16 for all and in 1911 to 21 years old for homosexuals (both male and female), forbade certain forms of pornography, and made abortion and contraception more difficult to get, among other issues. Authors of the modernist movement of the 1880s started to write novels and poetry on sexual issues, taking leads from mainly French examples. Psychiatrists started to discuss sexual psychopathy in line with the German-language work of Karl Heinrich Ulrichs and Richard von Krafft-Ebing, with homosexuality and perversions being viewed as identities with a cause in nature instead of vices resulting from uncontrolled lusts. Liberals lost the political prominence they enjoyed in the 19th century and gave way to the rise of the more conservative Christian sexual agenda (with socialists in their footsteps) which dominated most of the 20th century, giving Dutch society a more repressive flavour with regard to sexuality.
At the turn of the century there was a tension between more liberal tendencies that had recently developed in arts and in society on the one hand and the assertiveness of the Protestants and Catholics on the other who began to organise ‘pillars’: their own communities that soon would include not only religious institutions like churches and monasteries, but also political parties, newspapers, trade unions, schools and universities, sport clubs and other social/cultural services. They even forced liberals and socialists to create their own pillars, although these were not nearly as encompassing. Even economic activities such as shops and factories would become the domain of the pillars. The openness of the Fin-de-Siècle made experiments and new initiatives like medical and pseudo-medical literature on homo/sexuality and gay themes possible, but not without being met with objections. The Protestant, ‘anti-revolutionary’ prime-minister Abraham Kuyper spoke out against the sins of Sodom, deriding the neutral Amsterdam City University (where those sins should be accepted) in a competition with his own Free (of liberalism) University.
In the years around the turn of the century there was confusion as to the direction society should take: secular or Christian, liberal or socialist. Homosexuality was next to feminism a part of these debates and it has to be said that although seculars, liberals and socialists were seen as more sexually tolerant, they themselves were rarely happy to be aligned with sexual liberalism or homosexual topics, sometimes even strongly opposed to it. When anti-sexual laws were the issue, they were more often opposed to these than Christians because of ideals of individual liberty. Medical and literary representations of homosexuality not only played a role in this debate, but also caused scandal. Both liberals and socialists were afraid of being accused of supporting the homo/sexual cause, as the Protestant prime minister did. The work of doctors Aletrino and von Römer and novelists Couperus and de Haan faced opposition from these different sides during this period.
The first period of male-male novels
The first, yet not very distinct, gay novels appeared in 1888 (on ‘special friendship’ in a boarding school) and 1891, and between 1904 and 1909 there were five distinctly gay books published, including three of the most famous of the pre-1940 era and another in 1911. Between 1916 and 1923 ten rather trivial homosexual novels and one play were published, representing a high point in this field. Between 1929 and 1935 another five books were released, the last of their kind until after the Second World War.
The criticism of the modernist, sensitivist and decadent ‘homosexual’ novels of Louis Couperus (1891, 1905/6) and of Jacob Israël de Haan (1904, 1908) was generally positive as it related to their literary quality, but negative when discussing their subject-matter. Notably, words like homosexual were not mentioned in these books, although they had been drawn on medical knowledge for the topic (by Lucien von Römer in Couperus’ and by Arnold Aletrino in De Haan’s case). After the new law with a higher homosexual age of consent was introduced in 1911, there was a subsequent increase in novels with a lower literary standard, yet they put medical theories of an ‘inborn’ homosexuality literally in the books. Exemplary of this was Exler’s Levensleed (Life’s grief, 1911), that explained and applied the theories of Hirschfeld and which contained an introduction by him. Most of these novels aimed at creating an understanding for the suffering of homosexuals. They often portrayed misery or death by suicide of the main characters. Destiny (1891), not without reason the title of one of Couperus’ novels, was not friendly for uranians. The novels asked for pity for those poor third genders; and offered information on their lives and the causes and consequences of their existence. One, God’s gevangene by Wilma [Vermaat] (God’s prisoner, 1923), of Protestant signature, gave the message that homosexuals are able to live a chaste life. The supposed medicine that could heal them was hard labour in nature. Most novels cast the homosexuals as youngsters who have recently learned about their homosexuality, live in the city and have artistic professions. Coming out of the closet in that period was rather unthinkable; being secret about one’s preferences was the standard of the day. Only one novel shows a homosexual subculture.
Although most theories saw homosexuality as sexual attraction between opposites (gay feminine with straight masculine; young with old; lower with higher class; sex worker with client; sadist and masochist and so on, see note 1), half of the novels show couples of homosexuals who have equal relations – probably because they show ideal love relations that are not overtly sexual, while in other cases it was about real, often unequal sexual relations. That was an understandable side of the apologetic literature of the time: it discussed the lives of homosexuals, but rarely their sexuality. Anal sex was often dismissed as being highly uncommon, even abject for homosexuals. The novels of Couperus and De Haan clearly hinted at sex, including anal sex, between unequal partners leaving no doubt for the insider. The illustrated Youthful sinners in Constantinople by Feenstra Kuiper (1905) stems from a publisher of sex books. It offers seductive homosexual texts and images under a veil of moralistic warnings against male prostitutes and bordellos. These three authors also added an intergenerational aspect to their stories as they had a fascination for the beauty and audacity of male youngsters.
The novels form part of a homosexual tradition or ‘canon’. They quote certain names like Oscar Wilde – even the title of the play -, David and Jonathan, Michelangelo and Shakespeare, and doctors von Römer, Aletrino, Krafft-Ebing and Hirschfeld. The titles refer to a gay thematic: grief, mask, being different, pathology and discussing solitude and degeneration. This terminology and these themes were new and indicated an innovation in the male-male tradition. The novels were not successful in terms of sales. The first novel of De Haan had a second and revised edition because his fiancée and Aletrino, his ‘homosexual teacher’, were upset by the contents of the book and bought every copy of the first edition. The book of Feenstra Kuiper is assumed to have had at least seven print runs, but it was most likely just one printing with new covers to suggest its ‘success’. It took many years before the highly regarded Berg van licht of Couperus sold out, but it also had several translations. Exler’s novel of 1911 had a German translation in 1914 and a second Dutch print run in 1918. Although published, these books dealing with explicit homosexual portrayals and themes during this period had a limited circulation.
There was a smaller set of homosexual novels in the early 1930s that were not so trivial. One of the authors was Jef Last, first communist and later leftist, and most famous as one of the guides of André Gide on his travels to the Soviet-Union. His novels were set among young fishermen on the island of Urk and in Morocco. After 1945 he was active in the gay movement and wrote two more homo-erotic novels. Simon Vestdijk became a well-known writer of non-gay books, but did write one homosexual novel in 1935. Most of the authors from this early period who are now viewed as homosexual (like De Haan and Couperus) were married, including Lucien von Römer. The same was true for Aletrino and Last who may have rather been bisexual. In 1939, the lawyer Benno Stokvis published a first Dutch set of autobiographical stories of gays and lesbians. This was quite exceptional in international gay and lesbian history and would only be repeated in the Netherlands on a smaller scale (3 instead of 35 narratives, by Riedé in 1970).
The post-war period: 1945-1960
The dominant figure of the second half of the twentieth century in gay literature was Gerard van het Reve (1923-2006, later Gerard Reve). At the same time he was seen as one of the two principal Dutch novelists of that period, the other being Willem Frederik Hermans. In the mid-1960s, he became a leading spokesperson of the sexual revolution for defending the gay cause and his presence in the media. Among the queer stories he wrote, there was a depiction of him having sex with God who had returned to Earth in the form of a donkey (1965). In 1968, he won a highly publicised court case which saw a Christian member of parliament accusing him of blasphemy because of this story. In the third and final ruling, the Dutch Supreme Court accepted the argument that he expressed his private beliefs that included the possibility of having sex with a god which had been reincarnated as an animal. The case was front page and prime time news in Holland and added to Reve’s controversial reputation. In 1968, he received the major State Prize for literature.
His first novel, The evenings (De avonden, 1947), and his other early works may have been drenched in male eroticism, but it was not homosexual. At the end of the1950s, after he met Angus Wilson and several English gay painters, his work took a sadomasochist and homosexual turn, using these painters and their friends as characters in his unfinished novel The three soldiers (De drie soldaten, Reve 1957). It was not very explicit, but he soon wrote in English a highly sadistic gay fantasy, A Prison Song in Prose, around 1960 and published in 1968, which was accompanied by erotic illustrations of leather men. From 1963 onward, he started to write unapologetically openly gay novels that included many ‘personal’ stories of mixed reality on Catholicism, alcoholism, homosexuality, lovers and sex partners, narratives about torturing young males, friends, literary events and drinking bouts, his daily life, descriptions of nonsensical discussions and many second thoughts on these issues of past and present. The ‘donkey’ court-case, as mentioned above, made him famous. He moved from a communist background to Catholicism at a time where most Dutch people were losing their faith and many gay men were turning their back to the Church. He was soon known to live with two friends in an open relationship and invented a fetish theme that became known as ‘Revism’, referring to his preferred sexual triangle of a male adolescent partner that he ‘offered’ to his beloved for love and torture while he orchestrated and participated in this erotic situation. Reve went on to make statements against the working classes and ethnic minorities, but given his ironic tone it remained unclear whether he was discriminating against these groups. In fact he also spoke out against homosexuals because he thought they were cowardly and never dared to come out or speak out for themselves, not even to their mother. He took a stark distance from the double inversion view of homosexuals of the past: no sexual and no gender inverts. He was a normal masculine man and his lovers were other gays. A decade before, he himself had a difficult time coming out, being married and in the closet. He may have become straightforward in his standpoint on homosexuality, but he was less so on SM, which he described extensively in fantasy stories as an incentive for concrete gay sex, but actually depicted very little ‘real’ SM in his fiction. In the 1960s, Reve became the embodiment of the modern homosexual: out of the closet, masculine, a man with many male lovers and free of shame.
The reticence of Reve in the 1950s was common in the post-war period. The few writers of gay novels in those years had different ways to deal with the subject. The climate had loosened for a short time after the liberation of the Netherlands, but soon the political climate with hopes of a better world with peace had collapsed, giving way to the Cold War. Progressive tendencies in society melted away and old traditions were strengthened or revived. Tensions emerged between the pillar system and new existentialist approaches in the arts that stressed the absurd and the senseless. Reve’s first book very much fed into these feelings of young people and made him typical of the post-war generation. Social and sexual openings in wider society took more time to come to the forefront, but fully did so in the 1960s. This was the case in the personal life of Reve and in the social movement of homosexuals. After the War, the pillar system remained, and was even further built up, but eventually dissolved from the inside in the face of a more individualised society. Its dogmatism, conformism and compliance did not fit a society that went from blue to white collar, from production to consumption, from pillars to individuals, from religion to secularism, from authoritarianism to democracy. It was gay men who typically had the white collar jobs and profited from these changes. They saw their subculture expanding and moving from streets, urinals and parks to a subculture of bars and nightclubs, and saw doctors and other professionals change their ideas about homosexuality from being a disease and crime to something that should be allowed with appropriate policing.
The post-war gay novels
The first novel after the war by Ab Visser (1945) is atypical: a historical account of the persecutions of sodomites in the small village of Faan in 1731. Based partly on true stories , the novel focuses on the local judge Rudolf de Mepse (his name, more often written as Mepsche, is the book’s title), the clergyman van Byler (author of a standard book on the evil of sodomy, both in the novel and in reality) and the 22 men who received the death penalty for sodomy. In the aftermath of the miseries of the War, the comparison of the persecution of Jews with that of sodomites and the humane message of the novel is still surprising, but seems appropriate. It does so by inverting the roles of the past by presenting earthly and heavenly judges as cruel perpetrators of murder, and the innocent offenders as victims. In this case, innocent seems to mean they did not do it: how could these simple country men be sodomites? Modern historians doubt this interpretation, deeming them still culpable in the perspective of the period’s law, but not for contemporary ethics.
Like in all books, a desexualisation was needed to have the text accepted. The court case is rather about political machination and financial profit, or injustice and psychology, than about homosexuality. The book offers a negative psychological portrayal of De Mepse who lost his mother at birth, his nurse at age 3, his father at age 8 by suicide, and who had a hard time at school. In this sense, he becomes a victim himself: from the judge of criminals to himself a perpetrator and finally victim. He and Van Byler are nonetheless portrayed as religious fanatics who knew no boundaries and no charity. With an age of consent of 21 in 1945, it is remarkable that half of the condemned were under that age in 1731. The book used the past to try to enlighten modern times. With a bit more success than earlier books because this one sold at least two editions.
The next set of relevant books, including one play, is again atypical. The play is realistic: a court case for article 248bis Recht (Justice, Alberts 1950) where the son of the judge is romantically involved with another youngster whose older love, a ‘Dutch Plato’, is the accused. Blackmail is now used in an inverted way against the father who acquits the suspect with a glowing speech referencing Plato and Kinsey. In 1952, Alberts also wrote a pamphlet about sexuality and government. Van Andel (1948) published two small volumes of homoerotic poetry and prose for the Dutch gay movement COC, the latter consisting of three romantic stories. Jac. van Hattum was a pre-war author of poetry and short stories with a good reputation who continued to write up until the late sixties. His collection Mannen en katten (Men and Cats, 1947) has homoerotic and cruel contents, starting with a story of the same name where two nude men are hitting each other with cats while salt is smeared in their bloody wounds. The story concludes with the exasperated pair embracing each other just before they die. The second story in the collection is about a child murderer whose friend dreams about being thrashed by him, and is fascinated by his own desire: ‘Pain has always been my obsession.’
Simon Vestdijk wrote a post-war novel, De kellner en de levenden (The kellner and the living, 1949, 12th edition, 1968) that deals with the topic of homosexuality for around 10 pages. It is a novel of existentialism and magical-realism about living and dying where 12 people recount stories about life, addressing both their aspirations and their sins. It includes a homosexual actor (pp. 143-51) who claims that most inverts are half-homosexuals and are able to consume sexual relations with women. The storyteller himself once had a love-affair with an actress, but because of his homosexuality, she committed suicide. Another time, the man continues, he got into trouble with a minor (younger than 21 years old), but that the court acquitted him, saving the actor and his parents from being publicly humiliated. Another one of the characters in this book does mention the pre-war homosexual rights movement, but does so in a deprecating way.
Another well-known pre-war author is A.H.Nijhoff, who wrote a very verbose, existentialist novel on the ethical dilemmas of war. She is a lesbian, who first married one of the most renowned Dutch poets, and later was in a relationship with the sculptress Marlow Moss. The novel De vier doden (The four dead, 1950) is about a male protagonist Evert (a male impersonation of herself) who lost his four best friends in times of war. A journalist, it is hinted that the main character may be a homosexual because of his lack of interest in women, and some of his friends assume this. Evert did marry a woman, but this was as an act of revenge to prevent a man who wanted to marry the woman from doing so, as that man had betrayed a gay couple who were friends of Evert; thus using the traditional institution of heterosexual marriage to avenge a homophobe! The book also has several gay and lesbian narratives and a message of tolerance and anti-discrimination. Existentialism, with its individualism, secularism and an absence of higher aims (reproduction, marriage), seems to have been the ideal way to discuss homosexuality.
In the meantime, other books would move homosexual literature into the future and to social reality. In 1954, the novel Paul’s portret (Paul’s Portrait) by Frans Berni (pseudonym of Rein Valkhoff, author of children’s books) was published. This is an old-fashioned book in the line of the 1920s novels about the difficult destiny of homosexuals. A 20-year old son of a Catholic family comes out to his father and desires to embrace his sexual identity while keeping his faith, but his father desperately wants him to hide his ‘homophilia’: to not speak about it, not dress like it and to not behave in a manner that would reveal his desires. Nature and physical labor are the proposed solution; a life far away from the seductions of the city – much as in Wilma Vermaat’s God’s prisoner – but now from a Catholic rather than a Protestant perspective. Becoming a member of the COC and reading its journal Vriendschap (Friendship) is deleterious. The young man starts working as a mess boy on a boat, falls overboard and dies, leaving the reader to interpret if such a death was a suicide or an accident. Not much later, in 1956, Winnie Pendèl published her prize-winning novel Ik ga weg, tot ziens (I am leaving, goodbye,), a relational drama between two students who fall in love. One is an older, beloved fraternity guy with many girlfriends, who questions his feelings; the other is popular, also with the girls, and perhaps a bit superficial. The emotions of their relation play out in scenes portraying an unspoken sexual tension. The novel ends as the older student walks away from a party and his beloved with feelings of guilt, as if he were a traitor. The conflict is laid bare, but remains unanswered. As a literary relational drama it is new, but it remains a love that dares not speak its name.
In the course of just three years, the divergence between the narratives of Berni and Blaman could not be greater. The latter was the leading Dutch lesbian author. She wrote a charming story ‘Vader, moeder en zoon’ (‘Father, mother and son’ in her Overdag, By Day, 1957). The father in the story becomes estranged from his wife and alienated from his son through the monotonous routine of daily life and work. In his mind, they are conspiring against him. One day, he comes home to find his son in his own bedroom expressively dancing and passionately kissing another young man. He must have always known it, and never wanted to know it. This love was not a child’s game, but in fact very serious. He eventually accepts his son’s homosexuality. When the mother is harsh on him for his blindness regarding his son’s feelings, she immediately collapses and he realizes that she was as lonely as he was. Their intimacy is restored through the realization and acceptance of their son and his sexual feelings. The story offers the opposite message from the one by Berni: a good end instead of a tragic one, offering hope for homosexual lives instead of only death and grief.
The books by Berni and Pendèl show what will become a main theme of gay literature: the existentialist difficulty of young men with sexuality in that period, often with voyages that bring them into a wider world beyond the family. It was already present in Reve’s firstling and also in Kossmann’s De moord op Arend Zwigt (The Murder on AZ, 1951). In this novel, two boys of different socio-economic classes run away from their homes, taking money from the shop of the family of the poorer boy to drink alcohol and sleep with prostitutes. Amidst their daring attitudes at the start of their adventure, they develop a close bond that gradually weakens when confronted with the hardships of their travels. The boy of the richer parents, the bolder, initially identifies with his friend, but gets annoyed by his tameness and eventually wants to kill him as his love turns into hatred, but in the end lacks the courage to do so. The novel plays out as highly homoerotic, but not homosexual (Kossmann 1951).
Cees Nooteboom was a newcomer at the time and is now one of the best known Dutch travel writers. The theme of a mysterious sexuality and leaving home is the starting point of his first novel Philip and the others (1955), where the main character, Philip, first visits his unmarried homosexual uncle at the age of 10. He discovers sexual secrets of his uncle through the objects in his home, and by a neighbor boy who calls the uncle a faggot. Philip learns much more about him during a second visit at age 16 when he stays for two years in his house (possibly a pedagogical eros) - before meandering into the wider world. There is no nuclear family in this book, and the topic of breaking free from social conventions to create one’s own domain and associated self-determined lifestyle in a magical world, seems to be bound to the theme of travelling far away.
The series of books Bob en Daphne (1955) by Han B. Aalberse (pseudonym of Johannes van Keulen) discussed the budding eroticism of male and female children both among themselves and with adults, which included incest and homosexual scenes. The main character, Bob, just 14 years old, goes on a vacation to visit his mother’s nephew Gerard who lives with his own mother. Once Bob arrives, they subsequently embark on a trip. A sexual relation starts immediately and completely consumes Bob, but in the end, after his father had intervened some weeks later, Gerard is seen as imposing and the lovers must separate. Bob admits that he both liked and disliked the sex. His ‘liberal’ father says that this feeling is normal when such relations take place and this kind of sex is often not a disaster, but it is for a gifted child like Bob. The book was initially forbidden, but this interdiction was lifted in the 1960s. Notably, besides being an editor of sex education booklets, van Keulen was also the publisher of the first Dutch translation of Nabokov’s Lolita, in 1958.
One of the leading alternative Dutch poets involved in soft and hard drugs and the hippie scene, Simon Vinkenoog wrote Zo lang te water. Een alibi (That long into water. An alibi, 1955) with some – most likely - autobiographical homosexual scenes. In the book, a young man visits an artist who asks him whether he slept with girls, and lying, he says yes. The next question is whether he liked it and he says ‘it was so, so’. The artist answers that he already thought that he was homosexual, which makes the guy question himself for the first time. Soon after, he decides to stay for two nights. His father follows him, and asks what happened – the son implies he had learned about the sexual body. The father subsequently informs the police , and beats him, just as the police would go on to do, but it does not become a criminal case (homosexuality with minors under 21 years was still a crime in Holland). The guy eventually receives sexual lessons from a doctor, also about the “other” love, yet still experiments one more time only to thereafter continue with girls – going from male to female love.
The conflict of youth with sexuality takes many forms. In Johan Fabricius’ Jongensspel (Youth Game, 1963) the real ‘Baarn murder’ that shocked the country is fictionalized. Three adolescents first hide a 14 year old petty criminal from the police in one of the parental mansion of two of them. They eventually kill him when the family leaves for vacation, and throw the body in an empty well. The story has several renditions (3 novels, a play, a film) and in this particular early version, the oldest of the three gets regularly insulted for being a faggot, as someone who does it ‘from behind’. Although the two other boys first attempt to kill the little rogue (by poisoning and strangulation) in vain, the sissy finally has the courage and force to kill the rascal with an axe. The main topic is the murder, but the underlying issue regards the four boys, their social class and sexual tensions.
More overtly homosexual was Jan Brandts’ [pseudonym of C.J. Edelman] Mannen die anders zijn (Men who are different, 1963). Rebellious Michel, a drug dealer, is encouraged by his mother to marry, but when his first child is coming, he realizes this is not the life he wants. He eventually gets put in prison for drugs and after serving his sentence, he has a car accident and the married man (with two little sons) who ran into him, falls in love with him, and offers him a good job. Another man was offered this occupation and blackmails the man and his wife at their home. The husband commits suicide, and his beloved who was visiting the couple for Christmas pursues the blackmailer, who in turn runs into a car and dies. Deadly revenge, revenged? This muddled book ends with the remark that homosexuality is discriminated against and that one could write hundreds of books on the issue.
Jef Last wrote two novels in the 1930s with homosexual topics and another one in 1962, the tiny De jeugd van Judas (The Youth of Judas). It is another story about the sexual confusion of youth. Largely a coming out narrative, the story focuses on the homosexual Karel and Jewish David from the fishermen’s village Katwijk who enjoy a beautiful summer, loving and kissing each other. They lose and find each other again. Karel had once spit on David (forced by the anti-Semitic village boys) because he was Jewish and German. Later, David saves Karel when he wants to give up on life after his ‘friends’ had called him a ‘faggot’. David saves him and assures him that there will be love for faggots. The story is remarkable for showing that love also exists for faggots and for portraying solidarity between Jews and gays.
The same publishing house, Enclave, earlier printed two booklets of its owner, Frits Bernard, under the pseudonym Victor Servatius: Costa Brava and Vervolgde minderheid (Persecuted Minority, both 1960). Both novels are about man-boy relations, the first taking place in the Spanish War and the second in Amsterdam. Enclave was the first pedophile organization in the Netherlands and marks the beginning of the split between the gay and pedophile movements, rather from the pedophile than the gay side. The first described a Venezuelan man who saved the 12 year old son of a murdered right-wing leader by transporting him out of Spain across the French border by car and by boat . Both loved each other, but the boy’s uncle who took responsibility for him after his arrival in France, told them both that the other was dead. When they met after the Second World War, they realized the mean trick of the uncle and that their love had become impossible – the son had become a married man.
In the second novel, the story centers on a high school student who falls in love with his teacher and after sharing some intimate moments, they get arrested and the elder lover is put in prison notwithstanding that he had earlier saved the boy’s life. His future is ruined: he loses his job, house and love. The book has an afterword that indicates the largely negative attitudes regarding homosexuals, including pedophiles: medicine and law have no solution, but society doesn’t employ them or make use of their ability to work. Classical antiquity and Japan were more accepting. In both novels, it is very much written from the perspective of the adult, giving the emotions of the youngster little attention. It is remarkable that Bernard could discuss this issue in a public forum in the Netherlands (and beyond because the novels were translated in English, French and German, and there were more books of Enclave like Last’s).
All this tip-toeing around the ‘other love’ is blown away by Gerard Reve, whose work was homoerotic and cruel, but becomes also completely gay while the cruelty is reduced to SM-stories that start or simulate gay sex, but rarely become SM-sex. His first book of letters, that soon becomes the main form of his literature, is abundant with information on homosexuality. His books are a mix of small talk, after-thoughts, and stories of events from his personal life, typically discussing his four themes of religion, alcohol, sex and death. In this book, Op weg naar het einde (On the road to the end, 1963), he writes about his visit to a PEN-conference in Edinburgh in 1962 where he attacks an Indian writer who wants to keep homosexuality secret, and gives himself a lecture on censorship. This first book of letters, or of confessional literature, is a major success and paves the way for his own books and all kinds of gay literature later in the 1960s. The high points of his success, the late sixties and early seventies, also form the zenith of the years of the sexual revolution when many Dutch citizens changed their ideas from conservative and religious to liberal and secular and began to put these ideals into practice.
There were several lines in gay literature in the 1960s. Modernist writers begin discussing the topic in their novels, sometimes in passing, sometimes with a magical-realist twist. Gay men start to write gay novels that target both a general and a homosexual public, while others produce more trivial books that describe at length their life and sexual exploits for the ‘own’ public.
Magical-realists included Marc Andries (1963), Ewout Vanvugt (1963 and 1964), Enno Develing (1964), Plomp (1968), Venema (1969) and the prolific writer Astère Michel Dhondt (1965, 1966, 1968, 1969). Het geduld (The patience, 1963) by Andries starts as an abstract search by the main character for a girlfriend. This search for love becomes more concrete with a friend from his boarding-school, an object of his obsessive thoughts, as they don’t dare have sex with girls. Apart from masturbatory and homosexual, the school kids engage with masochism, androgyny and necrophilia, at least in their imagination.
Vanvugt starts with a novel Een bijzonder vreemde dief (A very strange thief, 1963) that has a loose and more experimental structure (1963). It describes a half year in the life of a young man. Most scenes are heterosexual, but others are about male prostitution, queer bashing, homosexuality, masturbation, incest, pedophilia, SM and a man who feels himself a woman: the full spectrum of what was considered perverse for the time. In his second book Darwin en gezellen (Darwin and company, 1964) homosexuality is the central theme. He uses different perspectives, the main being that of a 19 year old father who earns his money by having a love affair with a rich queer who pays for his house and his multiple travels. The story of the love affair includes perspectives from other male lovers of the queer and the female partners of his male escort. The story is told from additional perspectives in this complicated set-up such as the rich queer, his lover and another escort, and the male hustler’s girlfriend. The father-escort is suggested to be gay, and to want to murder the rich queer by an overdose. This man is depressive and finally indeed takes an overdose of pills, first without and finally with success. A sour ending to a confused novel, and representative of a transitional period in queer literature.
Develing’s book Alberto en ik (A and I, 1964) features two main male characters: a stateless Portuguese from Hong Kong and a European official who are friends and become interchangeable. They drive the same motorcycle, play in the same soccer team, visit the same sex worker, have the same girlfriend, and got to know each other by a homosexual. The novel includes many magical stories that show more hetero- than homosexuality, a piss-sex scene and a gay man who pays a straight couple for having sex. It is a world full of nice people, but the result is rotten, and this is one of the book’s prevalent messages.
The novel De ondertrouw. Een somber herenboek (Notice of marriage. A somber gentlemen’s book, 1968) by another hippie author, Hans Plomp, is a bit similar to Vanvugt’s second book. Here the girlfriend of a 16 year old secondary school student gets pregnant while the man has no desire to marry her and starts to live on and off with an older wealthy gentleman (based on the rich gay publisher Johan Polak) whom he exploits and steals from. The guy ends autistic, while the gentleman continues to adore him. The novel again displays some magical elements.
Adriaan Venema’s Van een bloedrode manchet en een kooikershondje (From a blood-red collar and a decoy-man’s dog, 1969) describes the life of a young gay turning into an escort. The novel is a mix of realistic and magical stories of gay life in and around Amsterdam. He learns about this life for the first time from a Catholic priest (as a Protestant boy) and on the street from men who propose. He writes a lot about his loves, among others for a black male hustler and an American soldier from Brussels, a suicide attempt caused by heart break and about his well-paid sex work. Once he was with a man who asked him to put on a German uniform, and beat him. It ends with some scenes of ruin by revolt and the flooding of Amsterdam – a loose allegorical reference to the city having become a new Sodom.
A variation is the literature of the very active Flemish author Astère Michel Dhondt (1965, 1966, 1968, 1969), who soon becomes an Amsterdam author. His work describeds a fantasy boy utopia where youngsters rule. Later considered as pedophile, it includes (apart from novels) poetry, films and pictures of boys, and was not yet condemned for its subject matter. He focuses on kids in sexy shorts who subject adults to their wishes as revenge for what they did to them. His various books are variations on a theme for which the first one, God in Flanders, sets the subject matter and style. It is a dreamy kids’ world where magical things happen (so people can fly). In the second novel, he explains that he and his books are opposed to mind-killing sex, sports, history, media, uniforms and masses to name a few of these rejected practices and ideas. Like the other ‘magical’ books, his novels describe more perversions like the ‘urino-sexual’ that he vaguely mentions.
Jac. van Hattum continues to deliver his gay tinged stories like the Wolfsklauw (Wolf’s Claw, 1962). They have a special literary quality and are certainly queer. One is about a young man who imitates women and does this so well that no one discovers his play with gender roles. His lover doesn’t want him to do so, but forces stronger than himself make him do it, to his own grief. Another story is about a half-German boy who should have liked to be a slave in Roman times, is himself not very strong, but loves as a youngster the brutishness of Calvinist Biblical language and as a young adult of Nazi speech. In the Second World War, he joins the German army and dies far away on the Eastern front while his German mother joins the Dutch resistance. In 1965, van Hattum publishes the story of the murder of a young decadent and well-to-do queer who lives with his aunt, the Ketchupcancer (nick name and title of the book). The boys of town visit him: a butcher’s boy, the ‘black’ one with blood on his hands who blackmails him. The ‘white’ one is a Catholic baker’s helping hand who is homosexual and shies away from practicing it. The ‘red’ one is a plumber’s lad who had himself a boy-love that was betrayed by the ‘black’ lover. All these boys have to enter the home secretly from behind because they are rejected by the aunt as they are lower class. Then comes a ‘worthy’ lover, George, and he and the queer have more pleasure in sex than in books. But Ketchupcancer says about him ‘What I asked, he could not give, and what he gave, he did so with aversion’. This is the guy who kills the Ketchupcancer in a frenzy (later called homosexual panic). He will receive a conditional sentence after his younger brother has published the diaries of the victim. The court apparently views his desires as a mitigating circumstance for the murderer. It is a story of an old-fashioned queen who went for trade, but ended up with an unpleasant surprise with no trade involved. That is the remarkable part of the story: that the homicide is committed by a person of the same class, but another sexual orientation. Van Hattums fascination for violence as in this realistic murder case of queer by trade will return in literary history as sadomasochism.
Van Hattum is an old-fashioned homosexual writer with a traditional Biblical language, as Reve would practice, but the way they present homosexuality cannot be more different: van Hattum being a closet-case, and Reve being completely open since 1963. They knew each other and shared an interest in sadomasochism as seen in a poem Reve sent to van Hattum:
Laatst geseld’ ik een mooie jongen,
die ‘k, uitgekleed, met riemen bond,
Hij heeft voor mij van pijn gezongen
bij elke zweepslag op zijn kont.
(Lately, I caned a cute guy
that I, undressed, bound with straps.
He sang for me out of pain
with each lash on his ass.)
In 1959, when this poem was written both authors were friendly with each other but later Reve would be annoyed by van Hattum for his homosexual self-hate and for being so closeted. In fact, he much more likes the courageous author Jaap Harten, a man of a younger generation (1930) who started as a poet. His first prose work Operatie Montycoat (1964) includes a story of the same name about a young guy who hangs out with a Canadian sergeant after the liberation of Holland from Nazi-rule, eventually travels with him to Paris and its gay scene upsetting his mother and his peers who insult him for faggot (1964). His next gay book (1968) is about the lively Berlin gay subculture of the 1930s, with its transvestites, hustlers, soldiers and noblemen. Homosexuality is shown as something self-evident and the destruction of the gay subculture as the work of the Nazis. It gives an impression of its total ruin in 1945. In 1969 he publishes a book with letters sent to him by writers, including Reve and Hanlo, where homosexual themes are addressed. Hanlo writes boy poetry; his letters about his love for a Moroccan boy, Go to the mosk (Dutch, 1971), are published posthumously.
Huub Janssen (1910-1984) is from an older generation and the lover of popular gay comedian Wim Sonneveld. He produces a small novel with portions of homosexual content (1955) and another on his stay in a Trappist monastery (1957). His Dorp in de Provence (Village in the Provence, 1963) has some gay and transgender material contained in its 9 short stories. In 1966, he publishes his only explicit homosexual novel Neef Constant is onbereikbaar (Nephew Constant is unreachable) about an uncle who takes his nephew in his home located on the edge of a mysterious park for men. The uncle had a love affair with a decadent Parisian painter, and the nephew imitates him, doing the same, but eventually starts a relationship with a girl that ends soon after. The nephew is an autist and the uncle who is dependent on him doesn’t dare to throw him out of his house. It is an old-fashioned novel in ceremonious language with no sense of necessity; a book that relates to times before Reve took his pen.
Steven Membrecht, the pseudonym of Jochem van Beek, is a young and prolific author who publishes many books before and after 1970, several of which can be considered gay. He writes an essay In verband met homoseksualiteit (In connection with H, 1969) ,which is vague and troubled. There are good homosexuals like the former chair of the COC who do not hesitate to discuss the positive and negative sides of gays, understand social reality, take part in gay life and are not preoccupied with themselves. His book of short stories 27 verhalen uit de homosuele sfeer (27 stories from the homosual sphere, 1969) is more psychological than sociological, about the double identities and self-hate of gays. It is a rather mixed and unconvincing bag of stories.
In the late sixties, the number of gay writers and books explodes. Their novels are often trivial works that are either a kind of autobiographical and pornographic work, or have a thin layer of reality and are telling stories of gay peoples’ difficult, but exciting lives. The first real pornography should have been by Wim Heerings with the book Schandknaap van Napels (Hustler of Naples, 1961). It is about a poor boy Marco who loses his parents and becomes member of a gang of young criminals who rob people, bash gays and fight with other youth gangs. He gets in prison, has sex with inmates and warders, later finds a job as a liftboy in a classy hotel and, as he is cute, starts to make money from sex with men and women. He is good as hustler and likes all sexual variations, finds a girlfriend but wonders whether he is not gay. Once he goes to Lebanon for a drug transport, gets in trouble and in prison, escapes and illegally leaves the country on a boat that is active in the white slave trade. His job on the boat is to keep the sailors quiet by being available for sex. The captain is a sadist who gives him a good trashing – which Marco likes. He escapes once more in Marseille, is abused multiple times on his way back to Naples and continues his old job. An earthquake means he loses track of his girlfriend, and the end of the narrative. Although the story is polysexual with all perverse scenes, the book is illustrated with pictures of a nude straight couple. Heerings will write more porn books such as Begeerde hippie (Desired hippie) and Jongensslipjes en slippertjes. De homoliefde van Maurice en Johan (Boy’s briefs and quickies. The gay love of M and J) both undated but probably from around 1965 and venture in porn zines such as Marcel.
A productive author was Tiemo Hofman, alias Paul Monty, who was the only Dutch gay man to receive an indemnification as a homosexual victim of the Second World War, but this occurred much later (Schuyf 2003). He tried to make money by writing stories about his life as a steward on passenger boats. In De nichten and De nichten part II (The sissies, 1965, 1966), he wrote about his many sexual meetings - never in detail - aboard and ashore all over the world in harbors that were combined with his ideas about his lovers, their national characteristics and many other issues. For him, for example, the French invented love and were ideal gay partners, while Arabs come three times more often than he did. In his books, gay people flapped about, were polyamorous and had difficulty in finding an ideal, stable friendship that might save their life. Twice he was with a boat in Port-Said, and on both occasions he makes mention of shows where animals would have sex with women. His third book, Zo waren zij geschapen (Thus they were made, 1966) was more of a novel with two farmer-sons, a lesbian sister, their many lovers and a homophobic mother who changed their appreciation while they travelled in gay lands. With a German countess and a US secret agent as some of their many paramours, a baby for the lesbian sister, with people getting together and separating again and the mother finally embracing her homosexual children.
A funny and popular book is the campy autobiography of Holland’s first fashion designer Max Heymans, Knal (Pop, 1966), whose cover displays a picture of Heymans as a female in one of his own dresses. He is famous because of his many appearances in the gossip columns of the main Dutch daily, and beloved by his clients and mannequins. The book tells about his coming out, a visit to a doctor who he tells he is born ‘like this’ (‘zo zijn’ in Dutch, which he likes better than ‘homo’ as a term) and there is nothing wrong with that. The book describes the quickly expanding homosexual subculture of Amsterdam where he gives shows in dresses, about his unmasculine characteristics and why fashion designers are so often gay: they are more feminine than most women. Many people, Heymans states, object to homosexuality because it is about sexuality and boy prostitution but there is nothing wrong with both. Like Reve, he receives fan mail from gay men who feel enlightened by his openness and desire for self-determination in gender and sexual issues. A similar story is being told by the leading hippy hairdresser, also gay, Mario [Welman] who leads an exuberant and decadent gay life first in Amsterdam and then on Ibiza in the early sixties. He spends much more money than he earns on his life: orgiastic parties, drugs and other extravagances. As a result, he faces bankruptcy and when he was not able to pay his debts, he is forced to sit in prison for seven months. He describes his abundant male lovers that he had since he was 12, who he likes masculine, and some were even gigolo’s. The first girlfriend makes her appearance only when he is 21.
Harry Thomas is the man of the Partij voor Homofielen (Party for Homophiles) who starts the Dutch struggle for same-sex marriage and is a type of one-man gay movement working next to the COC. In 1969, he writes Herman. De liefde van een homofiel (H. The Love of a Homophile) which is the story about his love for Herman, but their love is hindered by his lover’s colleagues who blackmail his parents in order to stop this relation. The book is full of sad stories of discrimination and misery: a gay suicide (elsewhere he says there are 250 per year in the Netherlands), gay murders, gays and lesbians in depressing straight marriages and a widow who prostitutes both of her sons. Harry is always ready to help. He learned about homosexuality and SM in a cloister where the nuns humiliate the orphans. The SM theme is prominent in his love for Herman. His second book Een homofiel wordt geslagen (A homophile is beaten, 1970) starts with pedophiles and sadomasochists. He divides the first group into two: the masochist pedophile and the sadist pedophile, who is a director of a school or a youth prison and demeans his boys and beats them. This is described in straightforward sexual and exciting detail. His ideal is a lifelong monogamous friendship, but this is sadly not possible for pedophiles. Depictions of Dutch gay SM clubs are highly sexualized. There, they show movies, have sexual bondage and beating shows and provide male sex workers. He more or less advertises such clubs, but at the same time criticizes the Dutch gay movement COC because it promotes promiscuity and not monogamy within stable friendships. The gay movement promotes the idea that the homophile should accept himself, but in fact it should be society who accepts him. It is a complicated world with the Homophiles’ Party defending monogamy, marriage, Christianity, conservatism, pederasty and sadomasochism against a gay movement that has a more or less opposite position.
Robert van Maroey, a longstanding Flemish gay activist, is author of Zij kregen niet eens een nummer. Een schokkend verhaal over homoseksuelen naar waarheid geschreven (They didn’t even get a number. A shocking true story about homosexuals, 1969). These are stories about the difficult and alcohol drenched lives of gay men that largely took place in bars, and once about an orgiastic party in the house of a rich queer. It includes the story of a sociologist that shows how homosexuality changed from a medical constitution and psychological condition to a sociological role: society is seen as responsible for homosexuals’ discrimination and misery. The book serves as a kind of early gay guide.
The final book in this set is Willem de Vuyst, Mijn vrienden. De martelgang van een homofiel (My friends. The tormented ways of a homophile, 1969). This the autobiography of a working class, Rotterdam man born in 1902 who had some 16 male lovers, the first being the best and the others mainly unhappy and abusive. He was jailed six times, where he served close to five years and is nonetheless against the complete abolition of the law that forbids homosexual relations with minors under 21 years (he proposes an age of 18) because young men, not girls, need protection from men like him. He gives the traditional definition of homosexuality following in the footsteps of the founder of the homosexual movement Karl Heinrich Ulrichs: ‘A homosexual is a boy (man) who is born with a normal male body in which since childhood, a female soul developed’. There were two kinds of homosexuals, ‘tule’ (trade) and ‘nicht’ (sissy) who make up couples. Most sissies, 90% of their kind, are in for sex, not for love, complain a lot about discrimination but suffer most from each other’s jalousie and perfidy. Often they start at age 15 with sex work, can do it till 25, and are then unable to find a stable friend and end their life lonely and miserable. Quite a good self-description, except that he did not offer sex for money, but suffered from those that did. To a certain extent, it is probably representative of quite a few unhappy gay lives in that period – the story takes place mostly during the time period where the anti-homosexual law was in place and actively enforced.
A story by lesbian writer Blaman is a watershed in the history of the gay novel in the Netherlands. Her liberating view is taken over by Gerard Reve. After these two leading authors, the gay literature of the post-war period is always more positive about homosexuality. It slowly stops seeing the homosexual as an inborn sexual and gender pervert. A strict division of gender and sexual roles becomes outdated. Homosexuality is rather a self-evident role or identity than a natural and innate condition. The idea that he is a normal, masculine male who comes out of the closet, goes into the streets and has sex with other gays becomes the predominant narrative. The work of Gerard Reve is the best example. A remnant of the past is the general presence of male prostitution by young heterosexuals (Vanvugt, Develing, de Vuyst) or by young queers (Venema), and the person of the unmasculine queer or sissy who goes for tough men slowly disappears (Heymans, Mario). Parallel to this is the frequency of presenting the pedophile who most often stays chaste except in the depictions of Harry Thomas where his profile gets mixed with sadism. Next to boy love, cruelty is part of the work of van Hattum and becomes sadomasochist fantasy in the oeuvre of Reve and Thomas. Both men were conservative and religious, also in their gay activism and propose same-sex marriage. It is remarkable that their more conservative approach allowed for sadomasochism and pedophilia while at that time, the mainstream of the gay movement did not eagerly endorse these two preferences. Mainstream activism was in favor of same-sex adults having loving and stable relations with their equals but not marriage. Other references to ‘perversions’ appeared in the literature of this period, and each year between 1965 and 1970 a translation of a book by the polysexual marquis de Sade appeared in large numbers. There is a strong magical-realist trend in the literature that claims a distance, yet at the same time a proximity to the gay theme. A group of authors embraces writing autobiographical literature for the consumption of other gays with different approaches to homosexuality: often sad stories and in the case of Hofman and Heerings an endless series of narratives of erotic exploits – but, like the other authors, rarely becoming very explicit in sexual detail. The authors often complain about the destructive attitudes of their own kind: alcoholic, cowardly, in the closet but promiscuous. These characteristics are rather ascribed to social discrimination than that it is the gays’ innate condition or own responsibility. They have to deal with the prejudices and negative feelings of family, workplace, neighbors or the general population. Queer bashing happens, gays get insulted. Realism replaces the existentialism of the immediate post-war time. The topic of travel and exploration are prominent and the nuclear family that leaves little for queers to explore is largely absent from this literature. The books often are about sexual initiation; so gay men who investigate their homosexuality and their relations but remarkably it is rarely in queer bars, parks and urinals where they venture. One gets the impression that they meet each other at any place, accidentally, but rarely in a gay world.
When it comes to the present-day alphabet soup of LGBT, bisexuality and transsexuality are not as such present in these novels. As indicated, bisexuality occurs everywhere in the books but is mainly a topic of sexual fluidity of trade and hustlers, with Heerings’ porn novels as an example, and the trope of sexual inversion. The transsexual issue has an overall presence with the other theme of gender inversion but only becomes prominent as a specific theme in the 1970s. Gender topics were present since the Fin-de-Siècle – since the beginning of this literary tradition with female souls in male bodies, and later with androgyny and gender insecurity. One could say that the trans issue comes to the fore at the moment gay men become masculine and lose their expected effeminacy, offering space for transgenders in the 1990s. They rise out of the ashes of sissies (and butches), so to say. In the period around 1900, there was a tension regarding homosexuality with the various influences of new Christian politics, modernist art and sexual sciences, with conservative outcomes. In the 1960s , the strain was secularization, individualization and democratization combined now leading to new more positive sexual sequels, certainly for gay men. In both periods, the social issue was a sexual issue with opposite consequences: instead of more, less laws and control.
The 1960s can be seen as a period of lack of clarity what gay literature and life mean, and ‘gay’ includes a wide range of gender options and sexual interests including fetishism, pedophilia and sadomasochism: we are far from any homonormativity. The homosexual rights movement was on a breaking point: moving to acceptance of sexual difference whatever it may mean, abolishing ideas of sin, crime and disease. Homosexuality was self-evident and needed no explanation like ‘being inborn’. The Christian parties that had initiated the one anti-gay criminal law article, now were at the forefront of the parties that wanted to get rid of it because it was now finally ‘proven’ that homosexuals did not and could not seduce youngsters to homosexuality. Psychiatrists who had claimed homosexuality was a disease now said ‘it was simply the same’ (as heterosexual, Sengers 1968). The Amsterdam gay subculture came from its world of parks and urinals above ground (or should we better say went underground?) with its bars and dancings since the 1950s and did so with great energy in the late 1960s. There also was a quintessential change from ideas of identities and relations being based in gender and sexual opposites to being based in equal relations: the gender inverts adopted a normal gender (gay men now being masculine and butches becoming normal feminine lesbians) and preferring normal men and women like them, with no sexual inversion. The sexuality that had been intergender – queer with trade - now became intrasexual – gay with gay. So novels and real life ran parallel to each other; both showed confusions and new horizons. In the long run, the largely unrealistic dream of sexual equality worked out positive for gays and lesbians (same-sex marriage!) and negative for pedophiles, zoophiles, BDSM persons, sex workers and their clients, their relations always more seen as unequal and unacceptable, while they had become a bit more accepted, in the 1960s and 1970s. Ideas about sexuality radically changed in that time for homosexuals but less so, or in a different direction, for other so-called sexual minorities. The sexual revolution opened a new world for gays where they were more ‘accepted’, but other groups have still to wait for their turn.
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Membrecht, Steven, In verband met homoseksualiteit. (Amsterdam: Contact, 1969b)
Nijhoff, A.H., De vier doden. (Amsterdam: Querido, 1950)
Nooteboom, Cees, Philip en de anderen. (Amsterdam: Querido, 1955)
Oosterhuis, Harry, Step-Children of Nature. Krafft-Ebing, Psychiatry and the Making of Sexual Identity. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000)
Plomp, Hans, De ondertrouw. Een somber herenboek. (Amsterdam: Manteau, 1968)
Reve, Gerard van het (1957). De drie soldaten (two potential chapters being published as ‘Eric verklaart de vogeltekenen’ and ‘Eric raadpleegt het orakel’, in: Podium 12: 5 and 6 (1957); also in his Verzameld Werk, Vol. 6 , (Utrecht: Veen, 2001), pp. 100-191.
Reve, Gerard Kornelis van het, Op weg naar het einde. (Amsterdam: Van Oorschot, 1963)
Reve, Gerard Kornelis van het, Nader tot U. (Amsterdam: Van Oorschot, 1966)
Reve, Gerard Kornelis van het, A Prison Song in Prose. (Amsterdam: Atheneum, Polak & Van Gennep, 1968)
Riedé, Leo, Mannen onder elkaar. Drie homofielen over zichzelf en anderen. (Amsterdam: Arbeiderspers, 1970)
Schuyf, Judith, Levenslang. Tiemon Hofman, vervolgd homoseksueel en avonturier. (Amsterdam: Schorer, (2003)
Sengers, Wijnand J., Gewoon het zelfde. Een visie op de vragen rond de homofilie. (Bussum: Brand, 1968)
Sinfield, Alan, On Sexuality and Power. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004)
Stokvis, Benno J., De homosexueelen, 35 biographieën. (Lochem: De Tijdstroom, 1939)
Thomas, Harry, Herman. De liefde van een homofiel. (Huizen: Triton, 1969)
Thomas, Harry, Een homofiel wordt geslagen (n.p.: Uitgeverij Harry Thomas, 1970)
Berni, Frank [Rein Valkhoff], Paul’s portret. (Baarn: Wereldvenster, 1954)
Tobin, Robert D., Peripheral Desires. The German Discovery of Sex. (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)
Vanvugt, Ewald, Een bijzonder vreemde dief. (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1963)
Vanvugt, Ewald, Darwin en gezellen. (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1964)
Venema, Adriaan, Van een bloedrode manchet en een kooikershondje. (Amsterdam: Manteau, 1969)
Venema, Adriaan, Homoseksualiteit in de Nederlandse literatuur. (Amsterdam-Brussels: Paris-Manteau, 1972)
Vestdijk, Simon, De kellner en de levenden. (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1949, 12th edition, 1968)
Vinkenoog, Simon, Zolang te water. Een alibi. (Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 1955, 4th ed. 1958).
Visser, Ab, Rudolf de Mepse. Het monsterproces van Faan. (Rottterdam: Nijgh & van Ditmar, 1945, 2d revised ed Bussum: Kroonder, no date)
Vuyst, Willem de, Mijn vrienden. De martelgang van een homofiel. (Amsterdam: Nederlandsche Keurboekerij, 1969)
Warren, Hans, Een vriend voor de schemering. Afterword: Mario Molegraaf. (Amsterdam: Balans, 2005). Written in 1952
Welman, Mario T., De avonturen van prins Mario (text written by Belle Bruins). (Amsterdam: Arcanum, 1969)