Clubbing, The Batcave And Beyond: Scene Analysis

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Taken from his book which outlines the history of gay men’s dress in the twentieth century, Shaun Cole’s ‘Clubbing at the Blitz, the Batcave and Beyond’ focuses on establishing a connection between the fashion choices of the New Romantic subculture and the early eighties LGBTQ+ community. This discussion on their intertextuality differs to other writings about the period, which very much look to the politics or the fashion of the era. His perspective on the movement celebrates the freedom that the scene’s questioning of constrictive gender presentation gave young, effeminate gay men. The views he expresses are backed up by the chapter being a part of a whole, which acknowledges threads which run throughout queer fashion history.

As an opener, Cole references the way the subculture was born out of dissatisfaction with the way ‘punk had become a parody of itself’ (Cole, 2000) that, once adopted by the mainstream, began to alienate ‘many of those who were at first attracted to it’s embracing of difference and individuality’ (Cole, 2000). In its beginnings, ‘punk’s deliberate association with deviant sexualities made it relevant to many LGBTQ youth’
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Someone whose relevance outlived that of the underground scene that birthed him. Although any ‘sort of credible New Romantic movement’ was finished by the time his band debuted on Top Of The Pops in nineteen-eight-two, George’s appearance still provoked debate. ‘Is it a boy? Is it a girl?’ the tabloids cried out. Despite the initial shock, their song ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?’ would cement the one-time-cloakroom-attendant as the Blitz club’s ‘most famous son’. He would go on to establish himself ‘as one of the decade’s…striking and charismatic icons’ (Evans, 2008). Whilst wearing ‘a lot of makeup’ and singing about his same-sex relationship with Culture Club drummer, Jon Moss (the Guardian,

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