The ‘Intermediate Sex’: A lost chapter in British queer history

[N]o one is exclusively male or exclusively female … [I]nverts are people in whom the combination of ingredients is such that [the] element which determines sex impulse is at variance with the sex structure … In other words, an invert’s outward form is of the opposite sex to that of his sexual temperament.

Because Anomaly saw the psyche as, by definition, attracted to its bodily ‘opposite,’ he concluded that ’all psychosexual attraction is essentially heterosexual’. This implied two things: first, that homosexuals were not really men; and second, that the word ‘homosexual’ was in any case misleading. As such, the ‘intermediate sex’ theory posed a direct threat to the gender-binary and to the demonization of ‘same-sex’ love.

Historian of modern Britain, popular culture, and queer identities. PhD student, trans activist, and Quaker from South Wales. She/her pronouns.

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