Who Were History’s Queer Seamen? with Dr. Seth LeJacq
Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness
Wed, August 2, 2023
Podchat Summary

The History of Queer Sailors in the British Navy

In this episode, our guest Dr. Seth LeJac, a historian specializing in sexual and gender diversity in the British Navy, takes us on a journey through the 15th to 19th centuries. We delve into the intriguing story of Captain Edward Rigby, a queer naval captain in the late 17th century who faced a moral reform organization's entrapment plot and subsequent trial.

Despite same-sex relationships being technically illegal during this time, punishments were often minor, and many sailors managed to avoid trials or receive lenient punishments. We explore the unique dynamics of same-sex relationships on ships, where sailors believed they could engage in sexual activities even in close quarters.

Dr. LeJac sheds light on the cleanliness standards at sea, which were vastly different from today, and how people engaged in sexual encounters regardless of hygiene. We also discuss the portrayal of queer characters in literature, specifically in the context of the Age of Sail. One such character, Captain Wiffle, is depicted as flamboyant and effeminate, accompanied by his lover, Mr. Simper.

Throughout the episode, we emphasize the importance of reclaiming and celebrating queer history. Dr. LeJac shares their experiences researching queer sailors at the National Maritime Museum and provides valuable insights into the challenges and rewards of uncovering historical records related to queer history.

Join us as we explore the fascinating world of queer sailors in the British Navy, and discover the rich and diverse history that has often been overlooked.

The Science of Love with Dr. Helen Fisher

In this captivating episode, host Jonathan Van Ness welcomes Dr. Helen Fisher, a renowned biological anthropologist and expert on love and relationships. Together, they embark on a journey to understand the intricacies of love.

Dr. Fisher explains that love is a universal human experience and delves into the different stages of love, including lust, attraction, and attachment. She unravels the role of hormones, such as dopamine and oxytocin, in shaping our experience of love.

During the conversation, Dr. Fisher explores the concept of "love addiction" and its impact on relationships. She highlights the interplay between biology and culture, emphasizing how our genetics and upbringing influence our understanding and expression of love.

Dr. Fisher shares fascinating insights from her research on the brain activity of individuals in love, revealing how it differs from those who are not in love. Additionally, she discusses the influence of technology and online dating on modern relationships.

Join us as we dive into the science behind love and gain a deeper understanding of this complex and beautiful human emotion.

Original Show Notes
Sea daddies! Sea queens! Land hoes! This week, we’re getting wet and wild with Dr. Seth LeJacq to learn what life was like for queer sailors in the British navy from the 15th century to the 19th century. How did these sailors express their gender and sexuality? What did they risk—legally and socially—when they pursued queer relationships? And were their ship hammocks really sturdy enough for a night of deep sea “exploration”? Dr. Seth Stein LeJacq is a historian specializing in the history of gender, sexuality, and medicine. He is currently a Caird Fellow at the UK National Maritime Museum. You can follow Dr. LeJacq on Twitter @SethSLeJacq, and learn more about his work at sethlejacq.com. His Routledge collection Sexual and Gender Difference in the British Navy, 1690-1900 will be available for pre-order soon. Here's a portrait of Captain Edward Rigby, here's an etching of Captain Whiffle and Mr. Simper, and here's a rendition of "Backside Rules The Navy." We'll be sharing more resources on our @CuriouswithJVN Instagram account throughout the week. Curious for more? Check out these episodes from our archives: Why Is The Titanic So Iconic? Who Were History’s “Female Husbands”? Do Beauty Standards Need A Glow Up? Follow us on Instagram @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation. Jonathan is on Instagram @JVN. Transcripts for each episode are available at JonathanVanNess.com. Find books from Getting Curious guests at bookshop.org/shop/curiouswithjvn. Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our producer is Chris McClure. Our associate producer is Allison Weiss. Our engineer is Nathanael McClure. Production support from Julie Carrillo, Samantha Martinez, and Anne Currie. Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to TheQuinCat.com. Curious about bringing your brand to life on the show? Email podcastadsales@sonymusic.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Made with ☕️ in SF/SD.
© 2023 Spyglass Search, Inc.