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Stanford historian uncovers the historical origins of the gay suicide stereotype

A still image from the 1919 German film Anders als die Andern (Different from the Others) depicts a concert violinist who killed himself because of adverse publicity about his homosexual orientation. Stanford historian Samuel Clowes Huneke has traced the origins of the gay suicidal figure to Germany's late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Richard Oswald
Dec 4 2015

Stanford doctoral student Samuel Clowes Huneke's research traces the history of the gay suicide trope from its roots in 20th-century Germany to its insidious prevalence in modern American pop culture.

By Tanu Wakefield

From films to literature, the stereotype of the suicidal gay or lesbian character is a common one in modern entertainment. In Michael Cunningham's novel The Hours, for instance, there are three gay and lesbian suicides and attempted suicides. In the Netflix series, House of Cards, the only openly gay character kills himself after just a few episodes.

Research by Stanford doctoral candidate Samuel Clowes Huneke traces the roots of this detrimental and pervasive cliché to its surprising origins in modern Germany. Huneke has discovered that gay suicide is a historical phenomenon, one with a distinct and varied past. ...

For complete article, visit The Stanford Report