Halifax exhibition looks at gay subculture at sea in 50s and 60s

For those who can’t interpret nautical signal flags spelling out the message “Hello Sailor,” the museum has helpfully hung a rainbow flag as well.

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Gay Flag
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The flag commonly associated with gay pride is fluttering on the wharf outside Halifax’s Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to mark a new show that delves into age-old stereotypes of sexuality at sea.

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The exhibition looks primarily at a gay subculture that flourished aboard British passenger liners of the 1950s and 1960s, many of which docked in Halifax. At a time when homosexuality was illegal, there was a remarkable openness on board.

“Homophobia from shipmates was relatively rare,” said Dan Conlin, the museum’s curator of marine history, to the Globe and Mail.

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