Sea queens

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Sea queens were gay men who worked aboard mainly merchant vessels were described before the 1960s. They were predominantly effeminate gay men who worked either in entertainment or as waiters on cruise ships, often becoming off-shore 'wives' for heterosexual sailors for the duration of voyages. April Ashley refers to them in her autobiography, and they feature in the narratives of gay men derived from the Hall-Carpenter Oral Archive held in the British Library.

See also[edit]


  • Hello sailor!: the hidden history of gay life at sea, Paul Baker & Jo Stanley, Pearson Education (2003) p. 80 [1]
  • Polari—the lost language of gay men, Paul Baker, Routledge (2002), p. 71 [2]
  • Fantabulosa: A Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang by Paul Baker, Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. (17 Oct 2002)
  • The changing room: sex, drag and theatre, Laurence Senelick, Routledge (2000), p. 340 [3]
  • A storm in a teacup, UK Channel 4 (1993)
  • Vested interests: cross-dressing & cultural anxiety, Marjorie B. Garber,Routledge (1992),p. 57
  • Walking after midnight: gay men's life stories (Hall Carpenter Archives), Margot Farnham and Paul Marshall, Routledge, 1989
  • Men in frocks, Kris Kirk & Ed Heath, GMP (University of Michigan), 1984