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'Hum of repressed lesbianism' at school in 1940s

Mon 9 Nov 2009 In: New Zealand Daily News

Well-known British author Fay Weldon, 78, says "there was a hum of repressed lesbianism" at Christchurch High School for Girls in the 1940s, angering a former schoolmate. British author Fay Weldon "A few years after I left, the school became notorious as the one in the Heavenly Creatures, where two girls killed the mother of one of them for trying to separate them," she told the UK's Daily Mail newspaper. "Remembering that oppressive, heavy atmosphere of unexplored passions, it was hardly surprising it happened." In those days, the school was a female-only place, as all the young men were away at World War I. "We were very bright girls, and our natural awareness of even heterosexual sex seems completely extraordinary," she added. Reacting to Weldon's assertions, the Christchurch Press spoke to former pupil Nan Scoones, 81, who described the author's comments as "highly critical and quite untrue." Sexuality was never discussed, she said. "I never even knew what a homosexual was until I was 20 years old and my brother told me. "If any lesbianity went on, I'm sure it was extremely well concealed."    

Credit: Daily News Staff

First published: Monday, 9th November 2009 - 10:09am

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