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Old February 24th, 2017, 04:33 PM   #1
Joined: Jul 2016
From: USA
Posts: 9
A star-crossed lovers story set in the Colonies, 1770s

This is a story I'm planning to write.

A British Redcoat general named Matthew (last name?) sails on a ship to the Colonies with his fellow soldiers due to the recently passed Intolerable Acts by "His Royal Highness", King George III. He is homosexual, and of course never tells anyone this, in order to protect his life and social status. He of course believes that Colonists having no voice in Parliament, etc., is good, but does not agree with the universal sexism and horrible treatment of slaves and homosexuals. (Slavery was already abolished in England) He has a lot of authority and confidence to go along with that, so he isn't necessarily afraid of anyone finding out his secret.

Matthew meets a man named Joseph who is a Patriot, and they figure out each other's homosexual secret and fall in love. You know how these things turn out...bad. This story is going to be a tragedy, where both characters get horrible punishments for their relationship.

I want this story to be a realist message to the people of our 2010s society; the message that homosexuals have been treated horribly throughout history, and that anyone who disagrees with homosexuality or wants to prosecute things such as gay marriage is more or less advocating the 1700s people hanging homosexuals and publicly humiliating them and such. I want people to know of the extreme struggles people had to go through to hide a secret that should not even have to be hidden in such a way. I want people to know that homosexuals are just people, and that they're no different from anyone else (the qualities seen in the Redcoat General and the rebel do not make it obvious at all; you wouldn't even be able to tell they were gay unless they told you). I want people to know that any good religion would not preach against homosexuality. I want people to know that if homosexuals were treated just the same as heterosexuals, then the world would be a lot more safe, easy, and happy.

Any suggestions on how to convey my work of realism? And how to relate Matthew and Joseph's situation to the time period of the 1770s and the environment of the American Revolution? Thanks.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 06:18 PM   #2

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You may want to do some research into Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. He served in different armies (Prussian, then the American rebels), but he was rumored to be homosexual during his own lifetime, and it may have been part of the reason why he departed for the colonies.

In 1763 Steuben had been formally introduced to the future French Minister of War, Claude Louis, Comte de Saint-Germain in Hamburg. They met again in Paris in 1777. The Count, fully realizing the potential of an officer with Prussian general staff training, introduced him to Benjamin Franklin. Franklin, however, was unable to offer Steuben a rank or pay in the American army. The Continental Congress had grown tired of foreign mercenaries coming to America and demanding a high rank and pay. Promoting these men over qualified American officers caused discontent in the ranks. Von Steuben would have to go to America strictly as a volunteer, and present himself to Congress. Steuben left these first meetings in disgust and returned to Prussia. Steuben found waiting for him allegations that he engaged in homosexual relationships with young men while in the service of Prince Josef Friedrich Wilhelm of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. The allegations were never proven, but Steuben knew they would stymie his chances at an officer's position in Europe. Threatened with prosecution for his alleged homosexuality, Steuben returned to Paris. Rumors followed him from Prussia to America that he was homosexual, but there never was an investigation of von Steuben and he received a Congressional pension after the war.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 06:27 PM   #3

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Joined: Jan 2010
From: North Georgia
Posts: 4,262

I can't offer any specific advice about that but as to your core message, Homosexuals should not be mistreated.... well "The Normal Heart" is a movie I recently watched. It may provide you with some inspiration to keep working on your project.
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