Aimé Wijffels (1913-1991), shown here standing next to his surgical table at the psychiatric institution St. Willibrordusstichting at Heiloo, called himself ‘the great castrator of the Netherlands’. Photo courtesy of Jan Carel Warffemius from the exhibition 'Goed Verkeerd' (1989) at the Amsterdam Historisch Museum.

The controversial afterlife of therapeutic castration in The Netherlands, 1938-1968

Between 1938 and 1968 around 400 sex offenders underwent therapeutic castration as part of their treatment after being put at the discretion of government. Even though this procedure was only performed on a voluntary basis, statistics show that mostly people with a weak social position, mentally handicapped people and homosexual men, were castrated. This raises […]

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Wooden Torso. Location: Club Church. Donated by Jan from Zwolle, visiting the club every other Tuesday night for the FF party. Picture courtesy: Kevin Schram.

Raise your Fist!

Wooden Torso. Location: Club Church. Photo courtesy: Kevin Schram. Just a wooden torso you would think. Just carved wood, like any other sculpture bought in Bali in Indonesia, while riding on a scooter across the island, made of local wood. Yes, just that. But the object’s journey makes it just a little more than that. Jan, a […]

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Evelyn ''Jacky'' Bross in court, one of the people depicted in the CHM exhibit on queer history. (Photo: Chicago History Museum)

Out of the closet and into the museum

By Annabel de Ruijter – Cultural institutions often embody the public sphere, central sites where the display of sexual objects becomes a stage for debates over how and when the erotic is illicit. In “When the erotic becomes illicit. Struggles over displaying queer history at a mainstream museum”, Jill Austin et al. explore how the Chicago […]

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Hello Sailor! or: Problems with Queer Objects

by Robin Hendriks Anthony Tibbles does not like to leave shots unfired. In his article “Hello Sailor! How marine museums are addressing the experience of gay seafarers”, he gives a thorough breakdown of the problems with representation in maritime museums. The histories of women, queer people, and slavery have been largely untold. Only recently have […]

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