In his critically acclaimed essay ‘Mario Montez, For Shame’, which documents the humiliation
of actor and drag queen Mario Montez during the filming of Andy Warhol’s Screen Test 2 and
Chelsea Girls, Douglas Crimp (70) asks: ‘What’s queer about shame?’ In this thesis I
demonstrate that shame - specifically, shame experienced in regard to non-normative sexuality or
gender identity – is inherent within both the construction and destabilisation of queer identity. To
achieve this, I explore the relationship between shame and queer identity in Todd Haynes’ Velvet
Goldmine and Neil Jordan’s Breakfast on Pluto in the sociohistorical context of Britain in the
early 1970s, a time characterised by glam rock, ‘gender bending’ fashion and fluid sexual
identity. This is a period of particular interest to me, both in regard to the identity politics which
are the subject of this research and as part of my own personal history.
My full length screenplay Gathering Day is structured as a tandem narrative, thus enabling me to
depict both (re)constructions of the past, and the present. Through the writing process itself, I am
able to explore some aspects the relationship between shame and queer identity.
Key words: Shame, queer identity, glam rock, Britain, sociohistorical context.