Oscar Wilde is one of my ‘Living or Dead Dinner Party’ guests. He lived in an England where homosexuality was a crime, where straight society labeled as criminals those who erred from the norm, and locked them out of sight.
Wilde refused to comply. He queered straight culture, forcing people to confront that which made them uncomfortable. His flamboyance, dandyism and unapologetic writing did more for the lives of queer people than I can imagine.
More than that, his writing is among the best I’ve ever read. His plays are exquisite. His prose surprises you at every turn, reaching out to grasp you with its truth, startling you into laughter with its wit. Wouldn’t you love to spend an evening in his company?