GETTING CURIOUS | Who Were History’s Queer Seamen? with Dr. Seth LeJacq


Sea Daddies! Sea Queens! Land hoes! This week, we’re getting wet and wild with Dr. Seth LeJacq to learn what life was like for queer sailors in the British navy from the 15th century to the 19th century. How did these sailors express their gender and sexuality? What did they risk—legally and socially—when they pursued queer relationships? And were their ship hammocks really sturdy enough for a night of deep sea “exploration”?

Dr. Seth Stein LeJacq is a historian specializing in the history of gender, sexuality, and medicine. He is currently a Caird Fellow at the UK National Maritime Museum.

You can follow Dr. LeJacq on Twitter @SethSLeJacq, and learn more about his work at His Routledge collection Sexual and Gender Difference in the British Navy, 1690-1900 will be available for pre-order soon.

Here’s a portrait of Captain Edward Rigby, here’s an etching of Captain Whiffle and Mr. Simper, and here’s a rendition of “Backside Rules The Navy.” We’ll be sharing more resources on our @CuriouswithJVN Instagram account throughout the week.

Curious for more? Check out these episodes from our archives:

Why Is The Titanic So Iconic?

Who Were History’s “Female Husbands”?

Do Beauty Standards Need A Glow Up?

Follow us on Instagram @CuriousWithJVN to join the conversation. Jonathan is on Instagram @JVN.

Transcripts for each episode are available at

Find books from Getting Curious guests at

Our executive producer is Erica Getto. Our producer is Chris McClure. Our associate producer is Allison Weiss. Our engineer is Nathanael McClure. Production support from Julie Carrillo, Samantha Martinez, and Anne Currie.

Our theme music is “Freak” by QUIÑ; for more, head to

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Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness