The Trial of Oscar Wilde
In 1894, a Scottish nobleman by the name of Queensbury began to accuse prominent Irish poet Oscar Wilde of engaging in homosexual acts with his twenty-two year old son. Wilde responded by suing Queensbury for libel, but his case was dropped when the scotsman presented convincing evidence that Wilde had engaged in homosexual activity with many young men. Oscar Wilde quickly found himself in court again, this time on the side of the defense. After a series of trials, he was convicted in 1895 of multiple counts of gross indecency. The trial of Oscar Wilde caused public attitudes toward homosexuals to become less tolerant. Homosexuality was stigmatized, and those with close same-sex friendships or an effeminate manner came under suspicion.