Episode 2, Season 3 / Apr 26, 2023

Bedfellows Forever

How 19th century male romantic friendships queer our understanding of historical masculinity

The Prologue

The Prologue

In this episode, OA contributor Logan Scherer returns to a topic that has been his persistent curiosity for nearly a decade: romantic male friendships. Grappling with how to define his own relationship with his best friend, Logan explores the archives and accounts of 19th century men who clasped hands, hugged, shared tears, wrote deeply intimate letters to one another, and shared beds. Logan conducts new interviews with Dr. Anya Jabour, Dr. Sergio Lussana, and writer Brontez Purnell to explore the unique history of bedfellows who are, for him, “queerer…than any form of intimacy…in the twenty-first century.”

Beyond The Prologue

Tangled Affinity

Logan Scherer's original “Bedfellows Forever” essay appeared in Issue 106 of the Oxford American. Read the full story here. Since then, Logan has continued to write about his modern-day romantic friendship.

Two College Friends

Written by Boston-born novelist Frederick W. Loring in 1871, Two College Friends tells the story of two Harvard classmates who serve together in the Civil War. Read the full novel here.

Joseph and His Friend: A Story of Pennsylvania

First printed in 1870, Bayard Taylor's Joseph and His Friend is often considered ”America's first homosexual novel.” It tells the story of Joseph Aster and Philip Held, who maintain their friendship through a marriage, a murder trial, and a trip to the frontier. Read the full novel here.

Images of 19th century romantic frienships

Browse a gallery of archival daguerreotypes depicting relationships that appear—as Logan says in this episode of Points South—”beyond physical, almost spiritual”

Inside Logan's notebook

See where he meticulously archived memories of his friendship and became ”a student of [his] own desire”

A “Bedfellows Forever” companion playlist

Pop music has informed Logan's thinking and writing on male romance; listen to a mix that he curated below.