Oscar Wilde’s homosexuality was more of an open secret and it lead to his ruin during those more authoritarian times. 

In 1891, Oscar Wilde and Alfred Douglas met each other and they started their famous affair soon after.

In 1894, Robert Hichens published his novel The Green Carnation which was said to be based on the Wilde Douglas affair. It was only in time that John Douglas, the influential father of Alfred Douglas and the 9th Marquess of Queensberry got the wind of the affair.

In February 1895 John Douglas left a note for Wilde which was addressed as “Oscar Wilde: Posing Somdomite”, a misspelling of sodomite. This note so outraged Wilde that he sued John Douglas against all advise.

During the trial opposition lawyers presented evidence of Wilde’s homosexuality —homoerotic passages from his literary works and his love letters of Oscar Wilde and Alfred Douglas. This quickly resulted in the dismissal of Wilde’s libel case and his arrest on charges of “gross indecency.” Wilde was convicted on May 25, 1895 and sentenced to two years in prison.

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