Diana John

Department of History

Research student


Thesis title: Oral Histories with women who were married to gay men.




Thesis abstract:

My research will focus on how women narrate their experience and memory of marriage and sexuality after discovering that their husband prefers sex with men. I am particularly interested in

how women were medicalised or problematised sexually, and how their identity developed during the course of their marriage.

When these marriages end, how are women’s identities and memories affected? Most importantly I am interested in how women tell their stories. I explore the cultural influences affecting their reason to marry, their choice of partner, their attitude to sex.

Women’s magazines and publications from the period that the marriages took place will anchor the narratives historically.

  • PhD History, University of Sheffield, 2019 - present
  • MA English Literature (University of Bristol) 2018. Writing men, writing women; an intersectional analysis of Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart and Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible. 
  • BA Psychology and Philosophy, UNISA. 1997.


This project is in partnership with the British Library.