1880 Manchester drag ball
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Hulme, Manchester. After a tip off the police watched the proceedings through an uncovered window left open for ventilation. In order to gain entry to the Ball the police uttered the password 'sisters' and were admitted. Upon entering they found twenty men dressed in female attire. Up until the time of arrest the police had believed that those dressed in female attire were in fact women. All 47 men present were arrested.Thus the raid was directed at the behaviour exhibited by those present and not targeted because it was a drag event, or on the suspicion that men were dressed as women or that they were homosexual.The men had hired the hall in Hulme Place, Hulme, Manchester, under an assumed name. All 47 were remanded in custody and the Manchester Times reported that the evidence was 'quite unfit for publication' .
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- Manchester Times 2 Oct 1880