I think he is a grey character, not a hero, but not the devil either. Times I hate him, times I do not. But really all I want is for him to find love because he hates the idea of being alone and, although he does not show it, he is vulnerable inside.
To be an out gay man at that time was not possible. To be a homosexual is illegal in Britain at that time. In fact, if he was caught in a homosexual act, the punishment would be severe. I believe laws against homosexuals were not abolished in Britain until the late 1960s/early 1970s.