I was in the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners group during the 1984-85 miners’ strike. We fought for working class unity.
We won recognition that lesbian and gay people should have equality from the strike. Teachers and those working with young people won confidence to talk about sexuality.
It was a total sea change and felt brilliant.
Then the Tories brought in Section 28 and this idea that teachers were promoting homosexuality like it was soap powder. This was at a time when one in five young lesbians were trying to kill themselves every week.
Section 28 whipped up hatred and legitimised homophobic violence. Gay people were treated in the same way by the Tories as disabled people are treated today. Gay public figures were hounded by the press.
You were made to feel like everyone in Britain hated gay people.
They got the law through—but they couldn’t force us all the way back. They had to give in and today the Tories are supposedly all for equality. But young LGBT people today don’t trust the Tories.