The bit that I was most involved in was the Eighties which, in my view, was quite a pivotal period in gay history. It was the decade when people really started pushing for things we now take for granted, such as equal rights in areas such as employment, education and housing. Of course some of it was still a long way off (and we still need to keep fighting battles to maintain those things we have won so far) but for me it was the decade that gay issues moved into the mainstream.
Sadly, I do also think that one of the reasons we became increasingly vocal was because of the emergence of HIV/AIDS. Our very existence was under threat and we had to fight tooth and nail to get politicians to take it seriously. It really was a ‘sink or swim’ moment. And despite the pressures, the homophobia and the bereavement that most of us experienced, we managed to swim – ever more strongly.
So I’m now documenting my experience of that decade in my new blog Gay in the 80s. It’s very much a combination of the personal and the political, which also means there’ll be some ‘up’ stuff and there’ll be some ‘down’ stuff. It won’t be a perpetual happy hour but it will, hopefully, be informative and entertaining.
Let the good (and/or bad) times roll!