Short Memories?

The Guardian had one of its “In Praise Of…” leaders the other day. This time, it was “In Praise Of Stonewall” – the UK-based group that campaigns for equal rights for gays and lesbians. And it’s true, as far as it goes – Stonewall has indeed accomplished a lot in its 20-year history. Problem is, that’s a blink of the eye for some of us. Today’s paper carries a letter from a Dr. Peter Purton who rightly points out that others were involved in the field of campaigning for far longer.
I remember being actively involved with CHE – the Campaign for Homosexual Equality – back in the early 1970s. I helped organise the CHE conference for 1974 (I think it was), held in Malvern. And some of us have longer memories still. Allan Horsfall is arguably the oldest living campaigner – he’s still going strong, as far as I know.
It seems to me that the words of Harvey Fierstein, at the opening of the 1988 Gay Games held in Amsterdam, are rather aposite here:
“We were carried here on the backs of the millions of gays and lesbians that went before us… some of whom paid for the struggle against prejudice with their very lifeblood.”

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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