At the beginning of the century the word "homosexuality" was rarely used and yet, as the century draws to a close, it is part of our everday vocabulary. The progress of the word form obscurity to common usage parallels the progress gay men and lesbians have made. The book charts that advance from a time when homosexuality was an unspeakable sin to a point where it is just another form of sexual expression. The story is told through the testimony of those who were there. The men and women who lived through it talk about what it was like to go to West End premieres in the Twenties with a monocled, cross-dressed Radclyffe Hall. What signs and signals lesbians and gay men used to recognize each other in the Thirties. How London became a "vast double bed" during the blackout. How gay men and lesbian came back from the war to fear and repression as the Fifties took hold. How lesbians and gay men partied through the Seventies and rallied together in the Eighties against the advent of AIDS, and what issues concern them in the Nineties. The book not only looks at the events they lived through, but also the books they read, the music they listened to, the slang they used and the people they loved.
Age of Innocence
1/3. This programme looks at the interwar years when homosexuality was driven underground.
2/3. During the post-war years many formed lasting gay relationships in spite of repression.
Into the Light
3/3. Documentary charting the change in attitudes to homosexuality during the 20th century.