Oral histories

Click on the image to hear extracts from the person’s oral history. If you want to hear unedited versions please visit London Metropolitan Archives (www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/LMA) where they are available in our Mediatheque to listen to by appointment.

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    Norman Penny

    Living with the gay Afro-Caribbean community in the 1950s. Involvement with CHE and being threatened for wearing its badges. Being on the phone for Switchboard.
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    Mary Hughes

    Coming to London from Ireland as a young girl . Leaving her fiancee before their wedding.  Getting into the Gateways.  The welcome at the Gateways from Gina and Smithy.  
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    Nasreen Memon

    Being outed by her mother, her father attending an all women party and her mother being "butchphobic". The London Lesbian and Gay Centre: attacking a man who pinched her bottom and going to events and planning activities. An amazing relationship.
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    Sex with his partner, finding out his partner was HIV postive and becoming ill himself. Partner being moved to the mildmay, partner's death and funeral.
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    Mary Tinsley

    Visiting at TV/TS group aged 17 on the pretence of doing a school project and meeting a partner. Eight year relationship with a women. Elements of sexuality. 
  • Ursula Martinez

    Ursula Martinez

    Working with Duckie at the Royal Vauxhal Tavern.  Status and being in control of her act after going viral on the internet. Making "My Stories, Your E-mails". 
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    Jeremy Kingston

    Thuggish policemen. Nights out and seeing Lord Montague. Living long enough to see a more open society
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    Paul C

    Agent provcateurs. Being strong in tough times.  Working as a celebrant..  
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    National Service. First partner. Coming to London for anonymity. 
  • Kim Stevens

    Kim Stevens

    Getting married aged 18, seeing a sticker for lesbain line and coming out to her parents. 
  • Joseph Jeffers


    Feeling objectified. Stereotypes around gay people.  Turning negatives into positives. Isolation and older LGBTQ+ Londoners. 
  • Robyn Stone

    Robyn Stone

    Realising she was a lesbian whilst in prison for stealing. Getting married and having a child. Feeling pressure to date other black women.
  • James Falmer

    James Falmer

    Gay Oxbridge Graduates of London (GOGOL). Applying for GCHQ. Being out at work.
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    Taylor Love-Taylor

    Realising she was a lesbian through the Women's Liberation Movement.Her first gay liberation meeting.  Women's group moving to soho 
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    Coming to London.  Being at the Vauxhall Tavern when it was raided by the police. Arrival of Aids
  • Zed Gregory

    Zed Gregory

    Performances at the Drill Hall. Different ideas of being queer. 
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    Ros Dalgarno

    Coming to London. Gays the Word. First Kenric event.
  • Photo of Rosalind Pearson

    Rosalind Pearson

    Unfinished business with a school friend. Women's groups.  Reaction to "Out on Tuesdays Women Like Us". Lesbian pantos at the Drill Hall. 
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    Trudy Howson

    Coming to London, early relationships being on the scene.Sex, age and ageism. Reading of peom " Heart Felt".
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    Valerie Dunn

    Sapho, Older Lesbian Network, Radical Feminism Early Days of Pride
  • Image of John Hunt

    Dr John Hunt

    Views on religion, de-baptism, ordination into the First Church of Atheism
  • Picture of Alec Scott Rook

    Alec Scot Rook

    Something missing and feeling false. coming out at 40 and taking hormones aged 44. Family relationships. Training to be a counsellor.
  • Image of Margaret Spence

    Marg Spence

    Lesbian pubs in the 1980’s. Lesbian Strength Marches. Taking her son on marches. Mother’s reaction to being a lesbian. Black lesbian and gay scene. Turnmills club.
  • Picture of PJ Samuels

    PJ Samuels

    Coming to England from Jamaica. Applying for asylum in the UK. Working at LGB Centre with Mind and at Weather the Storm LGBT asylum group. Church and Family.
  • Picture of Sue George

    Sue George

    Identifying as bisexual. Porchester Hall drag balls. The Boltons. The Coleherne. The Gateways. Lesbian prejudice against bisexuals. Political lesbianism. London Bisexual Women’s Group.
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    Shane Enright

    LAGER (Lesbian and Gay Employment Rights). LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners). Gay issues and Trade Unions. Section 28. London Lesbian and Gay Centre
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    Elaine McKenzie

    Elaine McKenzie: Setting up The Glass Bar. Memories of The Fallen Angel. Church upbringing. Being a lesbian accountant in 1980s London.
  • Image of Sue O'Sullivan

    Sue O'Sullivan

    Spare Rib and accusations of lesbians taking over the magazine. Red Rag Magazine. Communist Party lesbians. SM debates. The London Lesbian and Gay Centre.
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    Moving to England from Hong Kong. Confucian values. Father’s reaction to boyfriend. London as a utopia. Spiritual influences. Working as a Chinese artist.
  • Picture of Caroline Spry

    Caroline Spry

    COW (Cinema of Women). Commissioning lesbian and gay filmmaking at Channel 4. “Out” on Channel 4. The Gateways.
  • Tony Malone

    Tony Malone

    Design work for LGBT organisations: Schools Out. LGBT History Month. London Gay Men’s Chorus. Kings Cross Steelers. Being gay and wanting kids. Lesbian and gay Scout leaders.
  • Tim Pryor

    Tim Pryor

    Telling girlfriend and parents about being gay. Being arrested for (not) cottaging on Putney tow path.
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    Donald West

    Gay London in the 1950s. The A&B Club. Biograph cinema. Speakers Corner. Writing a book on Homosexuality. Aversion Therapy.
  • Savi Hensman

    Savi Hensman

    Combining her Christian faith with her sexuality. Working at the Black Lesbian and Gay Centre. Being chair of LGCM (Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement).
  • Ruth Rose

    Ruth Rose

    Being transgendered in London in the 1950s and 1960s. Growing up and marrying as transgendered.
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    Pat Dungey

    Kenric. Jackie Foster. Silvermoon bookshop.
  • Jean T

    Jean T

    Women’s Aid, Camden. Boy children. Sex shop attacks. Lesbian nightlife in the 1980s - The Drill Hall. The Duke of Wellington. The Angel. The Wow Bar. Ace of Clubs. Venus Rising.
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    Michelle Ross

    Working at THT (Terence Higgins Trust) counselling trans people. Setting up CliniQ, a sexual health service for trans people. Trans Remembrance Day. April Ashley.
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    Martha Lewis

    Being a Greek Cypriot Londoner. Performing in the Eurovision Song Contest. Having to defend being bisexual to both male and female partners and to lesbians. Being bisexual in the music industry.
  • Louise Carolin

    Louise Carolin

    Student lesbian and gay politics in the late 1980’s. Coming out again as bisexual. Deputy editor at Diva. Bi visibility in Diva.
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    Hearing about gay pride and finding Ugandan Asylum seekers on the march. Finding a gay church (MCC) and an LGBT asylum group.
  • Elizabeth Woodcraft

    Elizabeth Woodcraft

    Dealing with lesbian legal issues as a barrister. Representing Greenham Common women in court. Lesbian custody cases. Radical feminists and Socialist feminists.
  • Charlie Kiss

    Charlie Kiss

    Life before and after transitioning. Greenham Common. Rackets. Martina’s. Sisterwrite. The term ‘Queer’. Green Party work on Intersex rights.
  • Barbara

    Barbara Johnson-Juma

    Coming to London from the north. Being married to a man and realising that she was a lesbian. Challenges of being Black and gay. Being out at work. Kenric.
  • Paul Allchin

    Paul Allchin

    Thoughts on bisexuality. The Bi Group at Heaven. The Colherne. London Friend. Support from the Quakers.
  • Jane Cholmeley

    Jane Cholmeley

    The Birth of Silvermoon Bookshop. Collective principles versus capitalistic hierarchy in bookselling. Politics behind the Silvermoon Café.
  • Stephen Woodland

    Stephen Woodland

    Growing up as a girl, thinking he was a boy. The process of transitioning. The Gender Identity Clinic. Fond memories of Charing Cross Hospital.
  • Ted Brown

    Ted Brown

    Growing up gay and Black. Telling his mother that he was gay. First GLF (Gay Liberation Front) meetings in London. Living in a GLF commune. Campaign against Buji Banton’s homophobic lyrics.
  • Reubs Walsh

    Reubs Walsh

    Growing up queer and transgender. LGCM (Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement). Transgender people at work. Thoughts on binary gender definitions. London Pride.
  • Mike Harth

    Mike Harth

    The 1967 Act. Being arrested in a sauna. Police entrapment. Thoughts on Pride in the 1970s. Straight people’s prejudice against gays.
  • D. J. Ritu

    D. J. Ritu

    Lesbian Line. Discussion group at Gays the Word. Shakti – the first South Asian Lesbian and Gay group.
  • Christie Elan-Cane

    Christie Elan-Cane

    Campaign for Non-Gendered identity. Deciding upon the term Non-Gendered. Views on the Gender Recognition Act. X passports.
  • Charlotte Cooper

    Charlotte Cooper

    Definition of queer. SM Dykes. Punk Dykes. Della Grace. SM Bi Group. ‘Fat and Proud’ book. Disappearing queer spaces around Stratford.
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    Clubs in the 1960s: The A&B, The Chepstow, The Salisbury, The Gigolo. Gay Dad’s Club.
  • Bob Cant

    Bob Cant

    GLF (Gay Liberation Front). Consciousness Raising groups. Gay Teachers Group. John Warburton Case. Setting up a gay group in ATTI Union. Gay Left. Gay rights in unions.

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