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Life Story & Blog

Talks and Presentations

I get asked to give presentations to groups and conferences from time to time or to do interviews. Most of these are as ephemeral as the florets on a dandelion, floating off into the air.

However, some of them are recorded as part of a larger event. The YouTube films below are a kind of autobiography, but also to touch on subjects other than theatre.

A lot of these are to do with gay history, and particularly the history from 1950s onwards. As the ‘official’ historian of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, I know a lot about the gay movement since then, and I’m also quite good at placing it in a broader social context. For example, gay liberation could never have happened.

These do feed into my theatre writing in one form or another, but maybe very indirectly.

Oxford Gay Action Group (1972-74)

This was part of the 2017 LGBT History festival in Shrewsbury. I have a long-standing arrangement with Shrewsbury and go to talk there every year, thanks to my friendship with Geoff Hardy and Pete Roscoe who have been involved in so many queer initiatives there. This is the talk on coming out in Oxford.

GFEST Arts Festival

This was a great arts festival which is now in stasis because of a complete lack of funding. It is scandalous that there is no major annual British celebration of LGBT+ culture and creativity apart from the imbecilic commercial Pride, which is just one day of Tunes for Twinks. It was based in and around Holborn, and I first appeared there in 2010. This was a kind of credo.

Gay Professional Network

This is a network of bright young entrepreneurs and go-getters, who are also interested in new cultural trends and ideas. I gave a talk about ‘A Gay Century’ online two years ago, before we started the productions, and I hope to go back to some of the members for sponsorship once we get a production up and running.

Campaign for Homosexual Equality

This is an interview with William Brougham on the history of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, the major campaigning organisation in the UK 1964 to 1990. It saw the implementation of the Wolfenden Report, equalised ages of consent in all parts of the UK and laid the groundwork for all the other equalities legislation of the 2000s.

I’ve been writing its three-volume history for the last eight years, but rather stalled in the middle of Volume Two, owing to the loss of a publisher, an editor, and other back-up, admin, and marketing help. But the project continues anyway. William has made a speciality of in-depth interviews of major historical LGBT figures – not that this included me, but I do know and have known a lot of MHLGBTF in my time.

How To Deal with Loneliness When You Get Older

Opening Doors London, the campaigning and social group for older LGBT people, ran a series of events about isolation of older LGBTs in 2019, as an awareness campaign.

As an ODL Ambassador I was involved in several, one of which was an interview under the banner of the late lamented paper Gay Star News, which combined high entertainment value with significant social awareness.

On their website they showed a dialogue between me and a bright young American blogger and YouTube pundit, Bradley Birkholz. He still runs a regular thought-provoking YouTube feature, although he has changed his name to Quinn Birkholz since he found love.

Homo Promos Presents: Zoom Service

A mellow reflection on sixteen months of Zoom content, and the way both Homo Promos and Zoom itself have evolved during that time to create a true living LGBT Theatre Archive. We remain convinced that this also has great future potential.


End of World War One 100th Anniversary

Robert Graves

5 November 2018

Sunday 4 November, was the poet Wilfred Owen’s centenary. Sunday 11 November was Armistice Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One.

Hopefully this will be an end to the glorification of sacrifice and militarism which has been going on for the last four years.

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Degradin’, Death‐Dealin’, Inhuman & ‘In‐Sultan’

Dorchester Demo

Peter and Consenting Adults in Public (Homo Promos’ previous incarnation) organised the first mega‐benefit in the country, in aid of Lesbian Line and London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard, as it was then, which took place in December 1982.

Learn all about the glamour and excitement of the event, which was called Coming Out ‐ Ready or Not and listen to the songs.

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The Banning of Hotel Homophobia

This song was banned from being performed at a gig at The Albany, Deptford on Saturday 21 September 2019. The event was called Legends and Legacies and it was essentially a showcase for older LGBT performers.

Albany

I was very interested in this, firstly because I organised the first LGBT benefit event in aid of LGBT Switchboard at the Albany in 1982.

This event was part of my own legacy. But not, apparently the Albany’s, which is totally silent about LGBT benefits, including this one.

Secondly, it was heavily promoted within Opening Doors London, the organisation for 50+ LGBT people, and several members I knew personally were taking part.

See The Banning of Hotel Homophobia for the full story.

Peter Scott‐Presland