LGBTI older people have been sharing their heartbreaking experiences as the UK marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales.
Gay Star News spoke to members of Opening Doors London are a community group for older LGBTI people.
They speak about leading double lives, hiding their identity because of the crushing fear of being found out.
Devastatingly they spoke about how after being in the closet for so long, some still can’t face coming out:
The Sexual Offences Act received Royal Assent on 27th July 1967
This partial decriminalization only made homosexual activity taking place in private premises legal.
Legislation repealed the maximum penalty of life imprisonment for gay sex between two men in private, over the age of 21.
Margaret, a trans woman, said the UK was a very different and rigid society 50 years ago:
‘You left school, you got a job, you got married, you had kids… but that’s what you did, because everyone else did it.’
The LGBTI seniors also had a message for young people.
Marion is a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front. She spoke about a swinging pendulum of changing rights in history, warning:
‘They may have a struggle to face… if they know what happened before they’ll be better prepared.’
Urging people to read up on their gay UK history as the country marks the 50 years.
With thanks to Opening Doors London.