Friday, 28 October 2011

An inspiring woman

Rose Robertson: 1916-2011

Not only was she courageous, working for the British Special Operations Executive during the Second World War as a spy, but she was supportive of LGBT people at a time that few heterosexuals were.

See Peter Tatchell's obituary of her in the Guardian online:

Monday, 17 October 2011


I'm just starting putting together an article for the 2012 edition of Past2Present. I'm looking at the reactions to the use of the word 'gay' to describe lesbian and gay people. From my visit to LAGNA on 6 October last, I found snippets in their file Ra - Language from as early as 1963.

A couple of favourites...
  • From The Evening Standard of 27 June 1986: a reference to HUGs - 'Heterosexuals Unafraid of Gays'. I'm happy to say that I know a lot of HUGs. Lovely people... kind to their mums... (just teasing)
  • From a letter in the Bournemouth Evening Echo of 19 November 1986: "What really annoys me is this ridiculous and wrongful use of the word “gay”... It’s about time the church spoke up about this,...". Quite what the church has to do with usage in the English language is not made clear.
Warm regards

Sunday, 9 October 2011

The Lesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive - LAGNA

On Thursday 6th October, Louise and I went to the Bishopsgate Institute library to have a look at LAGNA in its new home. It moved there from Middlesex University in January 2011.

Apart from having a major thing about form filling, the staff there couldn't have been more helpful and interested in our work.

After a quick check on LAGNA's catalogue, we decided to start with the files on Sport and Language. Some time later...

We realised that we'd not be going further into the archives that day. I was cobbling together a piece on reactions to the word 'gay' since about 1963 - and reactions to reactions to the word 'gay', while Louise was engrossed in pulling out information about the Gay Games movement.

If you'd like to see what we did for February this year, the 2011 magazine is available online at:-