Coming Oot! A Fabulous History of Gay Scotland


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Coming Oot! A Fabulous History of Gay Scotland

Documentary featuring a rich mix of eyewitness testimony, archive and historical research to chart the radically changing attitudes towards Scotland's gay community.


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I was invited to this party.

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It was the hostess herself who invited me.

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Cilla said to me, "You've got to be there!

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"The creme de la creme are going to be there!"

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So I thought, well, "Why not?

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"I might go along and see what this is like."

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Do you come here often?

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Extreme mincing was going on, effeminate behaviour,

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girlie names flying back and forth all the time, "Get her, Mary!"

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"Ooh, my dear!" and all that kind of stuff.

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Then, about 12 o'clock, there's a ring at the doorbell.

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DOORBELL RINGS, KNOCK ON DOOR

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It was the polis and we're all arrested.

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When they discovered they were actually being nabbed

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and carted off - oh, my God, the horror!

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We had been locked up,

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not for having a party and drinking or dancing,

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but for being gay men in Scotland in 1964.

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MUSIC: Don't Leave Me This Way by The Communards

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For many, many years, Scotland just didn't do gay.

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The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin.

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Homosexuality wasn't for Scots.

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It was dangerous, taboo, stigmatised

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and was actually against the law, right up until the 1980s.

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'For many of us, this is revolting...'

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Caledonia was a repressed country

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that seemed to take pride in its prejudices.

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The one thing that the Catholics and the Protestants could agree on

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was that they hated the gays.

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I remember seeing my name in a school toilet.

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"Robert's a poof," and I thought, "That's what's going on!"

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I got summoned to guidance and was I told, quite categorically,

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I cannot go around telling girls that I fancy them.

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The story of how Scotland transformed

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from a grey straight country to a rainbow of sexual diversity

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is a tale old fears, brave queers that ends in tears.

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There were decades of battling against bigotry.

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I think they're a disgrace!

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Moments that required great personal courage...

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-You mean men dancing with men?

-And women with women, yes.

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It doesn't seem possible in Scotland!

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..and triumphant times when love overcame hate.

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We got married as the bells were tolling on the 31st of December.

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All this personal suffering, all the shame, all the guilt,

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disappeared in that moment.

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How did straights-ville Scotland

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end up being the country that can boast the best gay rights in Europe?

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Are you sitting comfortably?

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It's time for the queer, queer story of Gay Scotland.

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# A-a-a-a-a-a-ah!

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# Baby!

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# My heart is full of love and desire for you... #

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Post-war Scotland of the 1950s was not very gay.

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Most people went to the kirk on a Sunday,

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more than half the population voted for the Conservatives,

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and the word "gay" described a jolly jig for the Gordons.

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And nobody ever mentioned - ahem! - (sex.)

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In Scotland, historically, there's been a reluctance,

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a hesitancy to engage with sex and sexuality in general.

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People were encouraged not to talk about sex.

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We had one hour of sex education the whole time I was at school

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and, er, we weren't allowed to ask any questions.

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I vaguely remember, in second-year biology,

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doing something about rabbits, but that was the extent of it.

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I remember buying a book

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entitled Everything A Boy Should Know About Sex,

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and it was Everything A Boy Should Know About Heterosexual Sex,

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but...no guidance for me.

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If discussing the birds and the bees was taboo,

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then the very idea of discussing the birds and the birds -

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the concept of homosexual sex -

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in Scotland was absolutely forbidden!

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I don't think I can ever remember

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homosexuality at all being discussed,

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anywhere within my family or friends.

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You just never heard it discussed.

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There is almost a bar on talking about

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same-sex desire and homosexuality, and that's, you know,

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familial, that's religious, that's medical, that's social.

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Growing up queer in post-war Scotland is essentially occupying

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a social and sexual wilderness, a hinterland.

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Male homosexuality was illegal,

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was hidden under a repressive silence,

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and "Jessies" were to be scorned.

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As for the very idea of Scottish lassies being lesbians?!

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Ach, behave yourself!

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I did not know any lesbians.

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I didn't know that lesbianism existed

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or could exist. I just thought you loved your friends,

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but you married your boyfriends.

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When I was growing up,

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the word lesbian was in our vocabulary, but it was,

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it was a kind of fabled beast, a bit like unicorns, you know,

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you'd heard about them, but you never actually met one.

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It was always somebody's cousin once knew a lassie that knew one.

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If there's no language or understanding of what a lesbian is

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or what it is to be gay, what same-sex relationships are,

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then how do you understand that that's something

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that's actually feasible for you to do?

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The Scots were very proud of their image as

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hardworking, macho, unshowy people.

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CASH REGISTER RINGS

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And on the very rare occasion

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that homosexual people DID make an appearance,

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they were almost always feminine, flouncy, a bit posh

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and very English.

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What do you want these for?

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-I get these terrible headaches.

-I said you shouldn't do needlepoint.

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I don't do needlepoint! Not now that I'm doing the lace mats.

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STUDIO AUDIENCE LAUGHS

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'I think one of the things that was specifically Scottish'

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about straight people's attitude to the gay subculture

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was that you shouldn't be gay if you're Scots,

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cos we're all terribly butch.

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We're men's men! And it was thought that poofs actually belonged

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south of the border somewhere, um,

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and probably, the further south, the better, down near London, you know.

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Kenneth Williams types were seen as,

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if you were Scots, you're not supposed to be like that.

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Ooh!

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You began to see identifiable people, like Larry Grayson,

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or like, um, John Inman,

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not people that you could relate to, but that was the kind of image

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'and you thought that's what a gay man would look like.'

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Being gay was the antithesis of that robust sense

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of masculinity and who you were, that physical and mental strength.

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Therefore, many, um, cultural references to homosexual men

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were as these weak, er, weak-minded, weak physically, effeminised bodies.

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We like to stereotype. We like to suggest that you...

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you couldn't be Scottish, you couldn't be a Scottish man and gay.

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# I'm just a lonely boy... #

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For most folks, the idea of a Scottish homosexual

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was a contradiction in terms.

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# ..all alone with nothing to do

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# I've got everything

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# That you could think of

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# But all I want

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# Is someone to love... #

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But behind the net curtains, and far from the factory gates,

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gay Scots furtively found one another.

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You met people in public toilets. That was really the only place.

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I don't know how you learned to go there.

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I think it was more of the fact that you once used a public toilet

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and saw something going on here, you know,

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so that sort of rung bells, so you would go back.

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There were, um... pubs near railway stations

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were often busy, so there was always somewhere.

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It was really eye contact, um,

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and perhaps flashing a little bit here and there,

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that made you know that you had met someone.

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Meeting in toilets and station bars may seem rather sordid,

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but for most isolated and stigmatised gay men,

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there was little alternative.

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It was a risky business and, in Scotland's bigger cities,

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gay men began to meet at secret soirees.

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The party was a great thing in Glasgow gay society,

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because, at that time, the pubs shut at 10 o'clock and you'd just had

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a couple of drinks and you were ready for more, and a party could be

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a kitchen in Govan with three people and a bottle of wine.

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We would dance

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and they always kept a pile of hymnbooks beside the front door,

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because, if there was a knock on the door and the police had arrived,

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we would all grab a hymn book

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and pretend we were having a prayer meeting.

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It was almost like getting on a plane

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and being shown the safety routine, you know -

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"If the doorbell rings, grab a hymn book in your left hand."

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When the chance occurred, on land or at sea,

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there was a bit of Scotsman-on-Scotsman action.

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It was actually 1958 -

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'58 and '59, I was trawling -

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and I didn't set out to act gay,

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but clearly, you can't hide what you are.

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And just climbing on the boat and the things I do,

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I'd be like Julian Clary, I suppose,

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-in those days, you know!

-HE LAUGHS

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You're giving yourself away the whole time.

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Far out at sea, away from their womenfolk,

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Larry's fishermen friends talked coyly about "the golden rivet".

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The guys would say there was a golden rivet

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and I thought this was some sort of talisman put on every boat

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sort of there for good fortune.

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And, cos I'd asked a few people where the golden rivet was,

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they'd said, "You'll find it."

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Up comes the second engineer

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and he's got sweat running off him, the grease,

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and I says, "My God, you've got muscles, though, haven't you?"

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And he took my hand and says, "I'll show you the golden rivet."

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HE LAUGHS

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And, do you know, he showed me that golden rivet every day.

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LAUGHTER

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But because homosexuality was so taboo,

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even those just looking for a quick "Wham, bam, thank you, Tam!"

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were extremely vulnerable.

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Because things could go very wrong very quickly.

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The consequences of being caught were significant.

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You know, being excluded from your family, being sacked.

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You could just be sacked for, for even a hint of homosexuality,

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never mind a prosecution.

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There was also the worry that somebody might expose you.

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We used to call it "scream you up".

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For example, imagine you were walking through Central Station,

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you saw your cousin and you stopped to talk, and then some queen

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who knew you came up and went, "Oh, hello, Margaret, how are you?"

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People went to prison for two, sometimes three years.

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Sometimes, they were admitted to psychiatric institutions.

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So the fear encompassed all points of their life.

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It wasn't simply that you'd become a criminal, have a criminal record,

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it meant you might potentially lose everything.

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I loved Scotland.

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It was the greatest place on earth for me.

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Except for anything to do with my sexuality.

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It was the worst place I could have been on earth, to be quite honest.

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MUSIC: Secretly by Jimmy Rogers

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But there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

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After a series of homosexual scandals, after blackmail cases,

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after years of furtive flirtations,

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British homosexuals were about to get a more sympathetic hearing.

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# ..a secret rendezvous

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# Why must we steal away to steal a kiss or two?

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# Why must we wait to do the things we want to do? #

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In 1957, a committee, led by Lord Wolfenden,

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examined the laws around prostitution and homosexuality

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and the conclusions in his report

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shocked God-fearing folk on both sides of the border.

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Now, what about the large section in this report

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which deals with homosexuality?

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What we've done, or what we've recommended, is that adults -

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consenting males in private -

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should not have their behaviour in this matter

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brought within the criminal law.

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But, unfortunately for gay Scots,

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our man in London would have no truck with these softie Sassenachs.

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The problem for Scotland was that

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there was a representative on the panel called James Adair.

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James Adair presented a minority report and, in it,

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he disagreed with almost all the suggestions

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that the main committee had come up with.

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He saw homosexuality as the first step into moral turpitude.

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The Scotland he loved would be lost.

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This upstanding moral, conservative, religious society

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would descend into decay and would be destroyed.

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Addressing the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland,

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James Adair fulminated that the Wolfenden Report

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would allow "perverts to practise sinning for the sake of sinning"

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and he was determined that Scotland was no place for homosexuals.

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In 1967, as the Summer of Love was in full swing,

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the Wolfenden Report's recommendations

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were implemented in England,

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decriminalising homosexuality for men over 21.

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But, thanks to James Adair, homosexuality in Scotland

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remained illegal, classified as criminally depraved behaviour.

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The permissive society certainly wasn't in Scotland.

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Gay Scots were outcasts in their own country.

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Anxious, alone, ashamed.

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Many gay men and women made desperate efforts to fit in...

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..to straighten themselves out.

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I think it is almost impossible to overstate the role of conformity

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and the role of peer pressure to conform.

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It is absolutely a weight on people in this period.

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Some sought out a psychiatric solution.

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I thought that I was going to get cured and it meant

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going to do group therapy.

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But you can't force someone to think straight.

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I mean, there were other guys there and one was gay,

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and I ended up jumping into bed with him, you know.

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Some doctors tried to cure homosexuals with hormones.

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My doctor gave me female hormone, which was the then practice,

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and you begin to grow boobs.

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You don't have to shave as often and...you get a bit concerned,

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but it didn't stop me wanting sex.

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And I still admired guys even more than I did previously.

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I even fancied the doctor himself -

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-he was gorgeous.

-HE LAUGHS

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But most lesbian and gay Scots

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resigned themselves to living closeted lives.

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The pressure to conform meant actually just

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doing what you were told and getting married,

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against every urge of your own,

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against every instinct, against every sense of yourself,

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was just to throw in the towel and say, "I'll have to get married."

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In 1969, a brave group of gay Scots

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realised that it was daft to pretend to be straight.

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They couldn't, and shouldn't, have to change their sexuality,

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so they'd just have to change Scotland.

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And they set up SMG, a long-lost part of Scotland's radical history.

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SMG stands for the Scottish Minorities Group

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and its tag line was "for the rights and welfare of homosexuals".

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Rather than "homosexual",

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the word "minorities" was chosen, so as not to offend and, immediately,

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the lives of gay men and women in Scotland's big cities improved.

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We ran a little disco in the Cobweb,

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underneath the Roman Catholic Chaplaincy Centre in George Square,

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and that was very popular.

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# Sing if you're glad to be gay

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# Sing if you're happy that way... #

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No alcohol was involved -

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it was just sort of coffee and cakes sometimes.

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There was a famous Rule 5 - no kissing and petting -

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which was, of course, to try and conform with the law.

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SONG ENDS

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CHEERING

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SMG's funky discos weren't just for gay guys.

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For almost the very first time ever in Scotland,

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SMG Ladies Night meant lesbians had a public space to meet up in

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and that was thrilling.

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Well, I had never danced with a woman before

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and I danced with another woman who was in the group.

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I told her that I'd never danced with a woman and she was astonished.

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Women that I would never in a million years be able

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to rub shoulders with normally. I mean, they were all like,

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er, academics, professional women.

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They spoke very eloquently. I learned a lot.

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We have no other area that we can move about in or socialise in.

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Um, for instance, I can't imagine Sheila and I getting up

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in the Albany on a Saturday night and dancing together.

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You were perfectly safe. If you went up and chatted someone up,

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you wouldn't get a punch in the face for chatting the wrong person up.

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MUSIC: Dancing Queen by ABBA

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They wanted to organise events where people could meet each other

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in sort of a fairly sort of, er, open and respectable sort of way.

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The women met there every Tuesday night.

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Tuesday night seemed to be when women always met, you know.

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They could never get pubs or discos on Fridays or Saturday.

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We were relegated to Tuesday nights.

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# ..you can jive Having the time of your life... #

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The early SMG discos attracted no more than 50 gay Scots,

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but word spread and the numbers grew.

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By the mid '70s, 700 people would travel from all over Scotland

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to get to SMG nights.

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Scotland was positively hoaching!

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We'd actually start to make money, so the group was, you know,

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gathering finances together and leased property in Broughton Street,

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number 60, and called it the Gay Information Centre.

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DISCO MUSIC PLAYS

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Whilst gay dancing, gay flirting

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and having a gay old time were very welcome,

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SMG was about much more than the social scene.

0:20:050:20:08

They wanted to win over sympathetic straight Scots

0:20:080:20:11

and to support gay Scots. They set up a switchboard

0:20:110:20:14

to reach out to lonely gay people in the hills and glens.

0:20:140:20:18

TELEPHONE RINGS

0:20:180:20:21

Hello, SMG befriending service, can I help you?

0:20:210:20:23

'I was on the befriending team, as it was called in those days.'

0:20:230:20:26

You know, it was very, very sad! All the time!

0:20:260:20:29

Er, occasions that, you know...

0:20:290:20:32

I mean, a gay guy phoning from somewhere like Fort William

0:20:320:20:35

and crying for 15 minutes on the phone, by the words he's just said,

0:20:350:20:40

because he'd said the words, "I'm gay."

0:20:400:20:42

They opened Scotland's first lesbian and gay bookshop.

0:20:420:20:46

We called the bookshop Lavender Menace.

0:20:460:20:49

One of the aims behind the bookshop was really to create a presence

0:20:490:20:52

as an alternative to the bar scene,

0:20:520:20:55

and it fulfilled that role very well, um,

0:20:550:20:58

but it also distributed literature, which was just as important.

0:20:580:21:03

But perhaps the most courageous act

0:21:030:21:06

was simply to make gay Scots visible.

0:21:060:21:08

BUZZ OF CONVERSATION

0:21:080:21:12

At first glance, this might not look like

0:21:120:21:14

one of the most ground-breaking pieces of television

0:21:140:21:17

ever to have come out of Scotland.

0:21:170:21:19

Excuse me a minute, Malcolm. Hello, can I help you?

0:21:190:21:22

But in 1976, this was pure TV dynamite.

0:21:220:21:27

That's 25p, please.

0:21:270:21:29

-Thanks very much.

-Thanks.

-Would you like some coffee while you're here?

0:21:290:21:32

-Yes, please.

-Right, well, let's get some over there.

0:21:320:21:35

A 30-minute documentary produced by SMG for the BBC to show

0:21:350:21:39

ordinary Scots that homosexuals were neither exotic nor scary.

0:21:390:21:44

We're having a disco this evening, but not in here, I hasten to add.

0:21:440:21:47

-A disco? What, you mean men dancing with men?

-And women with women, yes.

0:21:470:21:50

It doesn't seem possible in Scotland.

0:21:500:21:52

It happens in Scotland, yes.

0:21:520:21:53

I think Scottish Minorities Group deserves an enormous amount

0:21:570:22:00

of credit for changing things. I think...

0:22:000:22:04

their achievement in sort of changing public consciousness

0:22:040:22:08

was, you know, was enormous.

0:22:080:22:09

Glad To Be Gay dared to show a lesbian couple

0:22:140:22:17

that weren't ultra butch nor male fantasy objects.

0:22:170:22:21

In fact, the documentary seemed to stress that Edinburgh lesbians

0:22:230:22:26

could lead lives that were just as dull as straight people.

0:22:260:22:30

I've been wanting this for ages! I thought it was out of print. Mmm!

0:22:300:22:34

I saw it at the bookshop up the road.

0:22:340:22:36

Mmm, that smells nice.

0:22:370:22:39

It was a positive image. It showed, um, that basically...

0:22:390:22:42

all these gay people in Broughton Street coming out of the centre

0:22:420:22:45

were actually just ordinary people getting on with ordinary lives

0:22:450:22:48

and, hopefully, it was one of these defining moments of, er, making...

0:22:480:22:53

gay people coming out into the open and saying, you know, "We're here!

0:22:530:22:57

"We're not a threat, we're not dangerous, we're just ordinary."

0:22:570:23:00

-I've got some bad news for you.

-Oh, tell me the bad news.

0:23:000:23:03

-The electricity bill came this morning.

-Oh, how much?

-46.80.

0:23:030:23:08

The programme ended with a sympathetic interview

0:23:080:23:10

with a hairy Malcolm Rifkind and an even hairier Robin Cook.

0:23:100:23:14

Both politicians had been courted by SMG and both argued for law reform.

0:23:140:23:19

I do not think myself now that there will be much difficultly now

0:23:190:23:22

in obtaining a change in the law in Scotland.

0:23:220:23:24

Slowly, but perceptibly,

0:23:240:23:26

the Scottish Minorities Group changed attitudes in Scotland.

0:23:260:23:30

They developed a cordial relationship

0:23:310:23:35

with the Church of Scotland,

0:23:350:23:37

a cordial relationship with the Roman Catholic Church,

0:23:370:23:40

a cordial relationship with...

0:23:400:23:42

psychiatrists and psychologists and the medical profession.

0:23:420:23:45

These are the people we had to win over to make legal change.

0:23:450:23:49

They were actively pursuing an opportunity to change minds.

0:23:490:23:53

And change minds they did!

0:23:550:23:58

Do you know any homosexuals yourself?

0:23:580:24:00

-Aye.

-What do you feel about them?

0:24:000:24:03

Just keep away from them. They're all right, though.

0:24:030:24:05

As long as they dinnae bother me, I'm no' bothered.

0:24:050:24:08

I've nothing against them.

0:24:080:24:09

I think everybody's got the right to do their own thing.

0:24:090:24:12

As far as I'm concerned, they're the same as me -

0:24:120:24:15

we're all Jock Tamson's Bairns.

0:24:150:24:17

13 years after the law had been reformed in England,

0:24:220:24:25

Robin Cook lodged an amendment in

0:24:250:24:28

the Scottish Criminal Justice Act

0:24:280:24:30

and, finally, after years of campaigning,

0:24:300:24:33

after years of fear and fright, after years of discrimination,

0:24:330:24:37

homosexuality was finally decriminalised in Scotland in 1980.

0:24:370:24:44

CHEERING

0:24:470:24:49

MUSIC: Sunday Morning by The Velvet Underground

0:24:520:24:56

# Sunday morning... #

0:25:010:25:06

Scottish lesbians had never been illegal,

0:25:060:25:09

but for most people they were inconceivable.

0:25:090:25:12

It's hard to portray how invisible lesbians were.

0:25:180:25:23

For me, lesbians just did not exist, it just was not an option.

0:25:230:25:28

People like myself found their way towards their sexual

0:25:280:25:31

orientation without any idea of what it was.

0:25:310:25:34

I would have to look up the word "lesbian" in a dictionary

0:25:340:25:38

and I'd no idea what it was.

0:25:380:25:41

Even when lesbians tried to be more visible,

0:25:410:25:43

the older generation of Scots refused to see them.

0:25:430:25:47

I did read an article in a book

0:25:470:25:49

and it was about two women that had lived together, and I was quite

0:25:490:25:52

impressed with it, and my mother was in bed ill at the time,

0:25:520:25:55

so I went marching through

0:25:550:25:57

with this magazine and showed her the article

0:25:570:25:59

and she said, "Why are you showing me this?"

0:25:590:26:02

And I said, "Because what they're like - that's what I'M like."

0:26:020:26:04

I was sayin', "I'm... You're heterosexual, I'm homosexual."

0:26:040:26:08

And she went, "I'm no' like that!"

0:26:080:26:10

So, it was the word "sexual" that jumped out.

0:26:100:26:12

But by the 1970s, a new generation of lesbians set out to challenge

0:26:160:26:21

the "meet a man, get married, have weans" narrative.

0:26:210:26:26

In the very early '70s, things were changing,

0:26:280:26:31

things were dangerous, but in a good way.

0:26:310:26:34

There were beginning to be

0:26:340:26:36

fragmentations in the old social relationships.

0:26:360:26:39

We're one of the first liberated generations

0:26:390:26:43

and compared to our mothers, grandmothers, it's a huge leap.

0:26:430:26:47

We didn't have to marry to be in a certain position.

0:26:470:26:51

We had the right to choose what we did with our bodies

0:26:510:26:54

in terms of abortion.

0:26:540:26:56

1970s feminism inspired gay women,

0:26:570:27:00

and gay women inspired 1970s feminism.

0:27:000:27:04

It was really once the feminist movement got underway

0:27:040:27:07

I had to restructure my whole way of thinking.

0:27:070:27:11

A lot of times before that, you mimicked heterosexuals,

0:27:110:27:13

cos that's the only example there was, but then this big revelation

0:27:130:27:17

happened that you could actually all relax and treat each other as women.

0:27:170:27:21

Gradually, tentatively,

0:27:210:27:23

lesbians began to make themselves more visible,

0:27:230:27:26

challenging the expectations of the scone-nibbling

0:27:260:27:30

ladies of Scotland in the process.

0:27:300:27:33

I sat down in this Glasgow hairdresser,

0:27:330:27:35

which was full of very sort of straight ladies,

0:27:350:27:37

of the sort I no longer felt I was.

0:27:370:27:40

And I said to the guy, "I need you to cut it really short.

0:27:400:27:43

"Could you do something sort of

0:27:430:27:44

"along one of these lines - whatever works for my face?"

0:27:440:27:47

And he said, "Yeah, OK, I could."

0:27:470:27:50

And as he started to cut and cut and cut and cut...

0:27:500:27:53

Cos we're talking about, I don't know,

0:27:530:27:55

it must have been about a metre of hair,

0:27:550:27:56

there was this deep silence that fell over salon.

0:27:560:28:01

"Look what she's just done to all that long, dark, lovely hair."

0:28:010:28:06

Feminist sexual emancipation had yet to reach the small towns

0:28:090:28:13

of 1970s Scotland.

0:28:130:28:14

To be a lesbian was to be

0:28:160:28:18

a target for relentless harassment and abuse.

0:28:180:28:21

I was actually in fear of my life, going about my business

0:28:220:28:25

whether walking to school,

0:28:250:28:26

walking home from school, walking down the high street,

0:28:260:28:30

living actually in fear of being attacked

0:28:300:28:32

because I was attacked a few times.

0:28:320:28:34

There was a lot of being spat on,

0:28:340:28:35

and when you go down the stairwell during class changes, there'd often

0:28:350:28:39

be people positioned at the top waiting for me.

0:28:390:28:42

So I often had my hair covered in spit.

0:28:420:28:45

And I did get asked once - the class were laughing and the teacher

0:28:450:28:48

asked me to leave the class and go and sort out my blazer,

0:28:480:28:50

and I had no idea what she meant.

0:28:500:28:52

And I went out and I had "queer" chalked on my back.

0:28:520:28:55

Then, as now...

0:28:560:28:58

many uptight Scottish guys found it difficult to accept lesbians.

0:28:580:29:02

Of course you'll get the people who'll say to

0:29:020:29:05

you...that, "Within every lesbian is a man."

0:29:050:29:07

-What would you say to that?

-Rubbish!

0:29:070:29:09

SHE LAUGHS

0:29:090:29:10

You know all the insults that lesbian women

0:29:100:29:13

get when they're out together as a couple.

0:29:130:29:15

Men see them, they either want to ask them if they want a threesome,

0:29:150:29:19

they want to insult them...

0:29:190:29:22

Because men are saying, "Why am I not in this equation?

0:29:220:29:24

"I feel left out, my feelings are hurt, my masculinity's damaged,

0:29:240:29:28

"and now I'm angry about it."

0:29:280:29:30

A mountain of names...

0:29:300:29:32

day after day, month after month,

0:29:320:29:35

year on year, eventually those things become very painful.

0:29:350:29:40

-Do either of you feel odd being gay women?

-How do you mean, "odd"?

0:29:400:29:45

Odd as people might think you're perverted.

0:29:450:29:48

It's very difficult for heterosexual mainstream

0:29:480:29:51

male culture to understand

0:29:510:29:52

that lesbianism has nothing to do with them.

0:29:520:29:55

In fact, its whole point

0:29:550:29:57

is that it doesn't have anything to do with them!

0:29:570:29:59

In macho Scotland, girl meets girl was a tricky business.

0:29:590:30:04

I fancied a string of girls, and in my naivety I would tell them.

0:30:050:30:11

I got summoned to guidance, and I was told quite categorically

0:30:110:30:15

I cannot go around telling girls that I fancy them, it's not

0:30:150:30:20

normal, it's not healthy, and it is a phase and I WILL grow out of it.

0:30:200:30:25

MUSIC: Smalltown Boy by Bronski Beat

0:30:260:30:29

For most small-town girls and small-town boys, it was only when

0:30:290:30:33

they headed for the bigger cities that they finally found love...

0:30:330:30:37

When I left home and into the big city, Edinburgh, to be honest,

0:30:380:30:42

as a women, one had to join the antinuclear movement to get laid.

0:30:420:30:46

Right? There was no question.

0:30:460:30:49

I met this person and that was really exciting, it was, it was like

0:30:500:30:54

a burst of, "Oh, my God, this is perhaps how life could be."

0:30:540:30:58

And...you know...

0:30:580:31:01

Yeah, that is it.

0:31:010:31:03

It was like an unleashing of -

0:31:030:31:05

that sounds like some sort of porn film - pent-up tension!

0:31:050:31:08

The 1980s was the decade when the gays went to town.

0:31:130:31:17

# Run away, turn away, run away turn away, run away

0:31:170:31:23

MUSIC: Karma Chameleon by Culture Club

0:31:230:31:25

Boy George stunned Top Of The Pops...

0:31:250:31:28

# You come and go... #

0:31:290:31:31

Martina Navratilova won Wimbledon...

0:31:310:31:34

MUSIC: Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood

0:31:340:31:36

Frankie said, "Relax!"

0:31:360:31:37

# Relax... #

0:31:400:31:41

And in Scotland's big cities, the newly legalised gay culture

0:31:410:31:46

began to have a fabulous time.

0:31:460:31:48

# Relax... #

0:31:480:31:51

In Glasgow, the gay Mecca was Bennets.

0:31:510:31:54

# When you wanna come... #

0:31:560:31:59

I remember really clearly when I first went to Bennets and

0:31:590:32:02

I just thought,

0:32:020:32:04

"I couldn't even have imagined a place like this existed."

0:32:040:32:07

I mean, I had not even seen a gay club in film or in television.

0:32:070:32:10

It felt like Xanadu, you could meet anybody, you could go anywhere.

0:32:130:32:18

# Relax, don't do it

0:32:180:32:20

# When you wanna go to it

0:32:200:32:22

# Relax... #

0:32:220:32:23

There was all sorts of people there, stockbrokers and bus drivers,

0:32:230:32:27

leather guys, guys in suits, there were married guys,

0:32:270:32:31

go-go boys, dare I say?

0:32:310:32:33

Like hot pants, high kicking to Donna Summer.

0:32:330:32:36

To walk into a room and to see all these men dancing together

0:32:380:32:42

and kissing - I felt stressed, I actually thought,

0:32:420:32:46

"Something's going to happen, something bad's going to happen.

0:32:460:32:49

"These people can't be allowed to be having this much fun."

0:32:490:32:52

It was like everybody

0:32:520:32:54

who'd ever been bullied, in every school in the West of Scotland had

0:32:540:32:58

somehow found themselves in a room with great music

0:32:580:33:00

and great lights and good drinks,

0:33:000:33:02

and I just thought, "This is great."

0:33:020:33:04

It was all about finding a sense of community and sex

0:33:060:33:10

and just...

0:33:100:33:12

freedom, basically.

0:33:120:33:14

I remember voguing, I remember dancing to Mary Kiani,

0:33:140:33:18

really trashy Mary Kiani. And drinking Mad Dog 20/20

0:33:180:33:22

and just vomiting and thinking,

0:33:220:33:24

"I'm having the best time of my life!"

0:33:240:33:26

In Edinburgh, Fire Island was home to disco queens

0:33:310:33:35

and homosexual hedonism.

0:33:350:33:37

People like Divine and Eartha Kitt

0:33:390:33:42

in her disco incarnation came to play that club,

0:33:420:33:44

and I do remember up at the back of the crowd

0:33:440:33:47

while Divine was performing on stage, some policeman's son

0:33:470:33:50

who was my "thing" at the time,

0:33:500:33:53

sucking my cock while Divine's doing her act, and it's just...

0:33:530:33:56

What a wonderful... You think,

0:33:560:33:58

"Aye, this is life, hello."

0:33:580:34:00

# Hello... #

0:34:010:34:04

But this hedonism of Scotland's early scene

0:34:040:34:07

was about to be shattered.

0:34:070:34:10

A guy who I had shared a flat with -

0:34:110:34:12

there was a group of us who shared this flat -

0:34:120:34:15

and I saw him in Bennets, and he said he was kind of tired,

0:34:150:34:19

he said, "I just don't feel very well."

0:34:190:34:21

Almost as tiny as that.

0:34:210:34:23

And he sat down for a bit,

0:34:230:34:25

which I thought was, kind of, a bit odd that he was sitting down.

0:34:250:34:29

But he was dead within a few months,

0:34:290:34:31

seriously ill within, I think, days.

0:34:310:34:34

The past weekend should have been a time of outright celebration

0:34:340:34:37

for Britain's homosexual community, as a march through

0:34:370:34:41

London ended Gay Pride Week, seven days in which they commemorated

0:34:410:34:44

the start of the gay liberation movement.

0:34:440:34:47

However, the festivities were overshadowed by fear -

0:34:470:34:50

fear of a mysterious new disease that

0:34:500:34:52

has hit the homosexual community in America and has now come here.

0:34:520:34:57

Reports of an awful, mysterious disease killing homosexual men

0:34:570:35:01

began to emerge from gay communities around the world.

0:35:010:35:05

And in the early 1980s, HIV/AIDS arrived in Scotland.

0:35:050:35:10

We first heard about HIV, I think, in 1982, it was very much

0:35:150:35:20

the same time as it was being publicised in the United States.

0:35:200:35:26

It was a bit of a mystery,

0:35:260:35:28

and people were dying from this strange disease.

0:35:280:35:32

We were all suspicious of it, there was

0:35:340:35:38

a quite commonly-talked-about idea that it was made up,

0:35:380:35:41

that it was a form of prejudice, it was a discriminatory thing

0:35:410:35:45

that straight people were making up, and it wasn't actually true.

0:35:450:35:49

We didn't take the government propaganda seriously, of, you know,

0:35:490:35:54

the falling tombstone.

0:35:540:35:56

-JOHN HURT:

-There is now a danger that has become a threat to us all.

0:35:580:36:02

It is a deadly disease and there is no known cure.

0:36:020:36:05

I was still living at home and it came on the television

0:36:060:36:09

one evening, and there was, kind of, silence between Mum and Dad

0:36:090:36:12

in the living room, and then Mum made some crack about,

0:36:120:36:15

"Oh, that's what the gays get."

0:36:150:36:17

If you ignore AIDS, it could be the death of you,

0:36:170:36:20

so don't die of ignorance.

0:36:200:36:22

Homosexual sex was once again portrayed as something to fear,

0:36:240:36:28

a matter of life and death.

0:36:280:36:32

The number of deaths in Britain to date

0:36:320:36:34

from the disease stands at 293.

0:36:340:36:36

244 of those victims were male homosexuals.

0:36:360:36:40

If Scotland was in any way ignorant about AIDS,

0:36:410:36:44

it was rudely awoken in 1985,

0:36:440:36:48

when over 60% of injecting drug addicts

0:36:480:36:51

tested at an Edinburgh hospital

0:36:510:36:54

were found to be HIV-positive.

0:36:540:36:55

As a result, the Scottish capital was labelled

0:36:560:36:59

the HIV capital of Europe.

0:36:590:37:02

"Edinburgh, the AIDS capital of Europe,"

0:37:030:37:05

was written in some newspaper,

0:37:050:37:08

by whom I cannot remember, and that has certainly stuck,

0:37:080:37:13

and yet it was blatantly untrue.

0:37:130:37:16

In 1983, The Times even warned that the Edinburgh Festival could

0:37:160:37:21

"become a breeding ground" for the mystery disease.

0:37:210:37:25

By the end of the century, there won't be

0:37:250:37:27

one family in the United Kingdom that isn't touched

0:37:270:37:29

in some way by this disease.

0:37:290:37:31

With little information and a lot of fear,

0:37:310:37:34

Scotland's homosexual community were once again stigmatised.

0:37:340:37:38

Because it was associated with gay men and sex,

0:37:380:37:41

there was a backlash.

0:37:410:37:43

I remember hearing people say,

0:37:450:37:47

"That's what they deserve." It was very much...

0:37:470:37:50

It fitted in with the kind of Calvinist logic of, you know...

0:37:500:37:55

"You do this, you get that."

0:37:550:37:57

As far as we were concerned, that was par for the course,

0:37:570:38:02

we'd lived with this for decades,

0:38:020:38:05

so it didn't make any difference,

0:38:050:38:07

what really mattered was how we were going to manage this ourselves.

0:38:070:38:11

Edinburgh's small gay community mobilised quickly...

0:38:120:38:16

But nothing would ever be quite the same...

0:38:160:38:20

Right from the start of me going to Edinburgh - '86 or so,

0:38:200:38:24

I think, the topic of conversation of part of our nights out

0:38:240:38:27

on a Friday or Saturday was who was sick.

0:38:270:38:30

In 1986, ten homosexual men were reported to have

0:38:300:38:34

died of AIDS in Scotland, in 1990 it was 24.

0:38:340:38:39

In 1991 it was 47.

0:38:390:38:43

By the late '80s, people were dying on a pretty regular basis,

0:38:430:38:49

and it was pretty devastating, because they were people you

0:38:490:38:53

would have known socially

0:38:530:38:55

and a fortnight later, they were ill...

0:38:550:38:58

and a month after that

0:38:580:39:01

they weren't around any more.

0:39:010:39:02

Our pal Bill was a buddy at university.

0:39:050:39:08

And when Bill came out with this diagnosis, it was a complete

0:39:110:39:14

and utter devastating shock.

0:39:140:39:16

That was it, it was the start of a long goodbye.

0:39:170:39:20

MUSIC: I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) by Sleeping At Last

0:39:200:39:23

# When I wake up

0:39:230:39:25

# Well, I know I'm gonna be

0:39:250:39:27

# I'm gonna be the man who wakes up next to you... #

0:39:270:39:32

When I saw him, he was well into his illness,

0:39:320:39:35

he just couldn't eat

0:39:350:39:36

and he couldn't digest anything and he'd been living on liquids,

0:39:360:39:40

and he was a tiny, frail little creature.

0:39:400:39:43

You know, I saw him about six weeks before he died,

0:39:430:39:45

and leaving that hospital room,

0:39:450:39:47

it was just a small, little frail lump under a pile of sheets.

0:39:470:39:53

# And when I'm dreaming

0:39:530:39:56

# Well, I know I'm gonna dream

0:39:560:39:58

# I'm gonna dream about the time I had with you. #

0:39:580:40:02

So we all knew people who had died,

0:40:070:40:10

and despite the fact that

0:40:100:40:13

I had a partner,

0:40:130:40:15

we were both,

0:40:150:40:17

we both had extra-partnership affairs, as it were,

0:40:170:40:20

and we could have been more careful than we were...

0:40:200:40:22

So...we both came down with HIV, so...

0:40:220:40:28

And...I think

0:40:290:40:33

it was just, you know...erm...

0:40:330:40:34

Life-saving combination therapy

0:40:420:40:44

arrived in 1996. Now, with medication, most HIV-positive people

0:40:440:40:50

are no longer infectious

0:40:500:40:52

and can expect to live as long as anyone else.

0:40:520:40:54

That was a godsend.

0:40:560:40:58

I mean, it was...

0:40:580:41:00

This was, you know,

0:41:000:41:02

at least a decade after it was

0:41:020:41:04

first identified,

0:41:040:41:06

so science and medical science had really come on leaps and bounds.

0:41:060:41:10

And all of a sudden, people were beginning to survive.

0:41:100:41:14

It was extraordinary.

0:41:140:41:16

MUSIC: It's A Sin by Pet Shop Boys

0:41:160:41:19

In 1987, amidst the HIV crisis and growing calls for equality,

0:41:280:41:33

Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Government

0:41:330:41:35

went to war with the gay community.

0:41:350:41:38

Children who need to be taught to respect traditional moral values

0:41:380:41:43

are being taught that they have an inalienable right to be gay.

0:41:430:41:47

# It's a, it's a

0:41:480:41:49

# It's a sin... #

0:41:490:41:52

In the Local Government Act of 1988, Section 28 prohibited

0:41:520:41:57

the "teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended

0:41:570:42:01

"family relationship."

0:42:010:42:03

What they meant by

0:42:030:42:04

"pretended family relationships" was vague, and teachers risked breaking

0:42:040:42:09

the law if they acknowledged that gay love was possible.

0:42:090:42:13

Section 28 basically said you cannot talk about

0:42:130:42:18

non-heterosexual relationships at school.

0:42:180:42:22

The media eagerly stoked the prejudices of a public

0:42:220:42:25

already alarmed by HIV.

0:42:250:42:28

I obviously don't want children taught

0:42:280:42:30

that the gay and lesbian lifestyle is natural or normal.

0:42:300:42:34

It is not. It never has been and it never will be.

0:42:340:42:37

People, I think, thought what we were stopping people doing was

0:42:370:42:40

talking about hardcore sexual acts, and explaining them

0:42:400:42:44

in graphic detail and maybe putting on a porno or something in schools.

0:42:440:42:48

Obviously not. Heterosexual sex education doesn't do that,

0:42:480:42:51

so why on earth would same-sex sex education do that?

0:42:510:42:54

Of course, it wouldn't.

0:42:540:42:56

It was very clear that both

0:42:560:42:59

this was a piece of legislation that was deeply stigmatising of

0:42:590:43:03

people's lives, of whole communities,

0:43:030:43:07

the idea that you can talk about

0:43:070:43:09

"pretended family relationships".

0:43:090:43:12

That's a deeply offensive thing.

0:43:120:43:14

So it literally meant that

0:43:140:43:15

funding for things... for switchboards, help,

0:43:150:43:18

community centres, plays that were maybe trying to

0:43:180:43:20

raise awareness about homophobia, all these things.

0:43:200:43:23

They all got their funding cut,

0:43:230:43:25

everything got shut down, closed, and that was just horrendous.

0:43:250:43:28

Outraged gay men and lesbians came together across the UK

0:43:310:43:34

and protested against the intolerance of tolerance.

0:43:340:43:39

They even crashed the Six O'Clock News.

0:43:390:43:42

In the House of Lords a vote is taking place...

0:43:420:43:45

SHOUTS FROM SIDE

0:43:450:43:46

..now on a challenge to the poll tax.

0:43:460:43:48

Stop Section 28!

0:43:480:43:50

But it was vulnerable gay teenage kids

0:43:500:43:52

at school in the 1980s and '90s who suffered.

0:43:520:43:56

I came out to my guidance teachers, and when

0:43:560:43:59

I eventually actually told them I was gay, when I stopped denying

0:43:590:44:01

it and used those words, they said,

0:44:010:44:05

"We can't talk to you about this."

0:44:050:44:07

I said, "What do you mean? You talk to me about everything else,

0:44:070:44:10

"why can't you talk to me about this?"

0:44:100:44:12

And they said, "We can't talk to you about this

0:44:120:44:14

"because of a piece of legislation called Section 28."

0:44:140:44:17

If I was being bullied, teachers couldn't actually say,

0:44:170:44:20

"Well, you need to stop that because being gay is OK."

0:44:200:44:24

So, they might just have been able to say, "Shoosht."

0:44:240:44:27

But they weren't actually able to deal with the root of the problem.

0:44:270:44:31

My best friend at school, who knew he was gay,

0:44:310:44:35

and I knew he was gay and we were very, very, very close,

0:44:350:44:38

you know...

0:44:380:44:39

I'm here and I'm alive now. He's not, he's dead.

0:44:390:44:43

He committed suicide when he was 21, and who's to say

0:44:430:44:47

whether he would have made a different choice if he'd had more

0:44:470:44:50

support at school from the people who were there to support him?

0:44:500:44:54

In 1999, Scotland entered a new era, with the re-establishment

0:44:570:45:02

of the Scottish Parliament.

0:45:020:45:04

One of its first acts was to repeal Clause 28.

0:45:040:45:07

It was the first chance to declare to the watching world that

0:45:080:45:12

a devolved Scotland would be a progressive and modern country,

0:45:120:45:16

a liberal and caring place

0:45:160:45:18

which didn't discriminate against its minorities.

0:45:180:45:21

But a businessman and born-again Christian called Brian Souter

0:45:240:45:27

didn't fancy this vision of Scotland.

0:45:270:45:31

Nor did the biggest-selling Scottish newspaper.

0:45:310:45:33

Nor the major religions.

0:45:330:45:36

I hesitate to use the word perversion,

0:45:360:45:38

but let's face up to the truth of this situation, that's what it is.

0:45:380:45:42

With Brian Souter's money, they started a full-on campaign

0:45:420:45:46

to Keep The Clause.

0:45:460:45:48

Don't want to promote homosexuality in our schools.

0:45:480:45:50

-It's a disgrace what they're doing.

-It's ridiculous, isn't it?

0:45:500:45:54

-Things are just getting out of hand.

-It's terrible what they're doing.

0:45:540:45:57

It was a battle that would define

0:45:570:45:59

what kind of country Scotland would become.

0:45:590:46:02

Brian Souter is bankrolling

0:46:040:46:06

a crusade against the Executive's plans to repeal

0:46:060:46:09

Section 28 - a law which currently prevents schools from promoting

0:46:090:46:13

the acceptability of a homosexual lifestyle.

0:46:130:46:16

I'd walk down the street

0:46:160:46:17

and in just about every window, there was these,

0:46:170:46:20

"Keep the clause, save our children."

0:46:200:46:23

You know, and it felt...

0:46:230:46:25

I felt hated, I felt despised,

0:46:250:46:27

I felt like a Jew walking down the street and seeing swastikas.

0:46:270:46:31

There was massive bill posters all over the place -

0:46:310:46:34

there was one round the corner at the supermarket

0:46:340:46:36

and there was one up at the primary school where our youngest, Gillian,

0:46:360:46:40

was going at the time, basically saying that our family was wrong,

0:46:400:46:43

that I was an evil person,

0:46:430:46:45

that I had no right to be bringing up children.

0:46:450:46:48

Protecting children? Against what?

0:46:480:46:50

Against homosexuality? What are they talking about?

0:46:500:46:52

Paedophilia? What are they talking about here?

0:46:520:46:55

It was a terrible thing to do.

0:46:550:46:58

Having plastered almost every billboard in Scotland

0:46:580:47:01

with his provocative posters, Brian Souter upped the ante.

0:47:010:47:06

The boss of Stagecoach, millionaire Brian Souter, said he's going to pay

0:47:060:47:10

for a private referendum in Scotland on the repeal of Section 28.

0:47:100:47:13

The prospect of an unofficial referendum on

0:47:140:47:17

whether to keep the clause put intense pressure

0:47:170:47:19

on the fledgling MSPs in the new Scottish Parliament.

0:47:190:47:24

I think it was the last gasp, if you like, of the old Scotland,

0:47:240:47:28

and that wasn't just Conservative Scotland,

0:47:280:47:31

which still existed to some extent, but Labour Scotland,

0:47:310:47:34

which had always included quite a strong conservative element.

0:47:340:47:38

You know, working-class Scots did not tend to be liberal

0:47:380:47:41

on issues like homosexuality.

0:47:410:47:44

Souter held his unofficial referendum.

0:47:460:47:50

But the parliament held its nerve.

0:47:500:47:52

More than one million people opposed repeal in a ballot

0:47:520:47:55

privately funded by the wealthy businessman Brian Souter,

0:47:550:47:58

but the majority didn't vote.

0:47:580:48:00

And despite the fury of the Daily Record,

0:48:000:48:03

the result was an irrelevance.

0:48:030:48:06

Then in June 2000, Clause 28 was finally removed from Scots law.

0:48:060:48:12

Gay activists celebrated as Section 28 was finally scrapped in Scotland.

0:48:120:48:17

Next step, they said, to persuade Westminster to follow suit.

0:48:170:48:20

Thankfully, common sense prevailed and people went,

0:48:200:48:23

"You know what,

0:48:230:48:25

"there's starving children in the world - who cares

0:48:250:48:27

"who's sleeping with who, Brian Souter?

0:48:270:48:30

"Clearly you're not getting enough."

0:48:300:48:32

The new Scottish Parliament had set an important precedent,

0:48:360:48:39

it had stood up for the rights of gay people.

0:48:390:48:43

And the debate itself had forced notoriously uptight Scots

0:48:430:48:47

to think about gay issues.

0:48:470:48:49

It was discussed openly,

0:48:510:48:53

but it was forced onto the agenda

0:48:530:48:55

by the actions of the Scottish Executive, and it

0:48:550:48:57

had to be discussed, and the Souter referendum

0:48:570:48:59

meant there was discussion in the media and at public events around the country.

0:48:590:49:04

And I think, however unpleasant and difficult it seemed at the time,

0:49:040:49:08

it was quite a cathartic experience.

0:49:080:49:11

MUSIC: Only Girl (In The World) by Rihanna

0:49:110:49:13

# Want you to make me feel like I'm the only girl in the world

0:49:130:49:16

# Like I'm the only one that you'll ever love

0:49:160:49:20

# Like I'm the only one who knows your heart... #

0:49:200:49:25

Since the millennium,

0:49:250:49:26

Scottish attitudes to homosexuality have changed dramatically.

0:49:260:49:31

Surveys find that two-thirds of Scots

0:49:310:49:34

now actively approve of equal marriage.

0:49:340:49:37

And more than ever, it's homophobia that's taboo.

0:49:370:49:40

Glasgow and Edinburgh have healthy gay scenes,

0:49:440:49:48

with bars in Dundee and Aberdeen and LGBT groups in the Highlands.

0:49:480:49:52

But you must know that - surely you've been in gay bar by now?

0:49:530:49:58

MUSIC: Hung Up by Madonna

0:49:580:50:00

Well, hello there, darling...

0:50:000:50:02

You've never been in a gay bar in Scotland before?

0:50:020:50:04

Oh! Follow me!

0:50:040:50:06

# Time goes by, so slowly

0:50:060:50:09

# Time goes by, so slowly... #

0:50:090:50:12

Fix my camel toe, don't be lookin' at it...

0:50:120:50:15

People think that in a gay bar it's just gay guys dancing to Cher and Madonna -

0:50:200:50:25

dance, dance, dance... That just never happens.

0:50:250:50:28

CHEERING

0:50:380:50:40

See? Gay men playing sports...

0:50:400:50:43

Hello, how are you?

0:50:460:50:48

They love playing with balls, too...

0:50:480:50:50

# Waiting for your call, baby night and day

0:50:520:50:55

# I'm fed up... #

0:50:550:50:57

MUSIC PLAYS: We Are Family by Sister Sledge

0:50:570:51:01

# I got all my sisters with me

0:51:010:51:04

# We are family

0:51:040:51:08

# Get up everybody and sing

0:51:080:51:13

# We are family

0:51:130:51:17

# I got all my sisters... #

0:51:170:51:18

Civic Scotland is finally making amends for the wrongs of the past,

0:51:180:51:22

and Scotland's gay community is now part of the wider Scottish family in a very real way.

0:51:220:51:28

In 2005, the Scottish Parliament legislated for civil partnerships

0:51:300:51:34

for gay couples.

0:51:340:51:36

In 2006, same-sex couples were given the right to adopt.

0:51:360:51:41

In 2014, at the opening of the Commonwealth Games,

0:51:420:51:46

our country was being beamed out across the world to an audience of millions,

0:51:460:51:50

and Scotland happily promoted its new openness with a kilted gay kiss.

0:51:500:51:57

-PA:

-Here's to equality in Scotland!

0:51:570:52:01

It projected a view of Scotland that said

0:52:030:52:06

Scotland is a liberal, inclusive and tolerant country - which it now is.

0:52:060:52:11

Scotland has always been a romantic country, a sentimental country.

0:52:160:52:22

A place many gay people have always had a great love for, and a sense of belonging to.

0:52:220:52:28

And last year, Scotland finally fully embraced them,

0:52:320:52:35

when the Scottish Parliament had a vote to legalise gay marriage.

0:52:350:52:39

And as if to highlight how much our society had changed,

0:52:410:52:44

the lesbian making the most personal plea for tenderness,

0:52:440:52:48

love and kindness, was the leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

0:52:480:52:53

We have an opportunity today to tell our nation's children that

0:52:530:52:57

no matter where they live and no matter who it is that they love,

0:52:570:53:00

there is nothing that they can't do.

0:53:000:53:03

I was terrified about making that speech,

0:53:030:53:05

but it was trying to explain that

0:53:050:53:07

so many people out there take completely for granted

0:53:070:53:10

the idea that if they find the love of their life,

0:53:100:53:12

then they can marry them. It wasn't on offer to me.

0:53:120:53:15

It was something I never grew up thinking I would be able to have.

0:53:150:53:18

Yes - 105. No - 18.

0:53:180:53:22

There were no abstentions and the

0:53:220:53:25

Marriage And Civil Partnership Scotland Bill is passed.

0:53:250:53:28

CHEERING

0:53:280:53:30

When the vote was read out at the very end,

0:53:300:53:33

the people in the gallery, the campaigners,

0:53:330:53:36

stood up and applauded.

0:53:360:53:38

They're not supposed to,

0:53:430:53:45

the presiding officers don't really like that, but the MSPs,

0:53:450:53:48

in turn, stood up and applauded the campaigners in the gallery,

0:53:480:53:50

and again there was a real sense of that connection -

0:53:500:53:53

the idea of a parliament

0:53:530:53:54

that shares power with the people, the way it's supposed to.

0:53:540:53:58

I just fell on my knees. I went down on my knees and I just cried.

0:54:000:54:05

I'm getting emotional thinking about it, but, yeah,

0:54:050:54:08

I get very emotional... It was a huge, huge thing for me.

0:54:080:54:11

I came back up upstairs to my office, afterwards,

0:54:110:54:14

and I just burst into tears.

0:54:140:54:15

It completely surprised me,

0:54:150:54:17

cos I'm not usually one for bursting into tears

0:54:170:54:19

about passing a law, do you know what I mean?

0:54:190:54:21

CHEERING

0:54:260:54:28

In the first six months of 2015,

0:54:290:54:32

over 1,250 same-sex couples have got married in Scotland.

0:54:320:54:37

And men marrying men, and women marrying women,

0:54:370:54:41

has become an everyday event.

0:54:410:54:43

A fantastic, moving, beautiful, tear-stained, gushing,

0:54:430:54:47

life-affirming, everyday event.

0:54:470:54:50

For us, it was a really important place to get married.

0:54:500:54:53

Didn't think of doing it anywhere else.

0:54:530:54:55

It feels significant, and the closer it gets, it feels more significant.

0:54:550:55:00

I just find it very emotional,

0:55:010:55:03

much more emotional...

0:55:030:55:05

Are you crying already?

0:55:050:55:07

-I am crying.

-He's crying already.

-LAUGHTER

0:55:070:55:10

We got married as the bells were tolling

0:55:120:55:15

on the 31st of December,

0:55:150:55:16

with the First Minister and Patrick Harvie from the Green Party

0:55:160:55:19

as our witnesses.

0:55:190:55:22

All the politics, all the pain,

0:55:220:55:24

all the personal suffering,

0:55:240:55:27

all the shame, all the guilt, all the negative stuff that had

0:55:270:55:31

gone before us for 20 years disappeared in that moment.

0:55:310:55:35

Scotland was a fairer place,

0:55:350:55:38

we're more in love than we ever have been,

0:55:380:55:42

and it's just an enormous celebration. It was incredible.

0:55:420:55:45

-Hello!

-How are you? Hello.

0:55:450:55:47

CHATTER

0:55:490:55:50

APPLAUSE

0:55:500:55:53

Good afternoon, everyone, we welcome you here to Scotland,

0:55:530:55:56

to Glasgow's Art Club

0:55:560:55:59

and to this, their wedding day.

0:55:590:56:01

Equality is not a luxury,

0:56:010:56:03

equality is not the cashmere bed socks of politics,

0:56:030:56:06

equality is a basic human right.

0:56:060:56:09

Gay people's liberation is everybody's liberation.

0:56:090:56:13

I, John, take you, Stefan, to be my lawfully wedded husband.

0:56:130:56:18

To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse,

0:56:180:56:23

for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,

0:56:230:56:26

until death do us part.

0:56:260:56:28

I, Stefan, take you, John, to be my lawfully wedded husband.

0:56:300:56:35

To have and to hold...

0:56:350:56:36

-VOICE BREAKING:

-..from this day forward, for better, for worse,

0:56:380:56:43

for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,

0:56:430:56:46

until death do us part.

0:56:460:56:49

HE SNIFFS

0:56:490:56:51

This year, a European human rights monitor called The Rainbow Alliance

0:56:510:56:55

classed Scotland as the best country in Europe for LGBTI equality.

0:56:550:57:02

Scotland has excelled itself.

0:57:020:57:05

The legal protections that people now have are world-leading,

0:57:060:57:10

and that is not hyperbole.

0:57:100:57:13

Scottishness and LGBT identity

0:57:130:57:16

are not uneasy bedfellows in the way that they used to be.

0:57:160:57:19

Certainly we've still got a lot more work to do,

0:57:190:57:22

but I would say I'm very proud to be Scottish,

0:57:220:57:26

and proud to be Scottish LGBT.

0:57:260:57:29

I'm hereby delighted to declare that you, John, and you, Stefan,

0:57:300:57:33

are now married, and may share your first kiss as husband and husband!

0:57:330:57:38

CHEERING

0:57:380:57:40

MUSIC: At Last by Etta James

0:57:400:57:42

# At last

0:57:420:57:44

# My love has come along... #

0:57:480:57:52

We've grown from a intolerant country

0:57:520:57:54

where gay people were criminalised, despised and discriminated against,

0:57:540:57:59

to a welcoming place, where men can fall in love with men,

0:57:590:58:03

women can fall in love with women,

0:58:030:58:06

and have their love recognised and celebrated and protected by Scotland.

0:58:060:58:11

And live happily, gaily ever after.

0:58:110:58:15

# At last... #

0:58:150:58:16

It was great seeing everybody that we know and love, crying, smiling...

0:58:160:58:20

And I think they were all there with us.

0:58:200:58:22

It's absolutely amazing, absolutely loved it.

0:58:220:58:25

So, tell me, Stefan, how does it feel?

0:58:250:58:27

It feels lovely. I'm going to cry again!

0:58:270:58:30

# My heart was wrapped up in clover

0:58:300:58:34

# The night I looked at you... #

0:58:370:58:42

Celebrating the postwar history of Scotland's gay community which, over 70 years, has seen gay men and lesbians transform from Scotland's pariahs to Scotland's pride. Using a rich mix of eyewitness testimony, jaw-dropping archive and historical research, the documentary charts radically changing attitudes. Scotland was over a decade behind England and Wales in decriminalising homosexuality but now has the best gay rights in Europe: nothing short of a revolution.