Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Gay Childhood in Derbyshire

On 25 March 2009, Narvel Annable, a local author, spoke to an audience in Derby about growing up gay in the 50s and 60s. He has kindly donated notes from his speech.

This is a fine moment for me! Here we are - gathered here this afternoon in Derby - me facing an audience about to announce that I am a homosexual! Who would have thought it? At long last, after all these years, I think we have become respectable!

It’s been a painful road since those days, long ago when I was standing in the Corporation Hotel passageway - a scruffy chicken – hoping to meet other chickens. Homosexuals – restricted to that passageway - were not allowed in any other part of that public house. The law, prejudice, ignorance, bigotry and discrimination have made life very difficult for many of us over this last half century.

I was thrilled to be invited by Derby City Council and be a part of this encouraging and commendable event which, among other laudable aims, seeks to give gay men and lesbians the collegiate support denied to me during the years when I was isolated - when I was a frightened, closeted teacher.

You can read the rest of Narvel's words in the Personal Histories section of our website here.

No comments: