have gone to university.
Marrying my father started her climb up the social ladder and by time I was growing up, she probably would have viewed herself as lower middle class. I was born and
brought up in Sheffield, the home of the National Union of Mineworkers and watched as the 1970’s recession closed down shops, the steelworks for which Sheffield is famous and felt the fear as the police riot vans parked up, Billy
Elliot style, in the city centre. In the miners’ strike, my mother was firmly on the side of Margaret Thatcher.
By the 1980’s, I was living in Bath and was a teacher at the beginning of my career. Once again, Margaret Thatcher’s influence impacted my life, this time in a very personal way. The Conservative government introduced the Local Government Act, which included the notorious “Clause 28”. This forbade local councils from “intentionally promoting homosexuality” and specifically prevented schools doing
anything that showed “acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.
This piece of legislation changed my life forever. It was the starting point for my life as a “reluctant activist”. I had already become involved in the local lesbian and gay group and helped to start Living Springs MCC in Bath. The then
new television station, Channel 4, started a controversial series called “Out on Tuesday” and I appeared on one of the shows, which discussed different types of lesbian and gay relationships. The show aired after I had left teaching, but colleagues at the school said it caused quite a sensation with pupils and staff alike. This was the beginning of my “media career”.
For over 20 years now, I have been willing to be a public and visible lesbian for those in our community who cannot be “out”. I have spoken of God’s inclusive love for all people and I hope I have made a difference.
Ironically, it seems the Iron Lady helped to make me who I am today.