A new BBC/Open University co-production will take a look back at the 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality – from the perspective of the people who lived through them. Prejudice & Pride: The People's History of LGBTQ Britain begins on Thursday 27 July, on BBC Four, at 9pm.
In 1967 the Sexual Offences Act partially decriminalised homosexuality, offering lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people the opportunity to start living openly for the first time.
A transformative 50 years
Presented by Stephen K Amos and Susan Calman, this unique series features LGBTQ people from across the UK as they reflect on the time through the objects that defined their lives during this transformative 50 years.
Episode 1 (27/7/17) explores the years between 1967 and 1987 and reveals the extraordinary stories behind crowdsourced objects – from a rare collection of the first openly gay magazine (featuring a virtually unknown young singer, David Bowie) to letters from the parents of those who came out following the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.
In episode 2 (3/8/17) these crowdsourced artefacts include a copy of the controversial schoolbook, Jenny Lives with Eric and Martin, naval discharge papers and even a pair of Ugg boots. The second episode looks specifically at the last 30 years – when many public figures took it upon themselves to stand up for LGBTQ rights.
The series charts the story of ordinary people in extraordinary times, depicting the highs and the lows of being themselves. Professor of Sociology and Intimacy, Jacqui Gabb is joint academic consultant on the series and is also lead of the Private lives, public intimacies stream of the Citizenship and Governance Strategic Research Area at the OU.
“The years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality have seen many milestones and memorable events. Looking back on them helps us appreciate how different a world it was in 1967 and the steps that have been taken since, towards fairness and equal status for everyone, whatever their sexual orientation. It also calls attention to areas where more progress is needed and to those whose sexuality gets obscured or even further demonised in the midst of advances of equality rights.
“This programme captures moments and memorabilia from the intervening years since the law changed, taken from the point of view of the ordinary men and women who lived through them. Whilst the headline news is often the most obvious, these stories are poignant as they give a fuller picture of the changing face of society and the day-to day struggles faced by LGBTQ people over this period, as individuals and the LGBTQ community gain understanding and recognition.”
Professor Gabb, is also co-investigator on a new research project to examine the impact of family relationships on the mental health of young people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer (LGBQ).
To support the BBC/OU series, the OU’s OpenLearn pages have extensive resources and information on topics related to this series including articles on queer kinship, aversion therapy, criminalisation and LGBTQ rights. There is also a timeline charting landmarks of LGBTQ history.
This series was commissioned by Broadcast and Partnerships (OMIL) and is supported by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences with particular relevance to Q07 BSc (Honours) Psychology, Q84 BSc (Honours) Psychology with Counselling, Q93 BSc (Honours) Psychology and Law, X09 Foundation Degree in Counselling and Q69 BA (Honours) Social Science.
- Commissioned by: Dr Caroline Ogilvie
- Academic Consultants: Prof. Jacqui Gabb & Prof. Darren Langdridge
- Media Fellow: Sue Hemmings
- Broadcast Project Manager: David Bloomfield
- Online Project Producer: Freyja Taylor-Law