Peter will speak at our full day of talks about LGBT History on “(The Campaign for Homosexual Equality) – Punting with Pride”.
Peter Scott Presland has been a gay journalist, playwright, cabaret performer and songwriter since 1971. As a writer he has won a double Fringe First and been twice nominated for Best Musical, once in Britain and once in Canada. His plays include ‘Latecomer’, ‘Leather’, and ‘Teatrolley – or a Midsummer Night’s Scream’. His short stories have appeared in several anthologies, and he was a regular columnist for ‘Capital Gay’ and ‘Axiom’ magazine. Since 2010 he has been working on the ‘official’ history of the doyen of LGBT campaigning organisations, the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, and its times. Conceived as a trilogy, ‘Amiable Warriors’ is encyclopaedic in its scope but no hagiography. The first volume, A Space to Breathe, was published in 2015 and covers the period of 1954 – 1973; it draws heavily on the CHE Archives at the LSE, and on interviews with over 20 people who were around at the time. “History should be living, inspirational, partisan, gossipy and scurrilous,” he says. “And to hell with Queer Studies!”
Peter will tell the untold story of the Oxford Gay Action Group (1972-74), which straddled CHE and GLF, Town and Gown, and was pioneering in producing gay theatre and founding the first gay switchboard in the country. Colourful characters and lots of good stories from one who was there!