Posted by: Admin | December 1, 2010

Tracks of my Years – 1978

I remember jumping up and down and singing along to this when the Tom Robinson Band played at, if I remember correctly, Northants Cricket Ground. I was 16 and just becoming politically aware: buying the feminist paper, Spare Rib and realising that the word “gay” wasn’t actually a synonym for extremely happy.

The legal age of consent for homosexual men was not brought into line with heterosexual couples in the UK until November 2000. In 1977 it was still 21. (Interestingly, there is no “age of consent” for lesbians, possibly due to the refusal of Queen Victoria to believe that such a thing as female homosexuality existed when the Age of Consent Laws were changed in 1885)

When I was a teenager, the idea that someone could be gay was, at best, a joke. It certainly wasn’t talked about, except in terms of the perceived “waste” of a handsome young man who wasn’t interested in girls! Watching this video today, I was quite shocked by the bitterness of the performance. I don’t remember that. I remember anger, but it didn’t really sink in to my young mind. But then I’m not gay, and empathy only goes so far when you’re 16.

So in honour of WORLD AIDS DAY today, take it away, Tom.


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