Seventy-one years ago, a man and a woman got married in All Saints' Church, Fortuneswell, in Portland. He was on leave fro the Army, she was a shopgirl. And they lived, if not happily ever after, happily until the mid-1980s when they died in fairly quick succession. Along the way, thirteen years after getting hitched, they had me. Wrapped me in swaddling clothes and laid me in an incubator. And there you are. Happy memories.
In 1973, as I was just coming to the end of school and waiting for my exam results, there was a fire in New Orleans. As far as I know it never made the headlines in Britain, and reporting in the USA was faily sparse, because although it was the worst fire in New Orleans history, most of its victims were gay: iot was an arson attack on a gay bar.
When people talk about Islamic attitudes to homosexuality, with the stonings and hangings and what-have-you which some countries indulge in (as do some "Christian" countries like Uganda) they tend to refer to them as "7th century" attitudes. But it's a sobering thought that the Upstairs Lounge massacre was in 1973, when homosexual acts had only become legal in England five years earlier (and were still illegal in Scotland). Perhaps when we look at pictures of Iranian gays hanging from cranes, we should think of it as a 1970s attitude rather than a 7th century one.