LGBT peace activism

Susan considers the links between her sexuality and peace activism.

Duration 2:41

Badge on Story Page from Intentional Promotions collection created by Jackie Clayton and Rob Preston


SUSAN: In the early 80s I was involved in some of this women’s activities at Greenham Common. By that time I was living in Yorkshire, and… I can remember standing on the streets of Harrogate singing songs with a group of about six or eight women, bringing awareness to the people of Harrogate [laughs] but it was significant in Harrogate because of Menwith Hill and the nearby – you know there were also demonstrations going on at Menwith Hill and camp set up there for a while that, y’know I used to attend demos there. And I spent Christmas at Greenham once, in a very small tent [laughs] By that time, connecting it to the LGBT stuff – I didn’t come out till I was 30. So the, all the Quaker stuff really is part of my heterosexual life, and the… peace activism sort of, from involvement with Menwith Hill and Greenham Common is very much to do with my new life as a lesbian, and feminism and around women. So I spent, yes a Christmas – I can’t remember which year, probably about ’82 or I should think, in a small tent, in the snow [laughs] at Greenham! For a couple of nights. Family thought I was mad, but completely understand, cos of the whole background, standing up for what you believe in – or in this case, lying in a cold tent, with your big woolly socks on.

INTERVIEWER: Do you feel then that your sexuality did really affect your relationship with peace activism or pacificism, or maybe affect it in any way?

SUSAN: I don’t know, really, how I connect the two. Because I think my feminism’s more significant in the sort of things I got involved in. So I know a lot of lesbians were active in Greenham, but so were a lot of straight women, and I might well have been active at Greenham if I’d still been heterosexual in my interests, so I don’t know, really, how the two connect.