Marion Richardson: Full Interview

Duration 43:41


Marion Richardson
Interview by Ray Larman
12th August 2019

RL: This is Ray Larman for West Yorkshire Queer Stories. It’s the 12th of August 2019 and I’m here with Marion, who is going to introduce herself.

MR: Hi, I’m Marion. I’m a lesbian mother. Aged 55. I’m Scottish. And I’ve lived in Leeds for a long time, since 1988, when I moved up from Brixton, South London.

RL: And how do you identify, Marion?

MR: Oh, I identify as lesbian.

RL: Okay. Okay, so we were gonna start by talking a little bit about your time in Brixton and the Rebel Dykes, so can you tell me about that?

MR: Yeah. Rebel Dykes is, is a film. It’s recorded history. It’s a project. It’s a collection of women from the 1980s in Brixton recording their own history via a film, which has been produced predominantly by my good friend Siobhan Fahey.

RL: So, tell me what it was like being in Brixton in the ‘80s, being part of this.

MR: Oh it was absolutely exciting, everything and anything was possible. I was involved in the squatting movement in Brixton and involved in, it’s got squatting advice sessions, women-only, in particular, on a Friday afternoon at 121 Railton Road, the Anarchist Bookshop in Brixton. We had a fantastic time. We basically created our own little community. Yeah, so me and my friend Jill Allet, who unfortunately died about nine years ago, we would run an, a housing advice session for women, so we’d have women come in off the streets, sometimes with children, y’know single mums desperate to be housed, and they obviously heard about us through some form of, y’know some medium on the grapevine, and they would come in and ask us for help. So, we would gather information about them, y’know to assess how, y’know what their mental health was basically, what their situation was, the practicalities. And quite frankly, that evening, or the next day, certainly that weekend, we would go and open a squat for them; turn the electricity on, the gas, the plumbing, secure the locks. And that was the start of those individual women’s or sometimes a small group of women, that was the start of their integration if you like into a very supportive, very radical, hands on, self-serving, self-governing, if you like, radical community in, in Brixton.

So, we would have… we ran our own café every Saturday night, and we’d have cabaret, music, fund-raising – cos we ran our own creche – bookshop, food co-op. And just had an absolutely fantastic time. It was really political, really creative, really hands on and really applied kind of functional doing things that people, women, needed, y’know. Well, everything really, y’know? Socialising, hands on economic and practical help. And I saw… witnessed really kind of insecure… vulnerable women blossom into really active, really kinda much more confident individuals, and, yeah, I – Brixton changed my life, being involved in it, I’m really proud about what we, we did in the 1980s in London. And of course, all that was set, set against y’know the backdrop of Thatcherite policies, HIV, Clause 28, just y’know everything an attack against us, y’know, gay people and women and Greenham Common.

So, we did lots of things. I was involved in the production of an anarchist feminist magazine called Feminax, which was an attempt to take the piss out of some, some… was it contraception or? No, Feminax, it was like medication to reduce painful periods, so we were kinda taking the piss out of that a bit, anyway, we called it Feminax. I, I used to take, as well as being involved in the production of the magazine, with my friend Roseanne Addleman [?] – who is now a published author and still lives in London, a very, very good friend – I used to take copies of the magazine to Greenham Common, along with supplies that some of the women that I knew there needed, so I’d get an order, ‘Marion’s coming, she’s bringing magazines, can you bring –‘ y’know, toilet rolls, cans of lager, tins of beans, whatever. So, I would go back and forward between Brixton and Greenham doing that and yeah, so but – I felt more comfortable being in Brixton and I felt that the work that we were doing… was… supportive to, to loads of people. The Anarchist Bookshop supported everybody, y’know, whether it was women, gay people, men, straight men, whatever, yeah. But obviously I was a dyke and a feminist, so obviously I got involved with the anarchist feminist lot and now I, yeah it was mixed together.

I lived in the first women-only squat to my knowledge in Brixton in the 1980s, and at that time I was the only lesbian, so that was a wee bit challenging. But after a few years there was many more lesbians on the scene.

RL: How was it challenging to start with?

MR: Well there was one woman in particular, who now works for the Evening Standard – Australian – she was basically homophobic and she really upset me, cos I was – I’d come out in Brighton, where I’d gone to as a university student before I did move up to Brixton, but… I felt a bit isolated being the only lesbian in the women-only house. And some people I was more of a threat than the heterosexual women because, well basically they hadn’t much experience of gay people. So er, but anyway, there was a lot of learning, a lot of processing going on for women and men of all descriptions at that time in 1980s Brixton.

What really changed things was some women started to come back to London from Greenham, and a whole load of them, about 30, anywhere between 20 and 30 women, predominantly dykes, came back to London and they decided to come to Brixton cos they knew we had this structure, this supportive network in existence. And they knew they wo- if they came to Brixton they’d get help and they’d be able to open squats and integrate into this alternative community that we created. So, that’s what happened, and I felt less isolated as a lesbian cos there was suddenly loads of other lesbians, and the whole scene just kicked off, we had such a fantastic creative, political, music, just everything time. We had two bands – the Sluts From Outer Space and Lost Lassies – that was two bands, music, we had such fun doing that.

RL: Were you in those bands?

MR: No, I wasn’t. I, I was – I sang on my own, in the main, cos I’m more kind of folky, so I would sing at the cabaret evenings. I’ve got a wonderful friend, Lucy Martinez, she’s Spanish, she’s a dyke, she’s still living – and she’s an artist as well – she’s still living in Brixton. I used to sing with Lucy, Spanish stuff and y’know play acoustic guitar and stuff at the… I wanted to be in one of those bands, but I never did quite do that, I was always doing the more folky, folky stuff I suppose, and y’know that’s what I still do these days.

RL: Could you tell me a bit more about how you were organising, there seem to be kind of definite structures in place, but where did they kind of come from?

MR: Well, we…

RL: How were you working together with everyone?

MR: We worked together, collaboratively. We would have… well we had house meetings in each individual squat sort of thing, y’know to organise the kinda domestic things. We would have meetings at the Anarchist Bookshop… Would it – things just happened. It was, it was absolutely incredibly, y’know like, we would – it seemed like every Saturday we’d be on some sorta demonstration, y’know… we were always active, we were always talking, we were always round each other’s houses, we were always, always – we didn’t have mobile phones in them days, so – but we always knew what was happening, cos we saw and talked to each other all the time, so you’d see most peo-, most women at least once a week on the demo, then you’d be socialising, then, y’know, people would volunteer – everything would be organised in advance, y’know, or, or sometimes we would do things at short notice, but we’d, we’d have something happening every Saturday at the Anarchist Bookshop. We’d have that cabaret going, and before long the music and the singing and the courting and the drinking and the dancing and… Yeah, we’d, we’d have the café and food, so… Sitting around, eating, talking, discussing, planning, just generally it was our lives y’know, it was our lives, y’know. There was no kind of, anybody taking the lead sorta thing… we did things collectively and agreeing, agreed ways of doing things that just flowed.

RL: How were you, how were you funding what you were doing?

MR: Er, well the Anarchist Bookshop on Railton Road was a squat, had been a squat for years.

RL: So, was money coming in from the bookshop?

MR: Yeah, a bit, yeah, obviously the bookshop would sell, but – in those days you didn’t pay for your electricity or your gas. If you opened a squat, you turned it on, obviously it was illegal. But in those days it was easy to do that, so… we all had a wee bit of money in our back pockets because of that, cos we didn’t have any bills. And, as I said before, we would, we bought food collectively and we had a food co-op in one of the squats, so we were able to eat well, together, collectively in our houses and generally. And of course, we got our fruit and vegetables from Brixton market, that was dead cheap in the 1980s. And fundraisers – those cabaret on Saturday nights were fundraisers for whatever cause, y’know. We didn’t have to raise money per se for squatting advice sessions sort of like, y’know I was free, giving of my time in order to do that work.

I mean, most of us were on the dole, at that time, and it was quite easy to be on the dole, at that time, so none of us needed to get a job. We all had, no, most, not all of us; we’d just kind of finished our degrees, hadn’t figured out what we wanted to do, except but be, be very political, cos it, y’know, it was the 1980s, there was so much going on, had to take a stand, getting a job was the last thing on our minds, y’know. So, feeling like you wanted to take control, take much more control over your life, rather than be a victim, if you like, y’know stand up against these – the Tory government, Thatcherite, Margaret Thatcher.

And I suppose – well y’know all the women that went to Greenham and stayed there, they weren’t going back and forward between jobs, y’know, y’know the job, back to Greenham – they made a conscious decision like I’m going to try and live like this and keep my life together. But, y’know, obviously, admittedly it was much easier to be on the dole those days, y’know, and that’s what kept us going. I mean, my income was £40 a week I think, and we had one of those UB40 cards, remember the band UB40? We used to play that loads, aye, oh I used to drink that loads and drink valerian tea [laughs uproariously] Anyway – it was like cheap drugs, y’know, and healthy drugs, y’know. I never did drugs. So, yeah – we were self-funding and… always helping each other out.

RL: So, you moved to Leeds after that?

MR: Yeah, I moved to Leeds in 1988.

RL: So, tell me a bit about sort of the difference between London and Leeds then.

MR: Right, okay. Well, I moved north, cos I’m Scottish – well that’s not because, but, I really had this big need to move north… Yeah, I really needed to get out of London. Y’know I suddenly felt I needed more landscape and something that was, yeah, certainly more rugged, rugged landscape, access to rugged landscape, well basically for my, to help my mental health, really. I’m a keen walker, I have been a keen walker for many years now, it’ll be 30-odd years. Anyway, my mum died when I was about 22/23, whilst I was still living in London, and I really, desperately needed to get out of London. It took me about two years to finally make the move, so in 1988 I did move up to Leeds, and it was such a relief. I moved into a women-only house on Roundhay Road – well, no, that road next to Potternewton Park, yeah. I moved into a women-only house full of revolutionary and radical feminists with a, connections to 1970s Leeds and all that that is, or was.

That was great, moving into that house, cos it was full of women, but it was completely different from Brixton. I identified as an anarchist feminist and they didn’t really like that very much. I wasn’t a man-hater, I’m not a man-hater, I never have been, never will be. So, we had a big difference of opinion about men. And – anyway, after a few months I moved out of there into… a smaller house and lived on my own, which was a good move. And slowly, over time, in a year, anywhere between six months to a year, I keyed in the people in Leeds who I… clicked or y’know had more in common with, and those were people from the 1 in 12 Club in Bradford and other anarchists, regardless of gender or sexuality… And I also, I was often involved in nuclear-free and independent Pacific campaign for a wee while in Leeds, with two very good friends of mine, Tulip Hambleton, from New Zealand, and Cat, who was from Australia. So yeah, they left to go back down to London and occasionally go back to Australia, New Zealand and do whatever they had chosen, and they had kindly gave me the tenancy to the house, so I was able to move out of a women-only house and live on my own in Chapeltown, which I loved actually.

Yeah, and from there I got involved in 1980s Leeds business cooperative scene. I was one of the directors of Roots Removals Cooperative Ltd, which was based on Meanwood Road in the 1980s. I had been involved in Women’s Moves and Pink Moves in London previously, also yeah – I did work in London, yeah, I did work though, yeah I did – I did removals for women and gay people in London and, when I moved up to Leeds I got a job at Roots Removal Cooperative Ltd. And, it wasn’t long after that that I moved into New Albion Housing Cooperative on Meanwood Road, where I got extremely involved, and I lived there very, very happily with my partner Maria, for approximately 11 years. And that was fantastic as well, and that’s, I suppose that’s another story.

RL: So, you’ve lived – you’ve lived in quite a few different sorts of housing then I guess, I mean, there was that point where you had that house to yourself, so what – ?

MR: Yeah, and that was privately rented.

RL: - was kind of the best kind of time for you, the best kind of housing for you? Like the co-op or the squat or living by yourself?

MR: All, actually, but obviously I needed to live by myself cos I needed more space and time to myself to process grief, y’know, about my mum dying and all the other things that kinda roll across you after that, for me personally. I loved living in Brixton, cos I felt like I was doing something to make change, make definite political change and help other people/women. And obviously, y’know, everyone that was involved were going through their own development processes, shall we call it. Y’know, growing up, figuring out who y’are, what y’think, what your political opinions are. And standing up for yourself. Like I said, 1980s Thatcherite government, it was bloody awful. We had so much to fight for, so much to fight against.

Anyway, I did love living in the housing co-op on Meanwood Road as well because… a) I was involved in it; b) it was a fantastic house, we all had lovely gardens; hands on, taking control over our own lives, a real good sense of community. Yeah, hands on, creating your own reality, I suppose, we had a communal back garden where we would eat together and sit around the bonfire on an evening. We also had a kids’ garden where kids could play separately, nice, but we could monitor it and looked after it and could see them, y’know all the time.

Y’know, it’s where I had my daughter, who is now 26; I gave birth to her when I lived in New Albion Housing Co-op. Yeah, it was really good, a really safe place to… kinda settle down and have children I suppose. Yeah, I’ve been with my partner now for 29 years. We got civilly partnershipped last year, and we’ve got two daughters and two grandchildren now, so I’m very, very proud of that. Yeah. And Maria and I, we moved out of New Albion Housing Co-op in 2001 when we bought a, when we bought our first house and we had to move out of Leeds cos of everything in Leeds was quite expensive and the only places we could afford were in the Colne Valley, near Huddersfield, which was fantastic because I love the Pennines and as I said before, I love walking. So, we moved to Marsden, where we had some friends, other lesbian mums actually, and I had friends – and I still have those friends – in the music scene, kind of folk music scene in the Colne Valley. And we lived there for 15 years in both Marsden and Slaithwaite, both transition towns, which was really interesting.

RL: So, there must’ve been a really difference – you’d lived in London before, you’d lived in Leeds, then suddenly you’re in much smaller towns, kind of in the countryside, surrounded by countryside, so what was that like?

MR: I, well – when, when I first moved to Marsden we, we did get some anti-gay... shit, if you like. You know, yeah, there was –

RL: What happened?

MR: Well, there was this local, group of local lads, who were kinda [pause] – trying to intimidate me, and actually… they were, it was a bit too close for comfort, but my very good friend Nell Griffiths who’s now a Labour councillor, in the Colne Valley, she kinda, she, she, she kind of, said, ‘right, we’ve got to do something about this Marion’. And so she – we, we planned a... an impromptu kind of visit to said lads’ parents’ house. So, Nell and I turned up, knocked on the door, kind of, with an air of, air and look of authority and a clipboard. And… we got into their living room, sat their parents down with said child, and frightened the living daylights out of them. Not aggressively, but kind of professionally, if you like. You know, ‘you do realise that what you’re doing is against the law, and that we can inform the police’, et cetera et cetera. So for me personally, it was great, my, my wonderful friend Nell… help me, and he – they – cos I was feeling quite vulnerable, cos, cos my daughter was only eight, and Maria was commuting back and forward, to Leeds, and a, a lot of the time I was on my own with my daughter who was eight and sometimes I felt quite vulnerable, cos I knew those lads were... you know, just at the end of the street. I mean, sometimes I would sit with a crowbar next to me, at my kitchen table, having dinner. You know, whilst I fed Tara and maybe her friend’d come round for tea, and I felt vulnerable enough to sit and, sit with my crowbar next to the door in case I needed it [laughs]

Anyway, that stopped after we had that visit, to that, that young lad’s house. And that was good. So, word on the street... in Marsden was: don’t mess with Marion, or her friend Nell Griffiths, they’ll come and get you. So, the youths started to behave. And my daughter Tara Richardson, at the local primary school… She didn’t take no shit either. Or any shit, rather. You know, she… on first meeting anyone, Tara, when she was that age, she’d say, ‘yes, I’m Tara Richardson, and I have two mums’. Very proud of it. Tara fell into, in with the right kind of, small group of very good friends which she, she still has to this day, she’s 26 now. And through Tara forging really good relationships with really good kids, I then met more people in Marsden who are also my friends now. And I felt less isolated and... well I didn’t feel isolated cos I had my good friends Nell and Roz – when you move to Marsden, it’s like, ‘uh oh, spot the incomer!’, you know. But after, after one, two years, I had locals who’d live there all their life saying to me ‘Marion, it’s like you’ve lived here all your life’. And I said, ‘well, I did grow up in a small village, so I know what it’s like, just after a wee while’.

You know, but you feel vulnerable... going to a wee village, even if it’s not kind of terribly posh or anything, you do, you do feel vulnerable as a, as a lesbian, as a gay person. Cos you’re just expecting... you’re expecting grief all the time, you know, and, whether it’s verbal or physical, you know, and we all know that. Even though I’m 55, you know, we still have to watch over our shoulder all the time, and, you know, you’re on the defensive all the time, even though I’m happy with myself, you know, there’s still the potential for the outside world or strangers or anybody to be aggressive towards you. So you’re on the, on the defensive aren’t you, we all walk about with a... kind of a shell about us, cos we have to keep ourselves safe, and be ready, in the event of having to, either having to physically defend yourself or verbally. It’s – that’s, that’s... something that is in our... psyche, as gay people, you know... yeah.

RL: Did you – you then moved out of Marsden -

MR: To Slaithwaite, Slaithwaite.

RL: Yes, and what was that like then?

MR: We moved from a small house in Marsden to a, a lovely house, in Slaithwaite, which I’ve struggled to give up with, over the few years. Yeah, we lived there for five years, lovely gardens, fantastic views across the Colne Valley, right next to the canal... boats on the canal. Marsden, Marsden and Slaithwaite are incredible because they’re called, what’s called transition towns and they’re very unusual in that they have the canal between Leeds and Manchester going through them, you know, so it’s very spectacular, it’s very, very... pretty. Kinda, almost idyllic. A bit like Hebden Bridge, but it’s much more real. There’s less yummy, yummy mummies in Marsden and Slaithwaite, it’s more, more affordable, so you get... all – you get, much, yeah – there’s more chance to meet local characters who’ve lived there for years, which is fantastic. You know, cos... it’s – that’s really important to me. People. Place. Landscape. Belonging. Y’know, so so…

Maria and I moved back to Leeds three years ago because our children were getting older, Tara moved back to Leeds, she’s 26 now, she moved back to Leeds when she was 17. And Maria’s daughter, well my daughter as well, I brought her up since she was seven, so – our oldest daughter has got two grandchildren – two children, rather. So, Maria and I are grandparents now, in fact our grandson was only born three days ago, on the 6th of August so I’m really excited about that. So, we’ve both, we’ve got a granddaughter and a grandson. My daughter doesn’t have any children yet, my daughter. Anyway, no pressure, from anywhere. So, yeah, we, I am really, really proud of my family and it’s a source of great pride and joy.

RL: So, what’s it like in this new role as a grandparent?

MR: Oh it’s quite tiring. Compared to being a mother [laughs] When you get an ear – well, I’m fit for 55… But yeah it’s, it’s that old saying, I love looking after my granddaughter and I’m really looking forward to looking after my grandson, when he’s a wee bit older, when he doesn’t need his mum so much. It’s knackering – it’s knackering compared to being a mother in your late 20s, early 30s. So, it’s quite nice to look after them for short wee while and then give ‘em back, y’know, that’s a classic thing that grandparents say. And it’s true. And it’s so much easier because you’ve got the experience of having been a mum, so you’re less anxious, sorta thing… And there’s lots of other lesbian mums in Leeds who are my very, very dear friends, and we get together as grandmummies now and have, spend time with each other and enjoy all the kinda extended familiness of it.

RL: So, how often do you meet up with that group?

MR: … well there’s no regular meeting up, we just decide to see each other as friends as and when. Y’know, sometimes we have more kind of group collective gatherings, which are usually people’s birthdays and we’ve done many, many wonderful cabarets and musical performances and kinda drama over the years. Anyway, so yep, we’re back in Leeds now.

RL: Okay. Actually, I wanna take you back to when you were in Leeds before, and you said about living in the house with the rev/rad fems and kinda clashing. Can you say a little bit more about the differences in views between you?

MR: Mainly about what they thought of men.

RL: So, you had worked alongside men in Brixton, I’m assuming?

MR: I had worked alongside men, gay men and predominantly straight men, to tell you the truth, ay, at 121 Anarchist Bookshop. I mean, as I said, when I first moved there I was, I felt like, I certainly was the only lesbian in the women-only house. It was a big thing for there to be a women-only squat in that scene in Brixton at the time, because most, most of the other squats, well all of the other squats were mixed heterosexual, so. Women-only squat, and me being the only dyke in it, initially – this is before the women came from Greenham. I mean there are other areas in London where there were, there definitely were more lesbian spots, like say in the East End, for example, or in north London. I mean, squatting was absolutely prolific in the 1980s in London, and thank goodness. It still isn’t, but anyway. So, yeah… I didn’t like the negativity, the kinda… y’know that kinda society for cutting up men, all those kinds of books by Valerie Solanas I think her name was, y’know like… stuff like that, y’know.

I can see why all that stuff was written, I can see it had its time and place and space if you like, y’know cos thoughts, opinions, processes, political dialogue, debate, it’s an ever-evolving process, and that’s wonderful, cos that’s how things progress, y’know, and you haveta be able to debate, especially if you disagree or if you’re trying to work out, work through your thoughts about what you think about something. But I just… basically I thought they were being horrible to me in that women-only house in Leeds I first moved to because I wasn’t a revolutionary radical feminist. That’s it, in a nutshell. And they were, actually, horrible to me.

RL: In what way were they –

MR: Oh, just kind of really dismissive. They would challenge me all the time to have debates/conversations about my being an anarchist feminist. They didn’t like me being an anarchist.

RL: Why?

MR: I don’t know, maybe they were Labour Party members, I’ve no idea [laughter]

RL: Were men allowed in the house?

MR: Sorry?

RL: Were men allowed in the house?

MR: [horrified] No! Not even up the bloody garden path! Oh my God, no! So, no, I just, I didn’t like the negativity of it… I think I’m kinda open-minded and I felt like they were being too close-minded. The only thing I had in common with them was that they were women, and that they were lesbians. But like they were kinda lesbian radical rev/rad feminists, and I wasn’t one of them, clearly, so I didn’t fit in and they made sure about it, so. Left there, after two months. Relief.

RL: How do you think things have changed with kind of LGBT politics? Is there anything – D’you wanna tell me about the Wild Women’s Weekend?

MR: Okay, yeah, that was – we, our aim as Brixton women, and of course I was living in Leeds at the time, but I travelled back to London to be involved in, to be there for the day. We, it was a squat in, in London, south London, quite near what used to be called the Canning Pub, now called the Hootenanny, y’know, kinda near Tulse Hill part of Brixton, we had a squat and we organised the women’s, the Wild Women’s Weekend, and the aim behind that was to get together loads of women who’d been involved in the mid-1908s squatting scene, everything I’ve previously talked about. And that was really good, y’know we kind’ve organised workshops, got together in the evenings, socialised, it was kinda – yeah, it was fantastic, actually. And… yeah, and since then…

There’s the film Rebel Dykes and a project, a historical… recording our own history via the film, which my friend Siobhan Fahey is the producer of along with a group of other women, Hari Shanahan, she’s sound recorder, sound engineer on it. So, it’s called Rebel Dykes, the film, part of a wider project... and that, and that film has received an award. I’s been on at BFI Flare. It’s been on at Home in Manchester. It’s been doing the rounds of various venues up and down, the length and breadth of the UK, actually, and in, and specifically in Brighton and London and Manchester, really, but.

So, the Rebel Dykes project… Although concentrated about, it’s about dykes in London in the 1980s, I feel that all of what we’re trying to communicate, via the archive and via the film, is linked to West Yorkshire queer stories. Mainly because of the timeframe, the socio-political economic framework, the background, the timeframe, i.e. Thatcherite, mid-80s, HIV, etc. Y’know, we had so much to fight against, Clause 28, that sorta stuff. So, if you haven’t seen the film, I highly recommend it. I was involved in transcribing some of the interviews for the film – God that was laborious, but really, really enjoyable, really enjoyable. I transcribed interviews, mainly… from two women, one called Pom, the other called Trill, and those interviews – the transcriptions were then married up to the film footage. And, if anybody wants to look into Rebel Dykes project and the film you can follow the links on Twitter… And another exciting development is that the Rebel Dykes film and a lot of the archive material, recorded history, artefacts, banners, all manner of stuff from the 1980s in London, and Brixton in particular, is going to be housed at the Bishopsgate Archive in London.

In fact, I’m going down for a, a Rebel Dykes regathering, if you like, in order to go and see and contribute further to the Bishopsgate Archive, so a whole bunch of us are getting together on Saturday night as well, and perhaps some of us haven’t even, haven’t seen each other for years so it’s gonna be really exciting. We’re getting together to talk, to chat, to… contribute ways forward to y’know keep the project alive and to perhaps improve it where it might still need improving. So, it’s very, very exciting that, it’s… it feels like y’know me individually, personally speaking, as well as all my other friends from London in the 1980s – it feels like recognition, I suppose – recognition, acknowledgement that we did exist, that what we did was worthwhile, it actually did happen, it’s not being hidden from history – we’re writing our own history. Cos we all know, that if you don’t write down and record your own history, there’s plenty of people out there, plenty of people from certain political persuasions – generally on the right, anti-gay – who will try and… delete us from history, pretend that we didn’t exist. So it’s, it’s… it’s an act of political defiance and maintaining women’s/ gay history forever.

RL: Seems like a good place to end.