Michael Dance

Interview: A Haunted Existence

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In 1954 Geoffrey Patrick Williamson was arrested after approaching a fellow train passenger, who was in fact a policeman. On arrest, Williamson gave the names of men he had been sexually involved with, resulting in a spate of prosecutions in Taunton. Theatremaker Tom Marshman talked to Michael Dance about his new show, A Haunted Existence, which explores the story.

Why did you want to focus on the 1950s, a really dark period in British history for LGBT+ people?

The main reason was that I heard the story of Geoffrey Patrick Williamson at an LGBT history conference and I was just so intrigued to know really what happened. I was curious to know about all these men and the witch-hunt that seemed to be alluded to. A lot of my work is involved in exploring different histories and hidden histories.

Champions of Equality

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This is a welcome account of the development of LGBT+ rights within trade unions in Britain in the last 50 years. But Champions of Equality also insists on the necessity of linking the workers movement, the left and the struggle against oppression as the key to winning real gains and reforms in society today.

Peter Purton explains the shift in general social attitudes and the resulting political gains for LGBT+ people through a detailed analysis of how LGBT+ issues were first raised, organised around, and won within the union movement.

Teachers' victory on trans rights

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At the National Union of Teachers conference in April a historic motion was passed supporting positive positions on transgender rights and committing the union to fully implement the recommendations of the Gender Recognition Act.

Over recent years arguments have taken place about transgender rights both on the left among feminists, and on the right. These have often been specifically about the right of transgender people to self-identify and have access to single sex bathroom facilities.

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