Gay’s the Word, the UK’s first serious gay bookshop (as featured in the brilliant 2014 film Pride), hosted the launch this week of our book Not Guilty: Queer Stories from a Century of Discrimination.
The shop, which has been on lively Marchmont Street, WC1 since 1979, is a tiny treasure-house of fascinating stuff across the spectrum of LGBT+ subjects and writers. The staff are lovely and there’s masses of interest here for everyone, gay or straight.
The manager Jim could not have been more welcoming and gave the book a wonderful introductory endorsement: “of the half dozen books out for the 50th anniversary, this the one I like the best because it represents the experience of the older men who come into the shop”.
Quite a crowd braved a wet evening for Waitrose refreshments and to hear the testimony of Terry, Stephen and Ed. They all feature in the book with different but equally moving and instructive stories about the discrimination they faced in the ’70s and ’80s and how they fought back.
Terry and Stephen also appear in Steve Humphries’ documentary, now called Convicted for Love, to be shown in the UK on More 4 on Monday 10th July at 9pm.
I was specially pleased that so many of the men we interviewed were able to come to the launch, many of them with their husbands/partners. It was great to be able to welcome them and show them the book for the first time.
We were both on signing duty and the shop did a brisk trade. Here Steve signs the book for Stephen…
…and below I’m talking to lovely Jim from the bookshop and doing my impersonation of someone dragged through a hedge backwards. But at least I’m smiling! Behind me is old friend and well-known journalist David Hepworth, whose current book on the demise of the rock star, Uncommon People is storming up the charts. Jealous, moi?
Not Guilty is published by Biteback (thank you Olivia for producing a quality product in double-quick time and Isabelle for publicity) at £12.99. You can get it at Gay’s the Word or – if you’re not handy for Marchmont Street – here.
That’s the second book written in the past 12 months. There will now be a short intermission while I summon the creative energy to decide what to do next. Until then…