Grandson captures the moment 84-year-old grandma gives pro-gay speech
A grandson has captured the moment his nan gave a pro-gay speech on camera.
Sheila, 84, who grew up in London, had been telling her grandson Steven how she was friends with a lesbian couple at work when she was in her 20s.
When it emerged her friends were in a relationship, they were shunned by everyone except Sheila – and around 60 years later, they still remain close.
“Don’t let those bastards upset you like that, I said, because they’re not worth a penny,” she can be heard saying in the clip, posted on Instagram by Steven, who is gay.
“If they can’t accept you for who you are, that’s it.”
Speaking to PinkNews, Steven explained his grandmother had recently received a letter from her friend Pam.
“She was telling me about when they worked together as traffic wardens in Shoreditch,” he said.
Although everyone at her work got on well, things changed when her friend moved in with her girlfriend.
“The rest of her work team found out her friend was a lesbian and advised her to stop talking to her or she would be accused of being a lesbian and also ousted from the group.
“She was telling me how she always stuck by her friend and couldn’t care less what the rest of her work colleagues thought.”
He added the pair had stayed “good friends despite falling out with the rest of her work colleagues.”
Steven said he liked to record conversations with Sheila as she had been diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease this year.
“She’s always supported both me and my gay brother and has never had any issue with either of us being gay,” he said.
“She’s never afraid to let you know of her opinions! I thought it was great to see someone in their 80s be so accepting and open.”
It wasn’t until the Sexual Offences Act 1967 came into effect – which decriminalised homosexual acts between consenting men over the age of 21 – that societal attitudes towards same-sex couples began to change.
By the early 1970s, more than 2,000 gay men and women marched in the first Pride parade in London.
Progress towards achieving equality stalled in the 1980s, however, with the introduction of Section 28 by the Thatcher government.
The clause, an amendment to the Local Government Act 1988, banned local authorities and schools from “promoting” homosexuality, which meant councils were prevented from funding books, leaflets, films or any other materials showing same-sex relationships.
It also meant teachers were prohibited from teaching about gay relationships in schools.