Wednesday , 22 May 2019

BBC Scotland to produce a show on Scottish LGBTI history

BBC ScotlandHopscotch Films have been commissioned by BBC Scotland to produce a 60 minute documentary that tells the post war LGBTI history of the country.

The documentary will use interviews, archived clips, music and memorabilia to tell the stories of Scotland’s LGBTI people. The BBC hopes to broadcast the show at the end of November, on St Andrew’s Day.

Over the past 50 years attitudes have gradually changed, and within the last 20 years, great strides have been made. The documentary wants, however, to explore the postwar era, 50s-80s, when social attitudes, culture and politics were very different, when issues of sexuality and diversity were much more problematic. The documentary wants to explore what it was like to be LGBTI in the not too distant past, and how Scotland has gradually become more accepting.

Speaking with KaleidoScot, John MacLaverty director of Hopscotch Films, said: “Scotland now prides itself on being seen as an example of a country were the rights of gay and lesbian people are respected, but as our documentary will show, it wasn’t always the case.”

“In particular, I hope to hear from older Scottish gay men and lesbians, who can recall what it was like in an era before there was a scene, an era when Scottish society tut-tutted and disapproved loudly of all sex, and gay sexuality especially. I think it’s really important that we record eye witness accounts from that time.

“Being Scottish covers a multitude of different beliefs, outlooks, accents, social classes and regions – as does being gay. So what happens when you mix them together? How do the two identities interact?

“We’re also very keen to find lost footage from Scotland’s LGBTI past and we’re quiet keen to hear from anyone that may have Super 8 footage of their mad birthday party in 1974? Or perhaps of cabaret from the past.”

The producers are particularly keen to hear from gay men and women who were looking for love, sex and companionship in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s – a time when Scotland was hardly San Francisco.

MacLaverty added: “Some of what we want to discuss is undoubtedly awkward and personal – understanding your emerging sexuality in Sunday Post Scotland…the blanket of silence…the awkwardness of Coming Out – but we don’t want the predominant tone to be that of a misery memoir – this is also very much about sharing the joys of being an LGBTI Scot: the heart-pounding rush of excitement when locking eyes with someone who shares your desires; the time you fell in love on a beach in Barra; the insiders guide to getting a snog in Bennetts in 1989.”

“We will want to know about the big significant moments – when gay sexual relationships were deemed to be against the law, the complete absence of lesbians in Scottish public life, the establishment of Scottish Minorities Group, when HIV came to Scotland, the battle over Clause 28, the age of consent, gay marriage.”

If you grew up/lived in Scotland beween 1950-1980s and you think you can/wish to contribute to the documentary get in touch with John MacLaverty: Johnmacl@hopscotchfilms.co.uk

About Dan Littauer

Dan Littauer is a journalist who specializes in LGBTI current affairs, travel writing, feature writing and investigative journalism. He is a correspondent for LGBTQ Nation, ManAboutWorld, and previously worked for Gay Star News, PinkNews, San Diego Gay and Lesbian News, Gay Middle East, Lonely Planet as well as contributing occasionally to the BBC, Al-Jazeera, CNN and The Guardian. He also had an extensive career outside journalism, which included teaching psychoanalysis and social science, and consultancy work for the travel market. When he is not busy writing, he can be spotted rambling around the stunning Scottish landscape, where he lives, spending time at home with his cat.

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