seXshunned - Keep Quiet

7:84 Theatre Company & OurStory Scotland
3 & 4 November, 2004
The Arches Theatre Glasgow.


Audience arrives Audience arrives to a selection of music from previous decades.
Monte's Introduction

Many years ago - oh so long ago,
Before the war that many do not recall,
There was a book which is available still,
A controversial tale by Radclyffe Hall,
The title of which haunts me to this day,
A chronicle of intolerance and prejudice,

Of a woman who had the yearnings of a man,
The classic called 'The Well of Loneliness'.


William Dunlop, Newsreader:
The sexual offences act has been introduced in England and Wales. It decriminalises homosexuality between consenting males over the age of 21.

The law remains unchanged in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Family sitting in livingroom

Son: Dad.

Father: Aye son?

Son: What's a homosexuality?

Mother: Right, children, time for bed.

Surely that's not the outfit for today. Judy Garland's funeral was yesterday. We should be celebrating a spontaneous act of defiance in response to police harassment...

That's your answer to everything, Brian, keep quiet.

Neil and Stewart

London at the end of the 50s. 'You've never had it so good' said Harold Macmillan - he was so right! We had it all over the place, and it was so good.

1967 - gay law reform. OK I'd still have to wait a couple of years to be legal, but it gave me hope. Until I buggered it up. I came north, crossed the border, felt at home, stayed in Scotland - and have to wait more years to be legal.

Here we have to keep quiet a bit longer. Scottish minorities, getting engaged - politically - but quietly does it.

Protestors outside the SMG offices

Outside the SMG offices in Edinburgh, many protesters stand around with placards. The newsreader conducts an outside broadcast and finds just one voice of moderation:

I don't see what all the fuss is about, this has been going on for years. It doesn't bother me, as long as they don't make it compulsory.

But William is accidentally outed by SMG members inviting him inside.


I've been outed in the Sunday Post as 'a sympathetic voice in a world gone madly wrong.' ...

So much for the tolerant seventies; the decade of innovation and change; the brave new world ...

Robin Cook's letter of support is one of the few things which keeps me going. Shall we drown our sorrows or drink to change?


The D.J. put on, 'I am what I am', the music booming out loud and proud, spreading till it filled the hall. Then I committed the 'crime' of the night! I invited him to sing along with me! At the table. He went quiet and I thought he'd begun to panic! But he stared away for ages, his eyes shut, and stayed silent...

As the party dispersed, he looked through me and walked out of the hall into the night. I made my way home alone and felt confused and guilty and rejected, and not sure of the nature of my 'crime'.

Teacher and class Schoolgirl: What is a homosexual?

Teacher: That should be of no concern of yours, as you are all good practising Catholics.

All: He's no, he's a wee poof.


Man: You can't do this! I know my rights.

Police Officer: Scum like you don't have any rights.

Margaret counsels Jonathon

Margaret counsels Jonathan:
Once we get to know each other a bit more in depth, we can really start to examine when it was that you stopped being normal...

Look let me ask you, are you just too close to your mother? Do you advise her on her wardrobe? Perhaps you may have a very, very distant father? Are you just too sensitive? Do you like flower arranging? Making quiche?

These are all the real warning signs that all is not well with you dear.

Police Officer

Police Officer:
My wife is gone now, took the kids with her. She didn't want to be married to a poof. I tried to explain, I'm not. She didn't listen and banged the door on the way out. And Derek, he found a real gay guy, not a miserable fucked up half breed. His words not mine.

Chris on phone to helpline

Chris on telephone to helpline.

My parents wouldn't understand. I'm scared to talk to anyone about this whole thing... no, I'm too scared to talk to my friends, they're all normal...

A youth group, with people just like me? I would really like that... this is incredible, I thought I was the only one like this.


We got to chatting about our lives. I told him about how my mum and dad sent me away and that my 'friend' beat me almost to death. He just smiled and said 'You've had it easy.'

He then told me about when he came out. His parents had him sectioned. While sectioned he received electroshock aversion therapy, and this is only twenty years ago.

Chris at a Lesbian and Gay meeting

Chris is rejected at lesbian and gay meeting:

All you make people do is choose, and I can't do that. This is supposed to be a safe place. You can't force me to be one or the other!

It's just the same as you trying to do something against your nature. You just can't! I can't choose to be one or the other, so screw you!


Jonathan left me a present...

'To Margaret, don't get too lonely. Perhaps this is something you might need.

With love, Jonathan.'

Oh now wasn't that sweet of him?


Forty years... now I've lost the two things in life which meant so much to me. You whom I love, and always will... and my job, broadcasting.

William lays flowers at Brians grave

William lays flowers on grave:
Brian, if you can hear me, show me the way forward. And if there is a loving, tolerant God, who accepts us all, warts and all, help me now...

but neither of you tell me to keep quiet. I'm far too old for that!


Excluded because a council wouldn't use the terms 'lesbian' and 'gay' on a poster! It's a disgrace.

I asked our councillor and equality representative, why? And all they came away with was, 'even councillors may be homophobic!'


You know, David, public opinion is like a great big pendulum that swings violently from tolerance to homophobia...

When I was your age, things were as tolerant as they are now, then the media published some homophobic articles and WHOOSH, the pendulum swung against us.

It was a hard battle to get it to swing back the other way, and we thought we were winning when AIDS struck, and WHOOSH, away went the pendulum again. That's when my generation and Donald's battled to get it to swing back again.

Discussion Chris:
I've become a much stronger person now with the support of my many diverse friendships, so my motto is to assume nothing about sexuality.
Discussion Margaret:
I was supported by the LGBT community, who were the only ones who had the expertise to help me in my plight.
Party David:
We may have come some way legally, but we still have a long way to go on the street.
The Well

Reminiscing in the twilight of my life,
There have been liaisons.... quite a few,
But in the long passage of the years,
Of lasting partners, there were but two,
And now in my advancing age,
Living alone has become the trend.
           but not lonely...
The Well no longer menaces, but has become a friend.

Curtain call Curtain call.
Set design Set Design.
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