HomeBooksBookshops1984. The trials of Gay’s the Word.

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1984. The trials of Gay’s the Word. — 9 Comments

  1. Nice brief account of an event which took 3-4 years of my life! But as I was there a small correction. The case was not ended by a judge but followed a government shake up. We got supporting MPs to see the new guy (forget his name but he went on to be Minister for Northern Ireland. He was an book collector). He took one look and ordered Customs to get them out. We negotiated an agreement in which they saved face by retaining about 15 titles that they claimed were obscene under the obscene publication act.

  2. Long before the advent of Amazon if I was looking for books covering gay issues I would make the 300 mile round journey to GTW…sometimes several times a year.

    When I had lived and worked in London I was still very much “in-the-closet” and would walk past the shop trying to pluck up the courage to walk through the door.

    Once I had finally steeled myself and entered the shop it was almost an anticlimax to find that it was so similar to so many other book shops. I wasn’t sure what I expected, maybe I thought that by entering the shop I would suddenly be propelled out of the closet and into the spotlight and my “safe” constructed life would screech to a halt as my secret was exposed!

    Once I started browsing the titles I realised that I had found a life changing source of information and the staff were so friendly.

    Nowadays I will always make a point of going in to GTW whenever I am in London and buying a book or two to support the business and to relive those memories of finding myself.

  3. Paud is my brother and I miss him but am so proud of him and know that he would be proud of us all today xx

    • I only recently learned of Paul’s passing Bridin, so my belated condolences. I didn’t know him well but we did have the occasional chat around the time of the GTW Trial and also when we were collecting for Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. I was so impressed by the fact that Paud was so obviously supportive of LGSM collecting outside the shop when the shop itself was already on trial; he was a brave man and I hope his contribution to our community is fully recognised.
      Colin

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