You would have thought with lockdown in place, LGBT History month this year would have been a quiet affair. Totally the opposite. No doubt the release of Russell T Davies’ IT’S A SIN had something to do with the amount of media interest directed at me and others who had lived through AIDS in the 1980s.
Personally, I was bowled over with the series and my esteem of Russell, already at iconic level, surged even higher into the realms of cosmic, creative genius. Having said that, I can reveal that Russell is excellent company. Whilst waiting for the turn of George House Trust contingent to join the Manchester Pride 2019 Parade, he happily chatted to me and other volunteers on all kinds of matters. Like me, it seems, Russell likes a good old natter.
The first week of February this year was HIV Testing Week…moved from its usual position at the end of November because of the pandemic. Yusaf Akbar, a BBC video journalist, who filmed the OLGBT Group in 2019. This time he wanted to record the views on the central theme of IT’S A SIN, namely, HIV and AIDS, from the points of view of an older person like me who contracted the virus in 1984 and a younger person recently infected. Jay and I were a good match and could have talked for hours. Yusaf selected the bits he wanted to produce a short video that rose to the top of the charts of the day’s most watched news stories.
Next, Yvonne and I were invited to take part in The Listening Project on BBC Radio 4. As with the conversation with Jay, I had no problem in quickly establishing a rapport with Yvonne. We could have chatted all day about how HIV has impacted on our lives. However, only ten minutes could be included in the programme. I think Jane Wilkinson the Listening Project presenter made the right selection from our hour-long discussion. Listen and judge for yourself. The Listening Project
Finally, Radio Stoke rang me for a love interview to talk about IT’S A SIN. Although I have taken part in most of Radio Stoke’s chat shows, this was my first time on their Breakfast Show. I’m not at my best first thing in the morning…but folk who listened thought the interview was very good. The presenter, John Acres, was most friendly and easy to talk to. This is the first time that Radio Stoke has devoted a whole week featuring LGBT stories. Well done!