Born This Way
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, which partially decriminalised sex between men, actor Andrew Scott tells the remarkable story of how gay people and gay culture came to transform pop culture in the face of persistent oppression in Born This Way.
In the first episode, Andrew Scott – who plays Moriaty in the BBC series Sherlock and is currently starring as Hamlet on the London stage – covers some of the pioneering gay entertainers such as Fred Barnes and Noel Coward, both of whom managed to incorporate coded references to their sexuality within their music and writing.
The Kinks biographer Jon Savage details how the band enjoyed challenging conventional ideas of 1960s masculinity, whilst former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham reveals his pride in teaching Mick Jagger to dare to be himself – incorporating a camp on-stage swagger which would go on to inspire a generation.
Broadcaster and Scissor Sister Ana Matronic details the liberation that gripped the nation when disco hit in the 1970s. Spandau Ballet bass guitarist, Martin Kemp, reminisces about the post-punk attitude of the New Romantics in the 1980s, when genres would eschew traditional masculinity, favouring a heavily made-up look and outrageous outfits that drew heavily on the aesthetics of gay culture.
Professor Matt Cook and Dr Rebecca Jennings give insight in to the unique challenges faced by gay men and women throughout, alongside activist Peter Tatchell who explains the acts which began the journey towards equal rights for gay people, as well as giving a first-hand account of London’s first Gay Pride event in 1972.