In 1988, 20 women and men, most of whom had been active in gay politics long before the campaign against Section 28, which had brought me into their world, felt that the campaign should continue and broaden its demands. They planned a professional lobby group. It was an education to follow the legal arguments for our constitution and about law reform, to clarify our aims, to catch the excitement of single-issue politics. Mostly I listened. Someone even had to tell me about the Stonewall riots after which the group would be named.
The founding of Stonewall was confirmed in my house at a press conference attended by three sceptical journalists from the gay press. Not all gay people approved. We were self-appointed, not democratic like the grassroots Campaign for Homosexual Equality. We would tend to play things safe, not be radical enough in word or deed like Peter Tatchell and Outrage!. A group of middle-class Londoners had no right to represent all gay people in the UK.
Over 20 years, Stonewall's success in diplomatically initiating law reform has belied these initial worries. From the outset, Stonewall had depended on volunteers of whom I'm one. The daily work is done by Ruth Hunt, the current director, and her staff of 20.
Any one interested in legal and social equality for gay people in UK should know about Stonewall's essential initiatives - www.stonewall.org.uk