Last night, we celebrated the launch of Coming Out by Jeffrey Weeks at Daunt Books in Holland Park. Here is what I said in my short address to mark the occasion.

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Ladies and Gentleman,

Since its inception Quartet has always been on the side of the underdog in our society and has supported many a subject which it believed needed to be reformed to the benefit of those who have been oppressed – particularly because of their sexual orientation.

A case in point was the publication of Coming Out in 1977 – a pioneering study of gay and lesbian lives. Greatly acclaimed, this classic prize-winning title has been newly reissued in a revised and updated edition at a time when LGBT issues are increasingly a matter of national and international importance.

From the barbaric legal and social oppression of the nineteenth century to the seismic impact of the gay liberation movement in the 1970s and beyond, Coming Out maps the story of British LGBT identities and the ongoing struggle for equality. A compassionate and moving social history written in an open and accessible way, it lucidly illustrates the resilience and grit of the LGBT community in the face of unprecedented challenges.

Jeffrey Weeks, an Emeritus Professor of Sociology at London South Bank University, has written extensively about gay and lesbian history over the last four decades and has an international reputation for his contribution to the study of sexualities.

Coming Out is a must for every individual in this country and abroad – those assembled here today must lead by example. Buy at least one copy of the book if not more and spread the good word around.

The author deserves all the support he can get for his tremendous efforts in writing this remarkable work which I’m sure will remain as topical as ever.

 

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