‘I was born in Edinburgh in 1978 at the age of forty.’
Thus begins film critic Mansel Stimpson’s memoir describing the impact upon his life of a single pivotal moment – his late but positive and totally unexpected realisation that he was gay.
Written some thirty years ago but only published now for the first time, the story gains from the fact that so much of it – everything that followed on from the author’s recognition of his sexuality – was recorded as it was happening. His first tentative forays into the world of gay dating, his developing sex life and the search for long-term fulfilment are set against his growing involvement in organisations such as the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and the emotional impact of deciding when and how to come out to friends and colleagues.
Although a personal tale, this is also a portrait of an era, sharing what it meant to be gay in the late 1970s and early 1980s when attitudes to homosexuality were gradually changing.