Last week eight of us got together for the first Proud Pages meeting at the Tyneside Cinema. We met up in the headspace room where Paul Mitchell had made use of the chalkboard wall to draw a scene from the book.
This months book was Coming Out by Jeffery Weeks and it’s fair to say there were mixed opinions. Some would have liked more on topics such as; the lesbian mothers who had their children taken away, the trial of Oscar Wilde, working class voices and LGBT histories of the 80s and 90s. Other areas were particularly singled out for praise including LGBT and the political left, the changing attitude to LGBT issues in Russia, and the surprising role of the church in supporting political reform in the 1950s. Using the book as a starting point the discussion drifted off in to a few relevant tangents such as the issues of class and what it is to be a ‘good gay’ in the eyes of society.
The time flew by and before we knew it we were finishing off with everyone giving the book a score out of ten. Scores ranged from 5 to 8 with an average score of 6.75. A few people felt that the evening’s discussion had helped them appreciate the book more and, I think, a good time was had by all. Did I mention there was tea and biscuits?