A personal and impassioned history of the infamous Section 28, the 1988 UK law banning the teaching “of the acceptability of homosexuality.”
On May 23, 1988, Paul Baker sat down with his family to eat cake on his sixteenth birthday while The Six O’Clock News played in the background. But something was not quite right. There was muffled shouting-“Stop Section 28!”-and a scuffle. The papers would announce: “Beeb Man Sits on Lesbian.”
The next day Section 28 passed into UK law, forbidding local authorities from the teaching “of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” It would send shockwaves through British society: silencing gay pupils and teachers, while galvanizing mass protests and the formation of the LGBTQ+ rights groups OutRage! and Stonewall.
Outrageous! tells its story: the background to the Act, how the press fanned the flames and what politicians said during debates, how protestors fought back to bring about the repeal of the law in the 2000s, and its eventual legacy. Based on detailed research, interviews with key figures-including Ian McKellen, Michael Cashman, and Angela Mason-and personal recollection, Outrageous! is an impassioned, warm, often moving account of unthinkable prejudice enshrined within the law and of the power of community to overcome it.