5F Text

Trevor Thomas’s life was ruined by his arrest for ‘ public indecency’ in 1946, and his summary dismissal from his post was ruined by his arrest in 1946 on a charge of public indecency, his subsequent court appearance and his instant dismissal from his post as Director of Leicester Museums. His subsequent work in the mid 1970’s for the Campaign for Homosexual Equality was too late to make any real difference to the course of his life. It was however the precursor for the actions of many that have shaped attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people.

The legal position was similar for Leicester playwright Joe Orton (commemorative plaque, centre left), who was murdered by his lover just before the 1967 Act (which started the changes) came into force. The law has now changed beyond all recognition in Britain, and LGBTQ+ status is increasingly accepted in all areas, and at all levels, and protected by law. Bernard Greaves (centre) also grew up during the time of repressive laws against homosexuality. His life has been committed to both the Liberal Party and the campaign for gay rights. A founder of the Leicester LGBT Centre, Bernard is a remarkable role model for younger people and a champion of diversity. His long history of civic and managerial services to charities was recently recognised with an honorary degree from the University of Leicester.

Although there is a wide spectrum of views in the Anglican community, the Church of England does not allow gay marriage. This is a challenging position for the openly gay Dean of Leicester Cathedral, David Monteith (top centre), who lives in civil partnership with his long-term partner David Hamilton.

Laura Millward (top right) is Chair of the Leicestershire Police LGBT Network, which supports and trains the police on LGBT issues. With openness and enthusiasm about her own position and her task, Laura acknowledges that the UK Police Service still has some way to go, particularly at higher levels in the force. She was inspired to join the police by the career of Stephanie Morgan, the now retired Deputy Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, who was in her time the most senior openly gay officer in Britain.

David Rose (centre right) is Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing at De Montfort University. David recently came out as bisexual for the first time in over 30 years of work. He sees this aspect of his work as a role model to support staff and students to feel comfortable with themselves, to reduce prejudice and educate about bisexuality.

Leicestershire-born Charlotte Stacey (bottom right) is an openly transgender emergency planning officer, working in the historically male dominated emergency services in Oxford. She says; ‘I’m really proud to have been chosen as a role-model for my home county. Each year I come back for Pride with our Leicestershire colleagues and am reminded of the county’s diversity’.

Established in 1996, Leicester Wildecats (bottom) are a gay football team with about 60 members. Their founder Gareth Miller says; ‘Wildecats provides a unique platform for members of the LGBT community to play football in a friendly, safe and non-judgemental environment. Players of all orientations, ages and abilities are welcome to join.’ The Wildecats have also connected with Leicester City FC to help address the still considerable homophobia in football.

Leicester-born Dr Elly Barnes MBE (centre left) is the founder and director of the charity Educate & Celebrate, which advises and helps make schools into LGBTQ+ friendly spaces. Dr Barnes is known widely for her pioneering work and her approach has been recognised as the best way for taking a ‘whole-school’ approach to these still sometimes problematic issues.

Anjeli Patel (top left) is an Indian trans female born in the Hindu community in Leicester, who now works for accountants Ernst & Young in London as a Senior Consultant in their People Advisory Services practice. Anjeli has been internationally recognised for her work, raising awareness on trans issues and inclusivity in the workplace and has been tipped in various outstanding future leader charts. Leicester excels at supporting its LGBTQ+ communities through many different channels. The LGBTQ+ centre on Wellington Street has been running for over 40 years. Often financially precarious, it is one of the few remaining and longest running of such centres outside London.