Sensible Footwear is a glorious political and personal history that gives Pride a run for its money; but, like Pride, it wears its heart at the centre, making the invisible visible, and celebrating lesbian lives from the domestic to the diva.
Before today’s LGBTQI universe expanded from the Big Bang of Stonewall, postwar Britain was like so much of the world today, hostile towards and virtually in denial (and worse) to anything we might now call queer. In 1950 male homosexuality carried a custodial sentence; blackmail, violence and the fear of exposure were ever-present.
Female homosexuality had never been an offence in the UK, effectively rendering lesbians even more invisible than they already were - often to themselves. Most who knew they were ‘different’, or came to that realisation later on, often felt they were the only ones to feel that way.
Growing up in the North was a rich and colourful experience for Kate Charlesworth, but at the time there were very few signposts to difference. Like countless other girls and women, Kate took what role models were on offer, and failing that, made them up, in the spirit of that classic old dyke joke: ‘What do lesbians use?’ ‘Their imagination…’
- Cat. No.