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Archive for August 2010

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A few weeks ago, on 18th June 2010, a brand new radio station took to the air.

Gaydio, based in Manchester, is an FM station aimed at and run by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People.

It's not the world's first such station. There are established FM stations in Australia and Toronto, for instance plus a host of internet stations

Unlike many, Gaydio is not simply a music station though; it's aimed at a wider than usual audience, and has a community development dimension too.

To find out more I spoke to one of the founding directors, Toby Whitehouse, at the studios in central Manchester.

You can listen to the station online at http://www.gaydio.co.uk

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Part Two of this personal narration of an account written in 1995, about coming out as a campaigner to organise 'fringe' meetings at the Labour and Conservative party conferences.

For more details and background please see part one.

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It’s nearly Party Conference season again. And it’s the first time with Conservatives in Government since the mid 1990's.

It may surprise some listeners to know that back in those days I was a Conservative Party activist. I was the secretary of an active branch of the party in Cheshire. And a regular attendee at party conferences.

I wasn’t “out” in those days. As a transsexual woman I had completed my social “transition” between genders many years before, and had settled into a quiet and discreet life among the well-to-do women who formed the backbone of a certain class of society in one of the Tory heartlands.

I didn’t advertise my transsexual history and, if anyone harboured any suspicions, it had never ever been mentioned.

All of that was about to change though. I had been a member of the campaign organisation “Press for Change” since shortly after it was formed in 1992. And now, because the campaign required visible representatives to put themselves forward on the public stage, I had taken the difficult personal decision to “come out”.

I had volunteered to organise and speak at two key events at the Labour and Conservative conferences in the first two weeks of October 1995.

This was momentous, life-changing stuff .. at least for me .. and so I wrote about it at the time. Fifteen years on, it’s therefore a good time to revisit those two weeks covered by The Diary of a Conference Campaigner...

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