On 23 May 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 morning papers would announce: 'Beeb Man Sits on Lesbian'. The next day Section 28 passed into law, forbidding local authorities from teaching '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.
Now available in paperback, Outrageous! tells the full 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, it is an impassioned, warm, often moving account of unthinkable prejudice enshrined within law, and of the power of community to overcome it.