LGBT rights campaigners and activists added to ODNB

Gary Hart January 11, 2016

WEB.300The biographies of 222 individuals who left their mark on British life, and who died in the year 2012 have been added to the latest update of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, published on January 7.

A number of notable Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights campaigners and activists have been included in this update, namely:

♦ Allan Horsfall (1927-2012): campaigner for the Bolton Seven and a pioneer of LGBT equality in Britain. He is known for his pioneering work for homosexual law reform and the wider human rights of LGBT people.

Described by his Oxford DNB biographer Peter Tatchell, as one of the grandfathers of the gay rights movement in Britain, Horsfall was an active campaigner for more than fifty years—beginning in 1958, when he joined the newly formed Homosexual Law Reform Society.

In contrast to many Society members who hid their sexuality, Horsfall believed that openness was one of the most effective ways to debunk prejudice and stereotypes. Then resident in a Lancashire mining village, he was remarkable for using his home address for Society business.

♦ Emmanuel Cooper (1938-2012): potter and gay rights campaigner (also art critic for Gay News in 1970s)

♦ Wendy Greengross (1925-2012): GP and broadcaster, ‘Dr Wendy’ the agony aunt and writer on sexual relations; broadcaster on health and relationships radio and TV in the 1960s and 1970s. Author of Jewish and Homosexual (1980) and prominent campaigner with Rabbi Lionel Blue in 1980s for better treatment of Jewish people living with HIV/AIDs.

Eric James (1925-2012): Radical Church of England clergyman who worked both at Cambridge University and in parishes in inner-city London. Long-known to be gay he came out on live TV in 1995. He wrote: My homosexuality is an important part of what I think of when I consider what I have received from God.

The Oxford DNB includes 54,716 articles in which the life stories of 59,879 people are told with 11,412 biographies including a portrait image of the subject in question.