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Married gay YouTubers Trent and Luke wanted to show their fans what life was like for British gay men several generations ago—and how it has changed in the 50 years since homosexuality has been legalized in the U.K. So the two brought together 13-year-old Louis and 78-year-old Percy to talk one-on-one about their experiences as gay men. And as it turns out, the world has changed a lot since the 1950s.
Percy says he was around 15 or 16 when he first came out to a friend who was also gay. The two went to a gay club together, which was an “eye-opener.” At the time, Percy’s friend was shamed by his family for being gay, and Percy himself did not feel like he could open up about his sexuality to most people.
“Well, you can imagine the two of us at 16 suddenly thinking, ‘We’re going to a gay club! We’re gonna see other people who are gay!'” Percy explains. “For us, it was an eye-opener that there were other people, and so many people, who felt just like we did.”
Percy also stresses that since homosexuality was illegal for gay men until 1967, many were forced to be extremely cautious about disclosing their personal lives.
“Because if you had a boyfriend or something, and you were spending the night with them, the police could come, knock on your door, and because you were in bed with them, they could charge you with a guilty offense,” Percy explains to Louis.
Louis was shocked to learn that gay men were once arrested for loving another man. Louis has largely been met with acceptance in his local community, and his parents were particularly supportive of him and his sexuality. He even has a boyfriend.
“[Mom] sat me down and she said: ‘I love you no matter what and you don’t have to worry because you have other members of your family who are gay and I’ve supported them,'” Louis told Percy.
Watch their entire enlightening conversation below:
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.