Angela Cooper: [00:00:00] She was already on the gay scene as well, that we were going to have this meeting, so some of the people I knew from my little world, you know, came along and then you invited a lot more people. You know, I didn’t know and we all sat around and discussed our situation, you know, and problems and issues and you know, of which there were many, many. I think we should already perhaps talk to them about people’s lives being so difficult. In a way, I felt mine was a bit easier because I was operating in a different world, you know, of being a student, being a hippie, you know, and being in this world where people were talking about liberation and freedom and living your life and all of that, you know. So it was easier to be, as it were, accepted or to be to be out in that world, in the world. Most people at that meeting who were…
Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:00:58] Seen to be as named as straight gay, we were like straight gay. That’s what they used to call us, non-political.
Angela Cooper: [00:01:07] I mean, to me at the time, the gay world is like a walk on the wild side. You know, literally is like that song because I come from this upper working class background. And on it, a lot of the people I was meeting were, it seemed like the worlds of petty criminals and subcultures, if you like, of women who were prostitutes. There was drugs. You know, I was taking drugs but there people said they wanted to get “blocked”, which I thought was quite an interesting term. You know, like we were about opening your mind mind expansion and people on the gay scene who said, “oh, I got blocked last night”,
Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:01:49] Meaning to block the depression, block all the horrible things that was going on in their head and major difference between the classes.
Angela Cooper: [00:01:57] And also, you know, a lot of the the way you were living would be going to a club after about the pub shut. So you could be out till all hours. You know, that’s where you were meeting people and able to be gay. So that might involve you taking speed and things like that, you know, to keep you awake, you know. So I remember there’s quite a lot of those things around. People would say kind of become blackies or whiteys or, you know, different kinds of pills. So this was all a very different world to me. And I remember… Luchia and I became I started having a relationship during this time, so we became partners. So then I was going with her to the clubs, you know, so then I was going as part of the scene, as it were. And there were a lot of people that you obviously knew these people. And I think I said to you once who, you know, she always looks really well dressed. That woman, you know, all turned out nice of you looked at me and you said, “well, you know it’s from the game”. And I said, “You mean she’s a prostitute?” Because it never occurred to me, you know, where all the money was coming from, what was going on, you know?
Angela Cooper: [00:03:04] So I found that, you know, quite intriguing, really. There were women there who were basically like the pimps. The butch, you probably said the more butch ones tended to be the pimps for the more feminine ones. So there’s quite a lot of lesbians who are having sex with men for money. I’m not quite sure how this all came about, but that might be interesting.
Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:03:25] I think they were called escorts, dear.
Angela Cooper: [00:03:28] Well, I used to wonder whether they whether they were always lesbians or whether they became so jaded by having sex for money with men that they became lesbians or that that’s how they could express their own emotions with other women. You know, this sort of intrigued me. And I don’t know if anyone’s looked at that as an area, but for me is looking into it kind of from the outside, really. And, you know, so so there was that whole kind of underworld aspect to it, really, where there was quite a lot of the women who were going in. Some of them weren’t, you know, I remember one time going in the Picador and looking at this woman on the dance floor and going up to her and saying, “Miss Bellamy!.” And she looked at me and she didn’t recognise, my English teacher from my convent school. I said, What are you doing here? She’s very posh, Vivienne then, and she said “the same thing as you are suppose”, you know, and you’d known then Viv for years, you know, so that was like my worlds colliding, sorta thing. So there were that’s the only thing that was the only place you had to go for the Miss Bellamy’s of the world and for the, you know, the poor, the much poorer people.