Transcript OH-4315_AngelaCooper_e03_part2.mp3


Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:00:00] You see, from my perspective, I didn’t mention the prostitution and all that in The Union, because to me, no, at that stage it was irrelevant. But I have to say that, you know, we did accept and anybody that would be seen as downtrodden in them days and we had this thing like, you know, who are we to put other people down? This was our attitude in those days towards the prostitutes. They didn’t do any harm and there’s many the time they handed over money to some of the lesbians to help them with their rent so they wouldn’t end up going on the streets. So, you know, we were all quite friendly and we didn’t make any judgments on them. That’s why I didn’t even bother mentioning them, as they were just doing their job and they didn’t interfere with the gay life in town.

Angela Cooper: [00:00:46] See to me is quite important because that would be such an alien world to me.

Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:00:50] Well, I think you made that quite clear. And I think it was really important. And I thought it was really good that you brought that up, you see, because there there does lie a difference. And so I think that’s that’s very relevant to the story.

Angela Cooper: [00:01:01] I’m not I don’t know. I’ll never know really whether I would have come out anyway or maybe would have just met somebody along the way, like a lot of people have known. You know, they went into nursing and they met another nurse and they became a couple, and then whenever they never even went on the scene and all of that sort of thing, and I think I would have found it hard to relate to going into the clubs because I always found it. I suppose I was, you know, found a little bit alien to me, really to what my life was was about. I think it probably would have been I wouldn’t have gone in there for any other reason except that I was gay.

Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:01:38] That’s the same reason I went in.

Angela Cooper: [00:01:43] And it just attracted all the other outcasts of society, really, which would be the people I’ve mentioned, you know, and so I think it was quite a tough world, really, and…

Luchia Fitzgerald: [00:01:56] It was, but we see that the difference with me in there is we were all outcasts together. And when you’re all in a room and you’re all outcasts and you’re all downtrodden by the world and outside the front door of the union, you just simply get on with it and look after yourselves. And you didn’t judge. They weren’t judging us. We weren’t judging them. And lots of the lesbians and they were deemed to be prostitutes were actually escorts. They were beautiful, physically beautiful looking women that were very feminine, and they used to go up to the Hotel Piccadilly, as it was known at the time, and they’d get about 100, maybe 100, maybe 200 pound for the night to escort some MP or whoever it was because they were bloody gay to somewhere, are you with me? And they had to have somebody on their arm. There was a lot of that went on.

Angela Cooper: [00:02:46] It went from that to some poor heroin addict, because I’m picturing more now, you know, who just looked ill. And I think maybe the other aspect to it could be that, you know, if you were very obviously lesbian, it’s quite hard to get work. So that might push you into petty criminality like shoplifting and things like that because you had to survive somehow. And, you know, I think that was quite an element of some women had been in prison in different places. And, you know, so I think it is a bit, in my eyes, you see, this is all in my own eyes at the time, Dickensian, you know, because it was a world I didn’t know anything about. But I found it, like you say, walk on the wild side because my life is much more protected and what have you.

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