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Promoting homosexuality at the Library!


In 1987 Inge began working for Birmingham Public Libraries, shortly before was passed in 1988. She was involved in campaigning against it, but felt she was living a dichotomy: “All this out and proud stuff on the streets of , while at work, I was afraid that I would be asked to take gay literature off the shelves in the library if it was deemed to be promoting homosexuality”. Inge decided to to her line manager at work and requested that she would not have to do it; fortunately it didn’t come to that.

The wasn’t a good place to work in respect of being ‘out’. “It wasn’t said, but you knew it was ‘don‘t talk about it, don’t kick up a fuss’”. I was never abused or called names, it was generally fine. ‘Around 2002 a member of the general public wrote to protest that Central shouldn’t have as it was pornographic. She ‘completely outed herself’ at work as she responded to the complaint, but was given excellent support from management. “So it’s better now at work being totally out, and they’re slightly better at considering the needs of LGBs, though it’s not at the top of their agenda, and they always ask me what to do it anything comes up, though it’s not just my responsibility!”

Contributed by: Inge Thornton, 46

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