How does gay life now compare with gay life more than half a century ago?
That’s the question being answered in a fascinating conversation between a 13-year-old gay boy and 78-year-old gay man for a new video to mark 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.
The film, shot by YouTubers Trent and Luke in partnership with Pride in London, sees 13-year-old Louis and 78-year-old Percy compare their experiences of growing up gay and coming out in vastly different eras – and both learn a lot in the process.
While young Louis came out to his accepting parents at an incredibly young age (via text message, of course) and already has a boyfriend, it took years for Percy to pluck up the courage to tell his mother that the man he lived with was in fact his partner.
He tells Louis: “I envy you… in one’s youth it would have been wonderful… to just enjoy yourself and be yourself.”
Percy, who recalls the days of dating when gay love remained illegal, also offered Louis some advice for the future.
“Be true to yourself. Stand up for being gay and for actually trying to make people understand that the most important thing is that you can love somebody and it doesn’t matter who they are,” he tells him. “Whether it’s a boy or a girl, love is love, and that’s something which is enriching.
“Try to get people to think beyond their own immediate sphere so that we can all be, I can’t think of a better word, neighbours in the world, and not be enemies.”
Watch the video in full below: