A Comminiqué From Like 1992

The operation was timed with split-second precision. Around sevenish, give or take, various people wandered vaguely into the heavily fortified Macklin Street HQ (by day a day-centre for London’s adolescent homeless, who had of course by now been summarily turfed out onto the streets) and by a quarter to eight the crack team of highly-trained activists was assembled.

Slap-stickers, aerosols and permanent markers were in evidence; we were hard and we were mean and we were ready to take the war home.

It was raining. It was raining hard ... but what did mere discomfort matter of case-hardened, street-fighting politicos like us? Not one jot. We pelted merrily for the Holborn tube with nary a desperate lunge for the nearest available portico to wait out the worst bits.

In our inspired, impenetrable guise of a bunch of drowned rats with Travelcards (then existing) we had little trouble slipping through the extensive defences; cyclopean vidicams held no terror, no poster escaped our attentions … we were, you should pardon the expression, indiscriminate. Thus Michelle Pfeiffer, the popular screen actress, suddenly professed to being a Bi Queer, while the noted brain surgeon, sliding-superstring theorist and tapdancer Jean-Claude van Damme suddenly became Bi and Proud to be a Lesbian.

But the authorities were on to us - halting trains at random and shutting down whole stations, calming an increasingly fearful transient populace with excuses of catastrophic flooding. Time and again we evaded their foul and loathsome clutches, but the forces of unending darkness were closing in, and it was only a matter of time before some Leicester Square menial with the beaky hat awoke from dreams of the halcyon days of steam to see what we were doing to the appropriate poster.

A tactical withdrawal was called for, and so we tactically withdrew to the First Out café and had a beer.

Suitably refreshed, down to the Circle Line, and on to the London and Lesbian Gay Centre (again, still existing) and near disaster. An off-duty transport copper and a young friend of unknown status had been watching our happy frolics with no small degree of disgust and, as the train rattled into Barbican, tried to hustle one of our number off with them.

Thinking this a simple if singularly coordinated attempt at queer-bashing, our plucky chap dug his heels in, and with the sheer heroism for which he is justly famous managed to put about six startled Bi’s between himself and his putative attacker.

By this time the tube had of course moved off, splitting the copper from his nice young friend and leaving him suddenly lost and alone in the middle of six or seven slightly annoyed perverts, and leaving nothing for it but to flash his warrant card and introduce himself personally.

Our wise counsel finally persuaded the guy as to the general inadvisability of trying to bust seven or eight people en masse - and having spent the latter part of the incident struck dumb with abject terror and gripping a handrail for dear life, this reporter can only report that these people, who know who they are, walk in truth and beauty all their days.

Other, bigger things happened later, but this action (delusional right-ons playing around laughably though it might sound) was one of the first I can recall as UK Bisexuals taking action, as a Movement in and of ourselves and with an actual agenda.

You really had to be there at the time. At that time, in the UK, Bisexuals were flabby old wife-swappers from Purley, or a couple of girls clumsily lezzing it up for the camera, or something a rock-star did in his freaky lifestyle, or a creepy attribute to a movie-villain. In the Gay Community we were welcomed at most grudgingly, with suspicion, and the assumption that we were having it both ways.

Dumb and laughable the above might sound, but it was actions like these, at the time, that paved the way to our more solid integration into the LGBTA of today.
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