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'Oldest gay in the village' appears in Convicted for Love documentary

Stephen Delahunty

Stephen Delahunty

'Oldest gay in the village' appears in Convicted for Love documentary

A former Burnham resident is one of four gay men to have starred in a programme on More4 to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

Convicted for Love tells the dramatic and emotional story of four gay men who fell foul of Britain's homophobic laws.

George Montague, 94, was in his mid-40s when he was originally convicted, which he claims was due to a homophobic police officer.

He said: "I used to say I was the oldest gay in the village, now I'm the most out gay in the village — maybe the world."

In 2017, the government passed 'Turing's Law', claiming that it granted pardons and apologies for those convicted for same-sex relationships.

But the programme reveals that out of the 15,000 men who were originally convicted under the old homophobic laws, only 113 of those who have applied have so far been granted a pardon.

George added: "I still know about half a dozen gay men who are still living in the closet and I'm trying to do something about it.

"The younger generation are definitely more open and aware but there are still a few teenage boys that bully people because they can't accept that some people are born gay."

George has been an iconic fixture at Brighton Pride and London Pride events, taking to the streets in his mobility scooter with his banner reading 'I'm the oldest gay in the village'.

He grew up in Hitcham Lane and later lived in Woodland Glade, Farnham Common, where he ran Montague Pattern and Casting Company in Cippenham Lane, where he married and had three children.

George left his wife 30 years ago to allow her to find another partner and he now lives in Brighton with his civil partner, Somchai Phukkhlai.

The programme aired last night on More4 but you can watch it again here.

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