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The Log Books

Author: Tash Walker, Adam Zmith and Shivani Dave

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**Best New Podcast (Gold) at the British Podcast Awards 2020**


What if you could glimpse into LGBTQIA+ life from decades ago? Since 1974 volunteers at Switchboard, the LGBT+ helpline, have written notes in the charity's log books. Hosts Tash Walker and Adam Smith are re-opening these pages today, to explore untold stories from Britain’s queer history.


Each episode explores a different theme from LGBTQIA+ life through log book entries, dozens of voices sharing their own memories, and conversations about being queer today.


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26 Episodes
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News! We’re making season three of The Log Books because we’ve received a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. While you wait, here’s an episode of Call Me Mother, another podcast, featuring an interview with Sandra Caldwell, a 67-year-old actor who was forced to hide part of herself for 40 years. We loved hearing Sandra tell her story to Shon Faye, with such warmth and wisdom, and we think you will too. We’ll be back with the third season of The Log Books later in 2021... See you soon.Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
We have so many fascinating stories for our final episode of the season: a lesbian who helped a gay immigrant to stay legally in the UK, a gay refugee who fled Syria, an Indian who learnt that cruising is different in India, Canada and the UK, and a British Indian who built mixed dance nights for London’s range of cultures.Tash and Adam hear about the people who phoned Switchboard for advice on how to live, love and work in the UK, and from a range of contributors with different perspectives on borders, cultures and LGBTQ+ identity.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.‘Louise’ voiced by Cathy Tyson'Sami' voiced by Aso SherabayaniClip from Here and Now: Gay Black Group used with permission from MACE, the Media Archive for Central England at the University of Lincoln. First broadcast on June 26th, 1983.For more information about the themes in this episode, take a look at:Legal advice from the Joint Council for the Welfare of ImmigrantsBlack Pride UKNaz and Matt FoundationKaleidoscope TrustPeter Tatchell Foundation : Speaking out for Human RightsLesbians & Gays Support the MigrantsUK Lesbian & Gay Immigration GroupGaysiansMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
After a gay bookshop was raided by customs officers in 1984, the booksellers fought back. This is the story of censorship and community solidarity, and it is not the only one in this episode. Tash and Adam explore the actions of the British state to stop people from seeing things that were considered obscene in the 80s. We also feature a story from people whose magazines and posters were seized, and Adam even sings a song.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.For more information, take a look at:More about Operation TigerMore about Yulia Tsvetkova’s case Fringe! Queer Film and Arts FestEzra BenistyMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
From 1983 to 1991, calls to Switchboard about rape and domestic violence increased in number. So in this episode Tash and Adam hear some of those stories and ask volunteers from the time to share their experience of supporting survivors. This episode also features an account of how Switchboard evolved in order to improve how it handled calls about violence, and an update on how these matters are handled today by GALOP, the LGBT+ anti-violence charity.Content warning: domestic violence, abusive relationships, rape and sexual consent, and suicide.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.For more information, take a look at:Get help from GALOPSurvivorsUK for help with male rape and sexual abuseBook: In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado Music by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It wasn’t easy being young in the Eighties! Tash and Adam read log book entries and hear stories about growing up, looking for help, and even a teenager who took the government to court. We also catch up with the changes happening around relationships and sex education in schools right now, via Kaley Foran from The Key.Content warning: Suicide, sexual consent and under-age sex.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.For more information take a look at:Brook, a charity with help and advice about healthy relationships and sexual healthSex Education Forum, partners working on relationships and sex education for young peopleThe Key, with advice for school leaders Educate & Celebrate, helping to make education more inclusiveMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In 1988 the British government passed explicitly anti-gay legislation. Through log book entries from Switchboard, Tash and Adam return to the scene: lawmakers spaffing about what constitutes a family, gay teachers zipping up and living in fear, and bewildered young people with seemingly nowhere to turn to for advice. This episode is filled with untold stories about Section 28 of the Local Government Act and the censorship of LGBTQ+ lives — and concludes with the joyous launch of a new kids’ book by Olly Pike called Kenny Lives With Erica and Martina.Content warning: attacks on LGBTQ+ people, including language that some people may find offensive.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.TV clip from Gay Rights – The London Programme, produced by LWT, April 10th, 1987. TV clip from Back In The Closet, produced by Thames TV, January 14th, 1988.For more information about Section 28, take a look at:Section 28 detailed history from the LGBT+ History ForumMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Lipstick on the windscreen to tackle homophobia — just one of the stories in this latest episode from 1983 to 1991. Tash and Adam focus on the hostility in the air during this period, from people using HIV/AIDS as a reason for their prejudice to tensions within Catholic families. We conclude by speaking to Hafsa Qureshi about her experience as a bisexual Muslim woman today.Content warning: attacks on LGBTQ+ people and biphobia.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.A book: Go The Way Your Blood Beats by Michael AmherstFor more information, take a look at:Imaan, supporting LGBTQ+ MuslimsHidayah, supporting LGBTQ+ MuslimsNaz and Matt Foundation, tackling homophobia triggered by religionTackling biphobia, support from GALOP BiPride UK, a safe space for bisexual people in the UKOneBodyOneFaith, empowering LGBT+ Chrisitans advocating for changeKeshet, supporting LGBTQ+ JewsSarbat, LGBT SikhsQuest, a support group for LGBT+ CatholicsMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Every time anything to do with LGBTQ+ life was mentioned on TV or in the newspaper in the 80s, Switchboard volunteers took extra calls. In this episode, Tash and Adam speak to the people behind TV programmes and newspaper columns, and hear about the feverish atmosphere that led to anti-gay legislation in 1988. The section on today has two very special guests: our very own Shivani Dave, and Simon McCallum from the BFI National Archive, both comparing the media today with 1983 to 1991.Content warning: some archaic language that some listeners may find offensive as our contributors discuss how language was used to attack people especially in the media.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.LAGNALesbian and Gay Newsmedia Archive at the Bishopsgate Institute TVWatch more episodes of Gay Life on the BFI Player. BooksMediawatch: Treatment of Male and Female Homosexuality in the British Media by Terry SandersonPolicing Desire by Simon WatneyMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Some light and laughter in our fourth episode of this season! Tash and Adam hear memories of joy and strength from 1983 to 1991, through the log books at Switchboard and stories from people who remember those years. We also feature the Lesbian Strength Marches, Switchboard’s one-millionth call and an interview with Thigh High, the band who centre their music on queer joy. The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.Songs by Thigh High featured in this episode, Go Slow and Nannas on the Rampage, used with kind permission of the band. Listen to Thigh High on Spotify.Music by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Bottling attacks and cruel newspaper editorials — this is the story of how the HIV/AIDS crisis hit the LGBTQ+ community in the 80s. Through Switchboard’s unique log book entries, Tash and Adam also uncover the story of a very special volunteer who handled the hardest calls you can imagine. This episode concludes the three-part set of episodes on HIV/AIDS in Season Two, before we move on to other stories found in the log books.Content warning: Illness, death, archaic language, and ill-treatment and discrimination of people living with HIV and AIDS.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.TV clip from The London Programme produced by London Weekend Television, 08/03/1985.For more information about the themes in this episode, take a look at:From organisations:All about HIV from the Terrence Higgins TrustAll about PrEP from PrepsterNational Aids Trust, the UK’s HIV rights charityPositively UK, advocates for and supporters of people living with HIVPositive East, health and wellbeing for people living with HIVThe National AIDS Map, which grew out of Switchboard!Tonic Living, which seeks to build LGBT+ affirming retirement communitiesTV:BBC Horizon Killer in the Village from 1983Podcasts:From Probably True with Scott Flashheart:Doctor part 1 Doctor part 2PlagueBooks: Policing Desire by Simon WatneyThe End of Innocence by Simon Garfield AIDS: Don’t Die of Prejudice by Norman FowlerMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Tash and Adam continue exploring the HIV/AIDS crisis through the calls made to Switchboard from 1983 to 1991, in this second of three episodes on the subject. This episode contains memories of Switchboard volunteer Mark Ashton, more from George, and further log book entries from the anonymous volunteer looking for others with an HIV diagnosis. We also have untold stories about the UK government’s official public health campaign from 1987 and words from Dr Tristan Barber on the status of HIV prevention and treatment today.Content warning: Illness, death, and ill-treatment and discrimination of people living with HIV and AIDS.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.TV clip from Daytime: AIDS produced by Thames TV, 02/07/1988. TV ad clip from the UK government campaign AIDS: Don’t Die of Ignorance campaign produced in 1987. For more information about the themes in this episode, take a look at:From organisations:All about HIV from the Terrence Higgins TrustAll about PrEP from PrepsterNational Aids Trust, the UK’s HIV rights charityPositively UK, advocates for and supporters of people living with HIVPositive East, health and wellbeing for people living with HIVThe National AIDS Map, which grew out of Switchboard!Tonic Living, which seeks to build LGBT+ affirming retirement communitiesTV:BBC Horizon Killer in the Village from 1983Podcasts:From Probably True with Scott Flashheart:Doctor part 1 Doctor part 2PlagueBooks: Policing Desire by Simon WatneyThe End of Innocence by Simon Garfield AIDS: Don’t Die of Prejudice by Norman FowlerMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
This is the story of the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic as it has never been told before: through the voices and notes of the people who took phone calls made to an LGBTQ+ helpline. From 1983 to 1991, Switchboard volunteers supported people living with HIV, their loved ones, and people scared of it. In the first of three special episodes that start Season Two of The Log Books, Tash and Adam hear from survivors, a nurse and a doctor, and the people who were among the first to tackle what became a crisis.Content warning: Illness, death, and ill-treatment and discrimination of people living with HIV and AIDS.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam Zmith, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline. With thanks to the Bishopsgate Institute and the BFI National Archive.For more information about the themes in this episode, take a look at:From organisations:All about HIV from the Terrence Higgins TrustAll about PrEP from PrepsterNational Aids Trust, the UK’s HIV rights charityPositively UK, advocates for and supporters of people living with HIVPositive East, health and wellbeing for people living with HIVNAM AIDS Map, which grew out of Switchboard!Tonic Living, which seeks to build LGBT+ affirming retirement communitiesTV:BBC Horizon Killer in the Village from 1983Podcasts:From Probably True with Scott Flashheart:Doctor part 1 Doctor part 2PlagueBooks: Policing Desire by Simon WatneyThe End of Innocence by Simon Garfield AIDS: Don’t Die of Prejudice by Norman FowlerMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The award-winning podcast The Log Books returns for Season Two! Our brand-new set of episodes cover 1983 to 1991, continuing where Season One left off in 1982. As always, our re-telling of Britain’s history is led by the handwritten notes made by volunteers at Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline.In this short episode, hosts Tash and Adam return to the Switchboard log books by visiting two locations that are integral to LGBTQ+ history in these years. We hope you’re as excited as we are about the re-opening of The Log Books, and for all the stories, memories and reflections ahead.The Log Books: stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced in partnership with Switchboard, the LGBT+ helpline.Produced by Shivani Dave, Tash Walker and Adam ZmithNightclub music at the start of this episode by Pond5Music by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Season 2 of The Log Books is coming soon... Our unique exploration of the UK’s queer history through the pages of Switchboard’s log books will be strong, reflective and antiviral!If you’d like to support our work in bringing season 2 to life, you can contribute financially at supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks.In this preview episode, Tash, Adam and Shivani welcome you into their production process for their next full season. The behind-the-scenes glimpse features old and new voices talking about the stories they want to share from 1983 to 1991. The season will cover HIV/AIDS, Section 28, the media — and the countless colourful stories from LGBT+ life that flowed through Switchboard.If you have a story to share, please contact us here: www.thelogbooks.org/your-story. This preview episode was recorded during the Covid-19 lockdown in May and June 2020. We’ll be back in the autumn with the full season 2!Excerpt from "Gay Rights (The London Programme)", first broadcast by London Weekend Television 10/04/87. With thanks to the BFI National Archive. The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Adam Smith and Tash Walker, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline.Music by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
This strange moment in history is bringing feelings of isolation and loneliness to so many of us. The coronavirus lockdown has even slowed the production of season 2 of The Log Books, as Tash and Adam are stuck at home. So let’s talk about it.We’ve based this special lockdown episode on untold stories from calls to Switchboard from the 70s and 80s, as usual. But the episode is also built around Adam and Tash’s reflections on the experiences of those LGBTQ+ callers’ from history and all of us today. We remain physically distant while trying new ways to be socially connected. Thanks to everyone who read log book entries for this bonus episode: Luis Amália, Frances Lubbe, Rhian Petty and Amy Spiller.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Adam Smith and Tash Walker, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline.Music by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgFor more information about the themes in this episode, take a look at: London LGBTIQ+ COVID19 Mutual AidCOVID-19 – How LGBT-inclusive organisations can helpCovid-19 Information and ResourcesNHS: Mental wellbeing while staying at homeRethink: Covid-19 and mental illnessSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
We’ve taken The Log Books out of the archive for LGBT History Month! We recorded this special episode in front of an audience at an event in London on February 5th 2020. You’ll hear fresh voices and familiar ones, including Tash and Adam. As ever, we are led by the handwritten notes made by volunteers in Switchboard’s log books from 1974 to 1982. The event was held at the Finsbury Library and co-organised by Islington’s Pride, a Heritage Fund project that aims to preserve, archive and celebrate Islington’s LGBT+ heritage. Here are the voices you’ll hear:Julian Hows, LGBT+ rights activist and former Switchboard volunteer Marlin Khondoker, project archivist with Islington's PrideSeán McGovern, project manager with Islington's PrideFemi Otitoju, former Switchboard volunteerAdam Smith, co-producer of The Log BooksTash Walker, co-producer of The Log Books and co-chair of Switchboard...and members of our live audience Special thanks to everyone who helped with the event and this bonus podcast episode: Luis Amália, Scott Flashheart, Helen MacKenzie, Egle Rutkauskaite and Eliot Smith.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Adam Smith and Tash Walker, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline.Music by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Hello listeners, thank you for joining us through the laughter and tears of queer life in Britain from 1974 to 1982. In this final episode of our first season, Adam and Tash reflect on the stories we’ve all heard. We love hearing your reactions to the stories we’re telling too. Please keep them coming!The handwritten notes in Switchboard’s log books continue through the difficult years of the 80s. So we are planning to make a second season, covering 1983 to the early 90s. If you can help with funding, ideas or would like to share your story from those years, please email us on hello@thelogbooks.org. — Shivani, Tash and AdamThe Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Adam Smith and Tash Walker, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline.Music by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The early log books open up a world before HIV, showing what it was like for LGBTQ+ people needing healthcare between discos in the 70s. A doctor and a patient are among those who tell Tash and Adam what it was like. Some of the same infections are on the rise again today, as explained by Dr Tristan Barber, a consultant in HIV and sexual health.Content warning: stories about transitioning and being intersex.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Adam Smith and Tash Walker, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline.For more information about LGBTQ+ health, take a look at:Unexpected fluids SXT: Sexual health information GMFA — the gay men’s health projectBeating about the bush Lesbian Sex 101Mens R UsCliniQMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
People often make a phone call because they are lonely and isolated, as the log books at Switchboard show. Exploring this issue, Tash and Adam hear from Tony Whitehead and others who took such calls in the dead of night. Chryssy Hunter explains about the issue of loneliness among our LGBTQ+ elders today.Content warning: stories about racism, including slurs, and suicide.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Adam Smith and Tash Walker, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline.For more information about loneliness among LGBTQ+ elders, take a look at:Opening Doors LondonTackling loneliness and isolation can help older LGBT people’s healthMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
In the 70s, there was no such thing as an “LGBTQ+ community”. The log books reveal how identities, labels and definitions have always been in flux among those with minority sexual and gender identities. Former Switchboard volunteer Diana James is among the contributors who explains all this to Tash and Adam. Transgender and non-binary activists Owl and Fox Fisher guide us through their thoughts on how identities form in today’s internet-focused world.Content warning: historic terms.The Log Books — stories from Britain’s LGBT+ history and conversations about being queer today. Produced by Shivani Dave, Adam Smith and Tash Walker, in partnership with Switchboard - the LGBT+ helpline.For more information about identities and labels, take a look at:Why We Need More Queer Identity Labels, Not FewerStonewall’s glossary of termsA Brief History of the LGBTQ InitialismMusic by Tom Foskett-BarnesArtwork by Natalie Dotohttps://www.thelogbooks.orgSupport this show http://supporter.acast.com/thelogbooks. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (3)

Leila Laco

As a young LGBT person, I love this podcast! So interesting and well made.

Jan 13th
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