Explore the Glasgow Women's Library's LGBTQ Collections.
The final issue of Arena Three was published in July 1971. Its absence was quickly filled by a new publication called Sappho, which was first published in April 1972.
Sappho was an influential publication produced between 1972 and 1982, and edited by the lesbian broadcaster and campaigner Jackie Forster.
The magazine had wide ranging concerns, but principally sought to give voice (through its letters pages in particular) to lesbian women across the UK.
2018 marks 30 years since the Thatcher government introduced Section 28.
Section 28 was introduced by the Conservative government as an amendment to the Local Government Act prohibiting the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality by councils in schools or other areas controlled by local government such as libraries.
The bookshop was (and continues to be) an important source of LGBT literature and non-fiction. Due to the limited circulation of these kinds of materials in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Gay’s the Word imported a number of literary works from abroad as well as important academic books and journals which reflected on the fields of sexuality and gender.
Reflecting on working with the GWL LGBTQ collections, Bel commented:
"What the archive has taught me is the importance, as an activist, of understanding your history. Knowing what came before allows you to build on top of that rather than starting from scratch – learning from the mistakes of others rather than having to make your own, as well as making informed criticism and highlighting what you want to change in the future. As an activist I have learnt that I am part of a timeline that stretches back long long before I was even born."
This exhibition has been curated, designed and produced based on articles and interpretation by Alice Andrews and GWL Volunteers.