2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

The Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885 was originally “an Act to make further provision for the Protection of Women and Girls, the suppression of brothels, and other purposes”, but a last minute amendment tabled by Henry Labouchere, Liberal MP for Northampton, commonly known as the Labouchere Amendment, made “gross indecency” a crime in the United Kingdom.

These charges affected so many in the period that it became known as ‘The Blackmailer’s Charter’, and for the next 8 decades men were persecuted, imprisoned and chemically castrated just for who they loved. It is impossible to say how many lives were devastated or how many chose to take their own life rather than face the shame on themselves and loved ones, but it easily numbers in the hundred thousands.

This is a photo and video documentary project of the people who lived through that most oppressive period of LGBT history in the UK.