A 13-year-old boy and a 78-year-old man have sat down together to share stories about what it’s like being openly gay in completely different decades.
Despite a 65-year age gap between septuagenarian Percy and teenager Louis, the pair chat like old friends, discussing when they first realised they were gay and how they came out.
“I never knew there was such a thing as liking other boys, I thought it was just me,” says Louis. “I remember when I went on a school journey, I remember actually thinking to myself… to try not to think about being gay because I was with a group of boys…”
He goes on to say that when he did come out, he had the love and support of his classmates and family.
“That’s amazing,” says Percy. “Wonderful, actually, because they’ve all been supportive”.
He adds: “I think you’re so lucky the world has changed and you can just be yourself.”
Percy came out when he was 16, and describes the wonder he felt when he first visited a gay club with a friend.
“It was an eye-opener… there were so many people who felt just like we did, it was quite exciting, actually.”
Fifty years since the UK made homosexuality legal
The video was produced by Youtubers Trent and Luke in collaboration with London Pride and BBC2, and commemorates the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK 50 years ago.
Teenager Louis asks Percy what it was like when being gay was a criminal offence.
“In some instances, one didn’t think about it,” he responds. “You got on with what you were doing.”
“But there were moments," he continues. "If you had a chum and you wanted to say, ‘Oh I went out last night to a gay club’, you were sometimes reluctant to tell them because you weren’t quite sure what they were going to think or feel.”
“Right up to 1967, it was illegal and you had to be very careful because if you had a boyfriend…and you were spending the night with them, the police could come and knock on your door.
“And because you were in bed with them, they could charge you with a guilty offence.”
Louis looks astounded and replies: “It amazes me how they could even just say for loving someone, you’re being arrested. That completely shocks me.”
The video ends with Percy offering Louis some sage life advice.
“Be true to yourself. Stand up for being gay and for actually trying to make people understand that the most important thing is that you can love somebody and it doesn’t matter who they are,” he says.
“Love is love.”
You can watch the full video below: