About this event

Lesbians fighting for custody, runaways seeking shelter and gay men suffering through unfair laws and police persecution. These are just some of the stories that were unearthed in the handwritten log book entries of LGBT Switchboard volunteers who staffed the phones from 1974 to 1982.

These notes make up dozens of thick, messy log books that were archived at Bishopsgate Institute in 2015.

Join Adam Smith, co-producer of The Log Books podcast, as he brings some of these stories to life for us, giving us a unique glimpse into the UK’s LGBTQ+ history.

About Switchboard

Switchboard is a helpline for anyone who wants to talk about sexuality, gender identity, emotional well-being and sexual health. Since the charity began in 1974, volunteers kept detailed notes in these physical log books, as a way to communicate amongst each other, providing the latest information and sharing the themes of the calls they were taking.

About The Log Books podcast

In 2019, Switchboard’s co-chair Tash Walker joined up with Adam Smith, a writer and producer, to make a unique podcast based on the log books.

Their aim was to tell the stories in the log books and bring them back to life through the memories of people who lived this queer history.

The first season of The Log Books podcast covers the period 1974 to 1982, and includes stories collected from more than 40 contributors. The Log Books podcast is five-star rated on Apple.

About Adam Smith

Adam Smith is a writer and podcaster. He is a London Writers Awardee (2019-20), the literature programme for Fringe!, east London’s queer film and arts fest, and a volunteer at Diversity Role Models.

He has published fiction and written short films that have screened internationally. His stage show Stigma, co-written with the performer Luis Amália, is on at the Camden People’s Theatre in March 2020.

He is formerly a journalist and social media editor at The Economist among others.

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