On 17 November 1987, 14 million people watched as Barry gave his boyfriend Colin a peck on the forehead in EastEnders. It was TV’s first male gay kiss and, despite its tame nature, it caused uproar, with viewers calling the kiss ‘absolutely disgusting’ and ‘repugnant’.
Twenty years after homosexuality had been partly decriminalised, Britain was still very much divided.
So much so that in 1988, the government introduced Section 28, which prohibited schools from ‘intentionally promot[ing] homosexuality’.
This huge step backwards for LGBTQ rights galvanised the community, but incredibly the law remained in place until 2000.