Preview: Tom Robinson, writer of ‘Glad to be Gay’, examines bisexuality for BBC Radio 4

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Singer-songwriter Tom Robinson became a darling of the 1970s gay liberation movement with his song ‘Glad To Be Gay’ (see video and lyrics below).

But just a few years later, he fell in love with a woman and was booed at the 1987 London Pride event.

In a new programme for Radio 4 he examines how he came to terms with his sexuality and finds out how bisexual people in different parts of the UK cope with attitudes towards their relationships.

In the documentary, he meets bisexual people struggling to be understood by their straight and gay friends.

Producer Ashley Byrne explains the reason for making the programme: “For some reason bisexuality remains a bit of taboo in the media and society at large. We’ve been trying to cover the issue on both TV and radio for years. So it’s a real credit to Radio 4 that they’ve had the courage to go with a topic which often gets overlooked.”

In the programme, Robinson admits that he didn’t understand bisexuality at first and felt it was a ‘cop out’ after coming out as gay, but found his views changed.

He explains: “Many people may experience bisexual feelings at some point in their lives. It’s not only straight people but lesbians and gay men who can find those feelings disturbing.”

He added: “‘Some People Are Gay. Get Over It’, the famous Stonewall poster proclaims but some people are bisexual and may be it’s time both communities got over that.”

It’s My Story: Tom Robinson – Getting Bi will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 8pm on Monday September 19th. It will be available on the BBC iPlayer shortly afterwards.

Glad to be Gay
The British Police are the best in the world
I don’t believe one of these stories I’ve heard
‘Bout them raiding our pubs for no reason at all
Lining the customers up by the wall
Picking out people and knocking them down
Resisting arrest as they’re kicked on the ground
Searching their houses and calling them queer
I don’t believe that sort of thing happens here

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Pictures of naked young women are fun
In Titbits and Playboy, page three of The Sun
There’s no nudes in Gay News our last magazine
But they still find excuses to call it obscene
Read how disgusting we are in the press
The News of The World and the Sunday Express
Molesters of children, corruptors of youth
It’s there in the paper, it must be the truth

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

Don’t try to kid us that if you’re discreet
You’re perfectly safe as you walk down the street
You don’t have to mince or make bitchy remarks
To get beaten unconscious and left in the dark
I had a friend who was gentle and short
Got lonely one evening and went for a walk
Queerbashers caught him and kicked in his teeth
He was only hospitalised for a week

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way

So sit back and watch as they close all our clubs
Arrest us for meeting and raid all our pubs
Make sure your boyfriend’s at least 21
So only your friends and your brothers get done
Lie to your workmates, lie to your folks
Put down the queens and tell anti-queer jokes
Gay Lib’s ridiculous, join their laughter
‘The buggers are legal now, what more are they after?’

Sing if you’re glad to be gay
Sing if you’re happy that way