This week the Voltaire Society entertained renowned civil liberties activists, Alan Shea and Hazel Hannan. In a wide-ranging session, they related the story of the struggle for LGBTQ rights on the island, including the hardship facing the community in the past, Alan’s celebrated protested on Tynwald Day in 1991 and the eventual move to a fairer, more equitable society. They also talked about the importance of the support they received from groups like Stonewall and prominent figures like the actor Sir Ian McKellen.

In this well-attended session a discussion ensued about the current state of LGTBQ rights on the island and, while there was general consensus that the climate is more favourable in terms of free expression, there is still work to do in regards to some societal attitudes.