British lesbians are lucky – this is one thing I’ve learned from my travels. Here we can be free, and we can be visible.
Having visited Jamaica and Kenya, I couldn’t imagine living there for very long because I’d have to live a lie. I’d have to be secretive about who I am, and that just isn’t me.
Abroad I’ve found all kinds of dangers that you just wouldn’t find in Britain. In Jamaica my partner and I were driving from one side of the island to the other when we were stopped by the police.
They pulled their guns on us and I started to panic. In those days I had long hair and looked quite femme and my partner was very buff and boyish. A lot of people would have thought we were gay, but not these policemen. Clearly their gaydar wasn’t very developed!
I then started to worry about them searching the boot of our car and helping themselves to our possessions. Corruption is a huge problem out there, partly because public officials are so badly paid. Fortunately they let us go on our way.
God knows what would have happened if the police had sussed out that we were lesbians.
I suppose the sad lesson I’ve learned from travelling is this: you can’t really be open about your sexuality in certain places.