Who was Jackie Forster? in Articles

Some of you may be seeing on Googles homepage that it is Jackie Forsters 91st birthday. This article explains who she was and what she did

Jackie Forster was born on 6th November 1929, she lived in India during her early years at life- this was due to having a father in the army- before attending boarding schools in the UK, more notability, Wycombe Abbey girl’s boarding school in Buckinghamshire and then St Leonard’s School in Fife, Scotland.


She spent her life as an actress doing many west end productions and doing small parts on television and film, more notably The Dam Busters (1955) before having a successful career in television as a TV presenter and news reporter under her maiden name Jacqueline MacKenzie


She married author Peter Forster n 1958 however the marriage as short lived and ended within two years, after realising her sexual orientation, the couple were then legally divorced in 1962 and she moved to Canada, however moved back to the UK a few years later.


She then went on to join the Campaign for Homosexual Equality, she then went on to become a strong advocate for gay rights , founding the Gay Liberation Front in 1970, taking part in Britain’s first Pride march in 1971 and founding Sappho magazine the following year.

She devoted the final three decades of her life to LGBT activism, providing inexhaustible support for members of the community and regularly appearing on TV to discuss her sexuality.


Bearing in mind in the UK, homosexuality was illegal until 1967, where gay men could face life in prison,


Under law Lesbianism was never illegal, as people refused to believe that girls were ‘’into that kind of thing’’ and this just shows the importance of Jackie Forsters work throughout the whole of her campaigning, she is now marked as one of the most famous lesbian campaigners, up until her death in 1998 she was an active member of the  Lesbian Archive and Information Centre Management Committee and her contribution has made a lasting impact on the quality of the archive, but it is important to remember that up until 1967,1980 in Scotland it was illegal to be gay

Professor Brian Heaphy, an expert from the University of Manchester, explains: "Homosexuality was often treated as an illness by doctors and psychiatrists, who thought they could 'heal' people by treating them.

"Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were often forced to hide their identities from their families, friends, colleagues and in public to avoid the risk of being singled out, harassed or becoming a victim of violence."

As much as the laws changed in 1967 and it stopped becoming illegal to be gay, a lot of people under the lgbt banner still had farless rights that straight couples, during the year of 1967 more LGBT collectively were arrested for things that a straight couple would never be arrested for.