The Guardian, “My winter of love: The lesbian gathering was freezing cold. Would a clinch with an anarchist help?”

It was bitter weather in Geneva in 1986 and all any of us could think about was getting warm. Then I met a charismatic woman and felt a strong mutual attraction

Julie Bindel, December 22, 2021

Geneva in March 1986 was cold. I had travelled overnight on an extremely long train journey from London to Switzerland. I and several other women heading for a huge lesbian feminist conference had failed to find affordable flights and instead had bought train tickets with vouchers collected from very large boxes of Persil washing powder.

The journey was hellish. There was no heating on any of the trains and we only had enough booze for the odd warming sip from a hip flask. I was wearing every pair of socks I had packed and would run up and down the carriages every half-hour trying to get my circulation moving.

I had hoped conditions would improve once we arrived, but the conference was held in a university building, and to say it was basic is an understatement. Being a lesbian in the 1980s was no walk in the park, and we were not considered worthy of elevated heating bills.

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