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A. E. G. Wright
(6 October 1927 - 30 April 2010) U.K.

A. E. G. Wright

Gay activist

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Anthony Edgar Gartside Wright took a history degree at Cambridge University and left in 1948 aged 20. In the 1950s, feeling unable to campaign under his own name, he took the pseudonym "Antony Grey".

He started with job as a journalist with a provincial newspaper. When this job came to an end he moved to London in 1949 and was employed in the Secretary's Department of the British Iron and Steel Federation where he worked for 12 years. The job provided him with experience of parliamentary lobbying. At the same time he read for the Bar.

In 1958 he responded to advertisements in the classified columns placed by Homosexual Law Reform Society, (HLRS) and he had his first meeting with the founder Tony Dyson. He later became the treasurer to the society.

He met his life-partner Eric Thompson in 1960, seven years before male homosexual activities were decriminalised in England, and they lived together for 50 years. The two became civil partners in 2005, on the second day that civil partnerships were legal.

He took a new job in public relations. However in 1962 the Albany Trust/HLRS began to employ him on a part-time basis. At the same time the British Iron and Steel Federation also employed him part-time so that he could co-author a book for them. He supplemented his income by taking up David Astor's offer of a Saturday job as sub-editor for the Observer which he undertook for several years.

He was Secretary of the Homosexual Law Reform Society (HLRS) and the Albany Trust from 1962 to 1970. He took the Albany Trust/HLRS through the stormy period during the campaigns which led to the 1967 Sexual Offences Act.

He left the Albany Trust/HLRS in 1970 having felt the need for a change but he returned on ocassions to help out in times of crisis.

He was invited to become the first chair of the National Federation of Homophile Organisations (NFHO). Groups in the Federation included CHE and SMG, but these groups led to the demise of the Federation two years later by leaving it because they thought it too bureaucratic.

After 1967 and after Stonewall, Antony has been portrayed by the more recent radical campaigning groups as a reformist and somewhat conservative. He went to the early Gay Liberation Front meetings but according to Jeffrey Weeks in "Coming Out", (1977), page 190, he was "widely distrusted" and soon withdrew from the GLF.

Antony says in Quest for Justice, page 179, that he started going to GLF meetings after he had left the Albany Trust in 1970 and that he enjoyed the meetings but that he he felt that he had to stop attending when he resumed an official post with the Albany Trust/HLRS.

He was awarded the 1998 Pink Paper Lifetime Achievement Award.

He died at the King Edward VII hospital in London, after a long fight against leukaemia. He expressed specific wishes that his body should be cremated and his ashes scattered without any religious ceremony or memorial service. His civil partner, Eric Thompson, survived him.

His papers are in the custody of the Hall–Carpenter Archives collection of material on gay activism, in London. Grey was a prolific writer and media campaigner on a wide range of civil liberties issues

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Source: The Knitting Circle, U.K. - https://en.wikipedia.org/ - http://www.sbu.ac.uk/stafflag/people.html

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