Monday, November 14, 2011

Obit du jour: Rose Robertson

A spy obit, and so much more. Let's start with this great sentence:
After leaving school, she took a series of secretarial jobs, but her unremarkable existence changed dramatically during the war when she was recruited into SOE and later parachuted into Nazi-occupied France.
Yes, that would change one's existence. While there, she worked with "two young gay anti-Nazi fighters," which leads us to stage two:
In 1965 she took in two young male lodgers. On eventually learning that they were gay and had suffered because of their parents’ homophobic attitudes, Rose Robertson set up Parents Enquiry. This was the first organisation in Britain — and possibly the world — dedicated to advising and supporting parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual children. She ran it almost single-handedly, without payment, from her home in south-east London until the 1990s.
Perhaps the best part of the story is that Parents Enquiry no longer exists, in some measure because it's no longer needed. And in some measure it's no longer needed because she offered it.


K.G. Sunshine said...

I must say, I found it odd when you said you enjoyed reading obituaries, but after reading this, I see why. It's such an amazing story and I only wish I could have had the chance to meet this wonderful woman.

LKT said...

Yes, it's the stories. And it's a reminder that there are so many stories in people's lives that I don't pay attention to. I hope that obits help me note the remarkable lives of the people around me. At least a little bit.