George Montague, ‘oldest gay in the village’, dead at 98

George Montague oldest gay
Image: George Montague Twitter

George Montague, author of the memoir The Oldest Gay in the Village, died Friday aged 98. Remembered as a popular figure at the annual Brighton Pride, George Montague was also a tireless rights campaigner.

George Montague passed away with his husband Somchai Phukkhlai at his side. Before his death, he dictated a message to friends and supporters.

“Dear friends and supporters,

“George is wishing to say goodbye. He thanks everyone who has been supporting his campaigns that he might have helped a little for us to live in a better world.

“Everyone, please continue your good works for good causes. I shall rest now. Goodbye. George 98.”

George Montague’s campaign for an apology

In his memoir, George Montague recalled his 1974 conviction for gross indecency.

“Under Gross Indecency law, we were arrested and charged enthusiastically by homophobic police, assisted by provocateurs and informers.”

In 2016, the British government issued pardons for gay and bisexual men convicted under historic anti-gay laws But George wanted more. Because, as he insisted, a pardon ‘accepts that you were guilty’.

Following a petition asking for an apology ‘before I die’, the government issued George with an apology in 2017.

Brighton Pride also paid tribute to George Montague on social media.

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