"We are complicated; we are a weird, beautiful, wise, stupid, vulnerable, dangerous form of life. Outsiders simply learn to recognise this picture of humankind sooner than the rest. - Antony Sher. "People describe me as over the top, but nobody's ever told me what the top is I'm supposed to be over." - Maggi Hambling. "I have a strong sense of having ridden on the hard work and struggle of a lot of people who were more committed and clear-sighted than I ever was." - Alan Hollinghurst. The arrival of civil partnership in Britain in 2005 was welcomed with a "Sun" editorial celebrating the forthcoming wedding of Elton John and David Furnish. Beneath the headline 'Gay Pride', the newspaper - once doggedly hostile to homosexuality - claimed the event would 'lend a touch of stardust' to modern Britain. The "Way We Are Now" is a compelling account of the way the world has been transformed for millions of gay people within a generation. Lesbians and gay men discuss their lives and work with remarkable candour. Contributors include actor Antony Sher, artist Maggi Hambling, novelists Alan Hollinghurst, Stella Duffy and V.G.
Lee, historian David Starkey, columnist and former politician Matthew Parris, pianist Stephen Hough, activist Irshad Manji, journalist Jane Czyzselska and Brian Paddick, Britain's most senior gay police officer.
Ben Summerskill is chief executive of Stonewall, Europe's largest gay equality organisation. He was closely involved in the successful campaign to introduce civil partnership in Britain. Formerly Assistant Editor of the Observer, he has worked for the London Evening Standard and the Daily Express. He writes regularly for the Guardian.