Nathaniel Curtis and Callum Scott Howells, stars of Channel 4’s new drama It’s A Sin, have sat down with leading LGBTQ+ activist Peter Tatchell to talk about finding your queer family and the power of community when fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.

Nathaniel plays Ash and Callum plays Colin in the new five-part Russell T Davies show, with their characters each facing their own challenges growing up gay in the 1980s.

In the face of tragedy, the characters each play a part in trying to better understand the new deadly virus that had appeared in London and came up against the horrors of how mainstream society turned on their community as the HIV/AIDS epidemic unfolded.

Peter Tatchell has a legacy of activism and campaigning since the early 1970s, and was one of the leading voices for LGBTQ+ rights during the HIV/AIDS crisis.

“It was a lightning bolt of joy to find a movement that existed that was fighting for my rights and our rights,” says Peter about finding his tribe when arriving in London.

He adds, however, that attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people during the decade deteriorated and they faced abuse and discrimination from the highest offices in the UK. “We were effectively designated as the enemy within,” he recalls.

You can watch Nathaniel and Callum’s conversation with Peter Tatchell below:

GAY TIMES has teamed up with Channel 4 for a series of video conversations between cast members from It’s A Sin and artists and activists who lived through the decade, offering social and political context to the themes explored in this new drama from Russell T Davies.

It’s A Sin stars Olly Alexander, Lydia West, Omari Douglas, Nathaniel Curtis, Callum Scott Howells, Stephen Fry, Neil Patrick Harris, Keeley Hawes, and Tracy-Ann Oberman.

It’s A Sin starts Friday 22 January at 9pm on Channel 4, with all episodes available immediately after on on All 4.

Related: It’s A Sin: Listen to the 80s hits that feature in the new queer drama