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Miriam Margolyes attends first-ever Pride aged 81 and reveals her mother was ‘utterly devastated’ when she came out as a lesbian

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Miriam Margolyes came out as a lesbian in the 1960s, but is has only just experienced the joy of attending her first Pride.We know and love the 81-year-old Harry Potter star for her witty comments and scandalous stories, but now she’s opening up about her own past and what it was like to come out.The actress shared her story in ABC’s Australia Unmasked, with the British-Australian star taking a dive into the history of LGBTQ+ rights Down Under.In a precious moment, Miriam went to Pride for the first time in Hobart, Tasmania, where she was filmed sitting in a wheelchair and holding a bunch of rainbow flags in her lap.Discussing her mother’s reaction to her coming, Miriam – who has been with her partner Heather Sutherland since 1968 – recalled her being ‘devastated’. ‘I told my mother, and she was utterly devastated,’ she said.‘My Parents were Jewish.

My father was a doctor, so you’d think he would be a bit clued up.‘But no, not when it was his daughter. It wasn’t possible’.Miriam’s mother, Ruth, was a real estate entrepreneur – she died in 1974 while her dad, Joseph, died in 1995.Elsewhere in the episode, the queen of anecdotes spoke with Tasmanian LGBTQ+ activist Rodney Croome, who explained that the island state only decriminalised homosexuality in 1997, making it the last place in Australia to do so.The 58-year-old campaigner shared what it was like to witness ‘large anti-gay rallies’ in Ulverstone at a time when the community were fighting for their rights.‘Hundreds of people came from all over in the civic centre to protest against LGBTQ+ people in the late 80s.‘The speakers were inciting the crowds to even higher levels of hatred.

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