'The personal is political' Stonewall co-founder Lisa Power on her role as an activist

Lisa Power has spent more than three decades campaigning for LGBTQ+ rights in Wales and across the world.

She is one of the founders of the charity Stonewall but prior to that, in 1979, she joined the telephone helpline Switchboard and supported people during the AIDS epidemic.

She was hired by Russell T Davies to oversee the historical accuracy of the TV series 'It's A Sin', a popular drama about friends whose lives are tested as they grow up in the shadow of AIDS.

On ITV Cymru Wales' programme Face To Face, Lisa told Adrian Masters, "If I see something that I think could easily be better, I'm rather liable to try and fiddle with it... You know, the stuff that's personal to me.

"I believe the personal is political. So that means LGBTQ+ rights. And because of my years in the 80s working on HIV, it also means sexual health."

Lisa Power has been an activist for decades. Credit: Lisa Power

Lisa, who lives in Cardiff, is currently involved in two projects. One of which is Queer Britain, the National Museum project.

"We've just got our first bricks and mortar building and actually to have a proper history of LGBTQ+ people and the things that we do across the UK, it's going to be really important. I think that's brilliant."

Her other project is called Fast Track Cardiff and Vale. She said it is "basically a coalition of people who care about HIV, a coalition of HIV activists and advocates and people who work on the issue from all different areas of of of life in Cardiff and Vale."

She said the team recently signed the contract to create a national HIV advocacy network.

"It's so that people actually start speaking up more about their own experiences around HIV, about their experiences of the services that we have and actually get people normalising HIV, but also taking more part in asking for the health services that we need. Because if you don't ask, you don't get."

In 1979, Lisa Power joined the telephone helpline Switchboard. Credit: Lisa Power

Despite labelling herself as a 'serial interferer', Lisa has accepted an MBE. She said it was money in the bank for her charity and her mother said she would "kill me if I didn't take her to Buckingham Palace".

Prince Charles presented Lisa with her award.

She said, "You can change your citation. So when [Prince Charles] was pinning it on me, the voice rang out saying, 'For services to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.'

"And Prince Charles stopped and he paused and he beamed at me and he said, 'And which division are you my dear?'

"So I rather warmed to him. I mean, I'm a Republican. I don't believe in the royal family, but my God, that was fun."

  • Watch Face To Face with Lisa Power on ITV Cymru Wales on Tuesday 8 February at 10:45pm.