UK: Switchboard: Homophobia, HIV and hoax calls

Switchboard, the LGBT helpline, took its first call from a tiny office in the basement of a bookshop in King's Cross on 4 March 1974. To mark the 45th anniversary, people have been sharing memories of a charity that's helped millions across the world.

Lisa Power used to think of herself as a supporter or ally of the gay community, rather than a member. But in 1976 at a march in Lancashire protesting against an employee at a BHS department store losing his job after coming out as gay, Lisa "accidentally" revealed herself as a loud and proud lesbian.

"Somebody handed me their placard while they went to the loo… I didn't even see the photographer from the local paper," she says. "The next thing I know there's a big photo in the local paper with me carrying a placard saying 'BHS unfair to gays'… oops!"

After that Lisa thought she "might as well" go along with her new identity. She's been a sharp-tongued LGBT activist ever since. Read more via BBC