Sylvia, 69, and Maggie, 72, both came from Catholic families and both have been married and had children. They discovered their lesbianism in the late 1970s and have been together for over 30 years. They had a difficult experience of trying to live in sheltered housing where they were badly bullied.

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Gypsies have always had to be enterprising and adapt to the changing world around them. Still living in a trailer, Aunt Mary reflects: "You look out the window, go to the gate and see lots of kids playing and my daughter and granddaughter are nearby. Family is always around to give you help if you need it, we don't have much from outside but we look after ourselves."

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I believe I am alive because I have helped people.

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It's important that I'm free to leave a gay magazine on the side if I've brought it back from the pub.

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