Being gay when it was still a crime

George Montague was convicted in 1974 of gross indecency with a man.

Now 93 and married to a man, he's "the luckiest, happiest, old gay man alive".

But for many years, he led a double life - married to a woman but secretly knowing he identified as homosexual.

As the government announces gay and bisexual men convicted of now-abolished sexual offences in England and Wales will be offered pardons, George tells Newsbeat what it was like to be gay, when it was still a crime.

George believes he should never have been convicted of a crime and says the only thing he was guilty of is "being in the wrong place at the wrong time".

He says he was found by police in a public toilet, but he wasn't doing anything wrong and was totally innocent.

Instead of a pardon, he wants an apology from the government.

"Gays today have never had it so good. The internet, gay bars," he says.

"When I was young, living in a little country village, when I came out as gay, the only thing you could do was to go... to the gents."

Chatting with George, is Newsbeat listener Daniel Harris, 33, who is also gay and says he appreciates how difficult it must have been to be homosexual when it was still a crime.

"It was all behind closed doors. There was a lot of prejudice," Daniel says.

"I have friends that in the 1990s were finding men in toilets. That's something I'm aware still happens today"

George says he has experienced homophobia during his lifetime.

"It [being gay] was such an aberration," he says.

"Anyone talking about it, if they didn't know I was [gay], they automatically assumed anyone was gay was also a paedophile.

"It couldn't be further from the truth."

The age of sexual consent is currently 16 but George believes it should be significantly older.

He says young people can be "vulnerable", especially if they are later to mature compared to their peers.

"It's now maybe 70% to 80% accepted, homosexuality. It's because of gay marriage," says George.

Speaking of his first marriage, to a woman, George tells Daniel: "We were married for 45 years but the last 20, she met my present husband, she met several of my boyfriends.

"She accepted the fact I was gay and I needed that. We made the best of it.

"I concentrated on doing whatever I should have done as a good husband and father.

"I was living a complete lie."