Five beautiful things about playwright Jonathan Harvey
Wed 4 Oct, 2023
Beautiful Thing, the pivotal coming-out and coming-of-age play of the 90s, is arriving in our Courtyard theatre on 18 October. To celebrate its honest, evocative and uplifting themes, we're sharing 5 blogs over 5 days from members of the LGBTQ+ community in Leeds talking about their own 'first love' and 'coming out' stories.
My name is Kirsty and I’m a 43-year-old bisexual woman from Leeds.
I don’t have a coming out story; I’ve felt this way for as long as I can remember and have always spoken about my sexuality openly. But, at the same time, for most of my life I’ve not really felt like I’ve ever fit in anywhere – not wholly and fully.
Not fitting in didn’t really bother me as I did my own stuff and lived my life. What people thought of me was generally their problem. But meeting someone in the Queer community nearly eight years ago gave me a level of connection, belonging and understanding I’d never had before – a soul mate, if you like. It made me truly understand what unconditional love felt like and what someone totally ‘getting me’ meant.
What I didn’t anticipate was that all the things I felt and believed in about that relationship were never totally true for the other person, and that I would spend large parts of our time together questioning my worth.
So, I made the decision to step out of that shadow because I knew I was worthy of the same love and respect I’d spent so long giving someone else. When you feel love and connection with pretty much all of your being, stepping away is hard, but on my path to self-acceptance that’s what I’ve had to do.
Fast forward to now and you’ll find me volunteering in the LGBTQ+ community of Leeds, helping to run an LGBTQ+ group and committed to providing spaces and opportunities where LGBTQ+ lovelies can exist as their true selves and find a sense of connection and belonging. I also work hard to bring together the whole Queer community wherever I can.
My message is clear: be the you that you really want and need to be. There is space in the world and there are people who will accept you just the beautiful way you are – you just have to have hope and keep searching, no matter how long it might take.
It might have taken me a long time, but feeling completely at home in my skin and in my community is a massive deal. The journey I’ve taken to get here makes me proud every…single…day.
Thanks to Rob of Angels of Freedom and Kirsty from Bi+ Leeds Social Group for their invaluable support in gathering these stories together.
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