All of us in the LGBTQ+ community have our own coming-out tale. No one has the same even though we may share alike characteristics, and tragically far too many have very sad endings.
George Ward is a 27-year-old mental health nurse who has had a long struggle for acceptance. What makes his story unique is he is a gay drag queen who comes from a Traveler Community. In fact, he was the first Traveller queen on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and now he is a subject of a new TV documentary, where they open up about their struggle to be true to themselves. In the doc. they open up about their Traveller heritage and the difficulties of being LGBT+ in that community.
George grew up in Darlington in the north of England and is from the Romany community. George identifies as gender fluid, which means they don’t have a fixed identity of being male or female and uses the pronouns they and them. They knew from a young age that they didn’t want to follow the traditional path expected of them.
“I always felt like I didn’t really fit in. I had views that were very different to those I was brought up with. I was never attracted to women, but it was always told to me by my parents that I needed to get a girlfriend and get married.”
In this fascinating program, George reveals that they came out to their family by writing them a letter, before running away from home for over a week. They switched off their phone and stayed with a friend. They were 18 when they left the Gypsy community as they had felt rejected having come out as gay. Leaving his Gypsy identity behind, he invented Cherry Valentine, a drag alter-ego
When they eventually returned to their parent’s home, they were taken for a drive individually by each parent to talk – but after that, George’s sexuality and gender identity was never discussed again.
Now at 27 George wants to find out if they can be accepted as a queer Gypsy and feel proud.
The doc is streaming from WOW and BBC I Player (if you do not live in the UK you can access the latter via a VPN)
Labels: 2022, BBC, Cherry Valentine, documentary, drag queen, Gypsy Queen