Dalton: ‘I was ready to give up on love. Ready to forget what I was looking for.’

11 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.

I was ready to give up on love. Ready to forget what I was looking for.

I was a teenager who was not out to my parents. Just a few friends. We used to all pile in a car once a month to the only gay night outside our small seaside town. I never had any luck pulling. I was very butch and often attracted more gay men than women, which meant I had to explain.

I would sit there the day after, my pint growing warm, in a straight night club thinking I would have to wait a whole month to meet someone again. Try to meet someone. My friends would all take to the dance floor. I was on handbag duties.

All the men and women dancing seemed to know who they could dance with like everything was built for them. No bouncers telling them ‘none of your funny business tonight’. On this particular night, there were two girls sitting across the table I was saving. Now I couldn’t even save a table! My mates would have to lump it. Why did I have to always be the one left behind?

My favourite song came on. I muttered ‘I love this song’. A hand reached out followed by a voice ‘wanna dance?’. I followed the arm that led to the face of the girl who nicked my table. She led me to the dance floor. The song was drawing us closer. I saw nothing but her, her eyes made my heart explode like a dam had burst.

I was dancing and grinning as her friends shouted to get her attention as we swayed. I felt a pang of insecurity about the girl who had thought I was a man and then left when I told her my name. I said, ‘You do know I’m a woman.’ She smiled and let my hand stay around her waist. Leaning in, she replied, ‘I wouldn’t be dancing with you if you weren’t.’

Thanks to Rob of Angels of Freedom and Kirsty from Bi+ Leeds Social Group for their invaluable support in gathering these stories together.



    Arts Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • LTB Foundation
  • Principal Partner

    Caddick Group
  • Principal Access Partner

    Irwin Mitchell