In the context of Purple Friday (24 February), an event to raise awareness for LGBT History Month, and the launch of our Safe Space Charter at Dance Base, Artistic Director Morag Deyes reminisces and shares a story of her dance youth and the glorious LGBTi* culture of the day.
This picture above is the earliest one that exists of me. I was 15 years young and, that year, had recently met Lindsay Kemp and Jack Birkett, who is in the photo (aka 'the Incredible Orlando'), lost my virginity, discovered false eyelashes as day-wear, knew being onstage made my life magical and I had narrowly missed being sectioned for general weirdness that nobody could categorise. None of these things were connected, or were they?
Jack and Lindsay lived together in a basement of ill repute in the Southside of Edinburgh. I went to live with them for a while, happy to be lash-maker, gin pourer, stage manager, fan bearer, sometimes company member and kitchen skivvy. I tossed the salads when David Bowie came to stay to finish writing Hunky Dory, and had never been happier in my life. I gleefully adopted Lindsay as my real mother and Jack as my Fairy Godmother. Jack taught Grahame technique at the Theatre School of Dance and Drama. We knew and loved it.
Regardless of extra euphoria caused by anything we could get our hands on, these days were so infused with a sense of freedom – we believed anything was possible in gender, attitude, fashion, sexuality and style. I still believe this and more is possible and am inspired daily by people who stand up and demand their rights to be humans, being.
Morag Deyes, Artistic Director
Please feel free to share your own story around LGBT using the #WhenWeWereYoung. Read up on our Safe Space Charter, our commitment to respect and diversity at Dance Base here.
*LGBTi = Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender/intersex