This page gives you the brief biographies of each of the INTERarts project participants, as given in the exhibition programme. The participants are listed in alphabetical order and some biogs include a link to the participant’s website or to other information about them.
Syriah works with young people, enthusing them with a platform to create film and digital media they feel most represents their world. She is 22 and lives in London. Check out their website for more
I am in my mid 50ʼs, I have done various jobs including computer networking, housing advice, fine art and libraries. I now want to find time to make more art. I am female and I have been female since the moment I was conceived. Physical gender has not been an issue for me but sexism, homophobia, classism and – over the last few years – ageism are issues that I have constantly had to face. My hobbies are football and history.
I am an older lesbian and have always enjoyed trying out different forms of writing. This is the first time I have worked on a project with other LGBTQ people to produce a written piece and perform it on film. It has given me confidence to explore further my interest in writing and performance.
I studied and worked as a Scenic Artist, Theatre Designer, taught students in a University Drama Department and Drama School and worked with patients in psychiatric hospital and clients in community care. As a mature student I did a Fine Art Degree Course and now work in a Major National Gallery, enjoying both the art and people aspect. As an older Gay man I think OLGBTQ People should be as visible and active as they want and are able to be, and not be, put off by the often over emphasis of the youth orientated commercial scene. I’m particularly interested in our/my LGBTQ, often hidden, history and people, as well as my own interest in art/work with regards to my being Gay.
I am 70 years old. I was a secretary and then a social worker before my retirement. I came out as a lesbian to myself and others when I was 35. The main object of my life, according to my father, was to be a wife and mother. I did try to conform but I managed to avoid this fate. However, I didnʼt make the vital connection, ie to realise that I was a lesbian, although I always fancied women. My interests include: reading, swimming in the womenʼs pond and birdwatching. I am a member of the Older Lesbian Network, London Feminist Network and the Age Concern Opening Doors project.
My name is Becci, I am 22 years old. I identify as bigendered though I am content with the use of female pronouns. I am pansexual and currently in a long term stable and wonderful relationship with my FTM fiancé. I love art and music and am currently in the process of compiling a portfolio to work towards an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist- a life long dream! I am hoping to settle down and start a family in the near future, and really look forward to getting married.
I am a student from Pennsylvania, USA studying here for a term at London Metropolitan. Studying theatre and politics at University and hoping to become a teacher when I graduate this May.
Isaac Gustafsson Wood
I am a 20 year old Film student who enjoys music, playing guitar and such, paying attention to ridiculous detail in films and surfing the web. In the last year I have been working on becoming an active citizen. I am a transman who identifies sexually as queer. I have become more interested and involved in the LGBT community activism and especially in trans rights.
I am 16 and I identify as gay. I’ve been out since I was 14 and am pretty much 100 percent comfortable with my sexuality now. I aspire to be either a history teacher or some kind of volunteer worker overseas. My only hobbies are creative writing and watching more crime shows and Doctor Who than is probably healthy.
My name is Joshua, I am 22 years old. I’m a transman and identify as pansexual for approximately 4 years. I hope to eventually work within the LGBTQ youth work community providing support and guidance to young people as they discover themselves and through what can be a very difficult time in terms of being true to who you are verses peer/parental pressures and the like. I’m an arsenal fan, much to my dad’s displeasure, and of course my home team Carlisle United. I recently got engaged to my long-term girlfriend and Iʼm hoping to start a family soon.
Mark Jennett is constantly surprised to discover how old he is. He currently divides his time between being a musician and an equalities trainer. In no particular order he likes Dusty Springfield, Dexter Gordon, Gene Kelly, loud shirts, Tony Benn, Kristen Scott Thomas, True Blood, Frank Sinatra, Colin Firth, Peggy Lee, tap dancing, Jimmy Scott, Michael Cunningham, Oscar Peterson, Judy Garland, Lester Young, Mel Tormé, Arthur Miller, Kay Starr, Patricia Highsmith, Nancy Wilson, Judi and Maggie, the V&A, Mark Murphy, Stephen Sondheim, Ronnie Burkett, Harold Arlen, Gladys Knight, Cole Porter, David Hare, Ella Fitzgerald and Alexander Armstrong. He expends a lot of energy trying not to be a cliché. Check out Mark’s website for more
Jake is 22 years old. He currently works both as a youth worker and in a college, but looks forwards to the day when he has a job where he can wear eye-liner to work!
Although Iʼve published photos and exhibited in a community arena and made independent films, Iʼve never been involved in an event like this before. I came out in 1974 and Iʼve never looked back. Iʼve been, and am, an activist, feminist, lesbian and socialist. Iʼm a proud mum.
Born in 1958, Jennifer has been a performer, writer and independent producer for over 35 years, working with Marc Bolan, Joan Armatrading, David Sylvian, The Proclaimers, Shakespears Sister, Bonnie Raitt, Van Morisson, and Boy George amongst others. Sheʼs been exploring gender identity issues for as long as she can remember. In 1989 she co-wrote and performed “No Clause 28” with Boy George. The BBC refused to play it because of itʼs political content, the government having recently passed the notorious ʻsection 28ʼ law, outlawing positive images of LGBT people in UK schools. She is currently touring France with Murray Head and working on her own songs. Jennifer is also a qualified counsellor and currently an active campaigner against state control freakery and psychiatric expansionism. Check out Jennifer’s website for more
Having grown up in Bath I was eager to come to London to study. Through my degree in Drama and Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths and my experiences throughout University I’ve found a new passion and interest in gender and sexuality studies. I hope to study and gain experience in this field upon graduating so the InterArts workshops have been a great starting point for me. It’s been a brilliant experience meeting so many diverse and interesting individuals and I have really enjoyed thinking about how to interpret discussions among the group into an artistic piece of work.
My name is Rowena and I am 67 years old, or young if you are older than me. I was born female and am comfortable in a womanʼs body. I was married at a very young age, too young to have explored my sexuality, and had children. As I matured I started to feel strange, wondered why I was spending ages making myself look attractive for my women friends when we met, but didnʼt know why until a lesbian I knew told me I should come with her and meet some of her friends as she knew that I was the same as them. It took me years to accept my sexuality and to come out in public as I had many responsibilities. I have had good and bad times as a lesbian and some struggles but I am happy and proud to be gay.
Hey, Iʼm Liam Mercer, a 24 year old Asexual/Queer Transguy who loves to be creative when he gets a chance. Iʼm currently a part-time student trying to decide on a career path and also become more involved in the LGBTQ+ community. I enjoy martial arts, snowboarding, being artistic, reading, fiction, mountain biking, swimming and trying new things.
Margaret Dawn Pepper
My life has basically been in two halves, prior and after transition from male to female during 2002. I consider that my past work career, hobbies, etc are irrelevant to my current status, they were someone else’s life. Briefly, I am 66 male to female transsexual, and have always felt female in terms of gender, and bi in terms of sexuality. Around November 2004 I started to paint pictures, and have done ever since, and am now exhibiting regularly. I have no idea where this art is taking me, but seems to be getting increasingly serious. To find out more about Margaret’s work see click here and to read an article about her in the Guardian click here
I am a 51 year old lesbian. As a mixed media artist it is the first time I have worked with film and sound. I enjoyed the collaboration with other LGBTQ people on an arts project. I have learnt so much in four sessions and it has certainly given me food for thought for future projects.
Aged 22, KP is well on the way to becoming a Clinical Psychologist – an ambition theyʼve held since the age of 14. They identify as genderqueer answering to “they” or “he” and would describe their sexuality as pansexual. Almost anything will spark their interest, but they limit their particularly passions to piano, violin, roller and ice skating, photography, story writing, stunt kite flying, the great outdoors and Jake Kelly.
I came out in 1965, the water was not lovely. I made it into Gay Liberation Front in 1972, with some trauma on the way from evangelical Christians and an attempt at heterosexual engagement (in both senses of the word). Gay Lib and the Women’s Movement changed my life. I’ve been an activist ever since, recently as Director of Polari which campaigned for older LGBT people. I’m now in Age of Diversity, promoting older LGBT peopleʼs rights and combating ageism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of social injustice. My hobbies are insurrection and camping with queer pagans.
1966 was the year I came out, I was 16 years old and all hell seemed to break loose! By 18 I saw a specialist hoping to get hormones, their response was to send me for Electroconvulsive therapy, saying that if I felt the same after the course of treatment they would consider giving me oestrogens. As a Trans woman, now in my 60ʼs, I have seen many changes for Trans people since I transitioned all those years ago. There are still many things to achieve to bring about an awareness and equality of our needs.
I am an accredited counsellor and have been involved in HIV / sexual health and physiological well being for over 22 years; I am also involved in helpline work as a trainer and mentor. My focus for a number of years is raising awareness of Trans / gender variant peopleʼs needs in sexual health sector. By the way I didnʼt go for the electroconvulsive treatment – but I did get the hormones I wanted!
I am a 50 year old Transsexual Woman and I identify as Trans-Queer. This is the best way to describe myself as I have only just had ‘successful’ GRS and I am a virgin! I am a trained professional photographer as I recently graduated from ‘The University of Arts, London’. I decided to join the inter-arts project as I was very weak and lonely since my operation left me with some serious complications. I had to re-find myself, and a direction. Taking part has helped with my confidence and self esteem and also I am much stronger now as I have been getting out and about and so enjoying my life!
J is 18 years old, from South East London, currently volunteering and writing in their spare time. They hope to be a journalist, youth worker, writer or events manager (being entirely fed up with the way gigs are organised in London!), and are currently writing their first book. J identifies as genderqueer, and uses the pronoun ʻitʼ or ʻtheyʼ, but has started the transition from socially female to socially male. Although most people perceive J as a gay male, this is really not true, even though they do tend to talk about men more so than they should to be perceived otherwise. J is also a self- defined nerd and fantasy geek.
I am 54 years old and am bisexual. As a young child I was attracted to both genders. Then at an all boys grammar school, I suppressed my gay feelings. I came out as gay when I was 22 in 1979. Iʼve been with my partner for over 31 years; she transitioned from male to female soon after I met her. I wasnʼt sure of my sexuality until my 40ʼs, but now am happy with being bisexual.
My name is Sofia, I am 22 years old and I am a lesbian. I am interested in art, languages, music, and sexuality. In the future I hope to study the relationship between all four of them.
In my teens and up to age 55 years, I always thought of myself as nothing but heterosexual. I thought of myself as 100% masculine. I went dancing and met and dated women. I only did all the things ʻrealʼ men are supposed to do. I decided to be bisexual when I was 55, and I now feel independent and free.