OUTcast S1, Ep 2 • 04 Oct 2021 • 38:30
Rosie: Hello! Welcome to OUTcast, the podcast where we catch up with some of the most engaging, courageous and inspiring LGBTQ+ people from all over the world.
We ask our lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer guests where their coming out journeys began, what they’ve gone through along the way – the joy and the pain, but we promise there’ll be more joy – and what gives them hope.
We all remember when we weren’t out as queer people, and in need of strength and inspiration to make the first step being open about who we are. It’s all about having role models and stories we can relate to, ultimately.
I’m Rosie Pentreath, your host. I identify as a lesbian woman, and I have shared my coming out story in personal settings, in online articles, and as part of LGBTQ+ panels on coming out and being queer at work. And now – I want to hear other people’s stories.
I’ll be interviewing people from all walks of life, from hardworking queer people behind the scenes, to more familiar faces you might have never known even had the coming out stories they’re about to share.
That’s what it’s all about: OUTcast is me and my guests sharing stories, creating a space for us all to talk, to listen, and to celebrate being proud queer people in the world today.
You can follow us on social media @OUTcastLGBT and you can find us online at outcastpod.com. Do get in touch if you’re enjoying the show, if you have any feedback, if there are any guests you would like to suggest…
It’s great to have you with us.
Rosie: This week we’re welcoming Sarah Jones to the programme. Sarah is a transgender vicar, public speaker, singer-songwriter, and priest-in-charge at St John the Baptist Church in Cardiff.
Born in London, she grew up in the 1960s knowing she was “one of the girls”, but kept it to herself. She got married to a woman but divorced by her mid-twenties.
She then had gender confirmation surgery in 1991 after, in her words, she squared it with God. She’s always been religious and she was ordained in 2004, becoming the first person to have made a gender change then ordained in the Church of England.
Less than a year later, though, she was outed as transgender in the national press when somebody she knew tipped off a journalist.
Sarah has spoken openly about her experience of being trans and being in the church ever since.
Rosie: Sarah – welcome to OUTcast.
Rosie: It’s great to have you with us. Start by telling us a little bit about yourself: how do you identify?
Sarah: For many years I identified simply as a woman. The trans label was something that I had done and had finished, so it was about the crossing over, or establishing the true me in the world.
And in the last two or three years, I’ve had to pick up the trans label again, simply really because of the kind of pushback that there’s been: the anti-trans feeling in some quarters.
And at first I didn’t really even want to pick the trans label up to be frank with you. I’ve got more used to it now because I think we need to pick it up – or at least I felt like I needed to pick it up – and say, “look, here I am” so I’ve now… in my head I identify as a woman but on public things, the trans thing comes out a bit more.
Rosie: Let’s go back to the beginning. Where do you tell your coming out story from; where does your coming out story begin?
Sarah: Well, I suppose in common with lots of LGBTQIA people, we’re always coming out, even to ourselves in a sense. You know, sort of like “here I am as a person in the world” and sometimes you have to realise that you’re not the person that everyone automatically assumes you’re going to be – or even that you assume you’re going to be.
I did realise when I went to primary school, very early on, that although I was classed as a boy, in some way I just was more one of the girls. That was a big moment in my head, maybe when I was maybe six or seven at the latest.
But I never said anything to anyone, I never went home and told my parents, I never made a big fuss about it. And this was in the late 1960s, or mid-1960s even, so it’s just as well probably that I didn’t because it might have been a happy situation or I might have been sent off for some aversion therapy or something. Who knows what might have happened?
Later on, coming out wise, I made my gender change when I was 28, pretty much forgot about it and then having been ordained, I was outed in the media. So there’s a whole series of coming outs really. But I guess in my mid-twenties I began to realise that this was a massive issue in my life, and I had to do something about it. But it probably wasn’t until my late twenties that anyone else really knew about it.
Rosie: For allies that might be listening, or for even LGBTQ+ people who aren’t trans themselves, is there a way of describing how you knew you were “one of the girls”?
Sarah: Yeah, at school really, temperamentally, I just somehow was more one of the girls than one of the boys. I did play in the girls’ playground in primary school until an age where it kind of became unacceptable to do so. I don’t know what that was, but let’s say you know, the year below the top year or something. So maybe I was nine, maybe I was ten.
And every time we’d line up, you know boys and girls, I’d sort of think “well, I’m in this line, but I really should be one of those.”
And then even just in work life really, I remember once in my early twenties I was part of this fantastic troubleshooting team at work – I worked for a national organisation – and it was full of macho and really full of self-confident men. And there was me. And every time we got together, these guys would look at me, and like they couldn’t work it out. Because I was actually part of the team, and nobody actually disliked me, but it was kind of like, “this is weird. What is this about?”
And I was quite young looking – I have always looked younger than my years – and I used to joke that it was because I was on some sort of supercharged apprenticeship scheme, you know, still doing my A Levels. And we got around it that way, but I was definitely an odd appendage to the places I was in, you know?
Rosie: Fast-forwarding to when you were 28 then, what kind of support were you getting from friends and family?
Sarah: For me, and I think it’s true of a lot of trans people in as much as that we take a… often we take a long time to come to the point to say anything to anybody, because who wants to announce that they’re something in the world other than what is most obviously the case? You know, I mean it’s a big thing. How do you tell your boss? How do you tell a work colleague?
So I found, from my maybe mid- or early-twenties this was beginning to get a little bit more of an issue, but I didn’t feel it would dominate my life. I went to counselling, I told the counsellor let’s keep this in the box please. I don’t mind being feminine, but I don’t really want to do anything silly.
So I sort of worked away under the radar at it, but eventually I realised that I kind of needed to explore my femininity.
And I bounced around between the gender lines a bit. I thought I might be a gay guy, and as luck would have it, I met a lovely gay guy. And he phoned me up and invited me on a date, and I had this kind of like all of a second “well, what the heck do I say? Well say yes, why wouldn’t you say yes, give this a go” you know. Over a period of years, even though the relationship was good in many ways, we slid past each other because I wasn’t a gay guy.
I got to 28 and I realised though that I had to do something. So I quit my job, sold the house – I had been married and we’d split up very amicably because she’d said to me “look, I love you and all that but it feels like I’m living with a gay woman. And I’ve nothing against that, but I’m not one.”
“So we’re going to need to split. So we were selling the house anyway. I quit my job but I didn’t have any qualifications. No A Levels or anything, and so I went back to college essentially. I thought I could go to college, do some A Levels, because if I make a gender change, who the heck’s going to employ me? I mean this is the mid- to late-1980s, and there wasn’t really any trans representation anywhere. I thought I might be unemployable; I thought I might need some good qualifications.
So, I quit my job, I went to college, did A Levels for two years and nobody cares there how scruffy you are or what the hell you’re doing. And I basically just grew my hair. So it started really short and, at the end, the people who didn’t know me had no idea what I was at all.
I mean, they weren’t bothered by it. But I remember I went to the school office once to get a form, and the lovely receptionist said, “oh, there’s a young lady outside, wants so-and-so form”, and someone else stood up and had a gorp at me and came round and said, “that’s a guy!” And she said, “no, no it isn’t” and they both came and had a look around the screen.
And they weren’t being nasty, but it was just like nobody knew. I’d get on the bus with my girl classmates, and get chatted up by the bus driver, and they couldn’t work out what was going on. Only me – only I knew, you know.
So anyway, it was a long, long, long, long process. And honestly, Rosie, I tried to do anything I possibly could not to make my gender change, because I thought it’s the biggest of the leaps…
Sarah: … and I can only do it if it really is the right place for me. So, it took me nine years.
And along the way, I had some good advice and some bad advice. But the best advice was – I tumbled down to the doctor, and the doctor said “I’ve no idea. I don’t know.”
This was at the beginning of this whole thing, so this was maybe, mid-1980s, and he said, “I don’t know. But let’s work it out together.”
And I thought that was great advice, because if he’d tried to pretend that he was in charge, or he was some sort of expert, I could have ended up being shoved anywhere.
I was quite religious, so I went to see my parish priest, and he was great as well. He said exactly the same thing, he said, “I have no idea about this whatsoever…”
As it happened, he had a friend who was also a Roman Catholic priest, and a clinical psychologist. So he sent me to his friend.
Rosie: Wow. I love that. I really love this… “I don’t know. We don’t know” sort of attitude. Especially when the second part of that comes in, the listening. You know, “I’m going to listen to you. I don’t actually know, but I’m her to support you e and I’m going to keep listening.” It can be the best support that people give.
Sarah: It is.
Rosie: Yeah. In our lives, so many people want to give us their advice from their point of view, and it’s sometimes not quite the ticket, especially in times like this.
Rosie: Let’s talk about your faith for a minute… so, you were religious pretty much all your life…
Sarah: My mother was a Roman Catholic. I was a happy Roman Catholic. I went to a Roman Catholic school. It gave me a nice kind of grounding in religion, but as long as I can remember, you know, maybe six or seven, I would go to church with her every Sunday.
And we would sit right at the front so I had a front row seat and I saw everything that was going on. And it all made sense. I mean, in an age-appropriate way, but it all made sense. And when, you know, the reading was about Jesus doing this or Jesus doing that, I could always kind of just imagine it.
So I always pretty much went to church. I stopped going for a while in my late teens, largely because I was a musician, and I’d be out on a Saturday night gigging. And I’d get in at about two in the morning, or one, or something, and then nobody, you know, would want to get up for Mass. You know, first thing, so for a couple of years I didn’t go. But I missed it, and so I went back. And that was great.
And then when I was exploring my gender identity – this is going to sound really lame now, this is like the lamest thing anyone will say to you for a long while – I fell in with an Anglican crowd. I started running with the Anglicans!
So I went to church with a few of them. And this guy who invited me on a date, our first weekend away together, we went to church together on Sunday morning.
And I just… there’s something about the Church of England that I absolutely loved. So over the course of a few years, I made this commitment to the Church of England, and Anglicanism. I just love the way we debate things, and that it isn’t top-down. And that people can have different positions on women, or homosexuality, or “what does this verse in the Bible mean?”, or all of these things.
I absolutely loved it. I’m a very happy Anglican.
Rosie: That’s good to hear! [Sarah laughs]
In a recent interview with Attitude magazine, you described God as “beautifully non-binary.” I saw lots of people kind of picked up on that. I think it’s a beautiful concept.
I don’t know if you want to touch on that. But also, let’s talk about faith and how it directly supported your coming out journey.
Sarah: Faith in my coming out journey was very important to me because I did at my core believe that God loved me. Whatever that means. I mean, when we’re talking about God, no words suffice. And when I say “God loves me”… what do I really mean by that? I mean, even I don’t know what I really mean by that. You know, Philosophers have written thousands of pages on it.
But I do believe that God actually does love me. And the nights – and there were nights where I sat up in bed, crying in the small hours of the morning wondering if, when people knew about me, that they would hate me, or beat me up, or mock me, or, if I’d never work again, or whatever – I always held on to the fact that I believed that God loves me.
So, that was very important. And I also, in these times, would flick through the Bible and just see what was there. And I came across various passages. The Psalms are an obvious place for people in distress. I read a lot of those, and that was really helpful. So I prayed to God, I went on retreat as I was trying to figure out who I was and what I was. And I also had to square the really big question of “If God had made me a guy, did I have any right to change that?”
Because, the truth of it is that, if there’s a God, and I believe there is, if there’s a God we should live in harmony with God’s will. And if I was going to do something that was in direct contravention to that, I’m not sure I could have done it.
In the end, two things happened. A very, very, very old priest started off by saying to me exactly what the other wise people had said: “I don’t know, let me think about it.”
But on the last day I was in the retreat house, I had a meeting with him and he said, “I don’t really know anything about this,” he said, “but look, it seems to me, what you are is God’s gift to you, and what you become is your gift to God.”
And I just thought, “oh my word.” I mean, what he was saying is “don’t do anything stupid, don’t do anything cavalier, but if the way to be the most whole person you can be; the way to be a person who can love other people in the world, and all of this, if the way to do that is you need to make a gender change, then actually that’s what you might need to do.”
And the second thing was, I just really came to realise that, if I’d had, let’s say a liver problem, and I might die. Or a heart problem, I wouldn’t say, “well, if God had wanted me to be well, God would have given me a good heart.” I would go and get it fixed.
The thing about God being non-binary, there’s a couple of points.
One is just because we are sexed and gendered, doesn’t mean that God is.
Whatever we say about God, language is completely, um, failing us. Like I say, if I say “God knows me” or “God loves me”, what on Earth does that really mean? We can’t really fathom it.
I think one of our problems with God is that the Bible tells us that God made us in God’s image. But what human beings do is we flip that round, and we make God in our own image. So, for centuries if you’re a white, straight man, then God is a white, straight man.
Jesus did call God our Father, I’m not queerying that at all. But then he was using human language, for humans, in a human situation. Interestingly enough, though, our Bibles in the original Hebrew, or the original Aramaic, there’s lots of little indications of femininity in God.
I think the fact that we say “He” and all of this kind of business, I think that’s us limiting God. I think God has all the scopes, so, God is beyond our understanding. It’s lazy to think of some bloke in a cloud with a beard, who incidentally is not disabled, and does not have any inherent difficulties in one way or another with anything; perfect eyesight; square jaw; oh! All of these things, I think in a sense, small “b” are blasphemy. I think we’re getting it wrong.
So we just have to say we have no idea. But I would say, within the potentiality, God is neither male nor female, or both, so non-binary.
Rosie: Such a powerful concept.
Now, let’s come back down to Earth for a minute. You’ve been open about the fact that you were outed in the media, so the decision to come out was made for you, essentially, in 2005. This was just after you’d been ordained by the Church of England. Do you mind me asking what happened there, and how it felt?
Sarah: So I was ordained in 2004. And in the Anglican church, you get ordained as a deacon one year, and then oftentimes the next year you’re ordained priest. So I’d been ordained deacon, so I was working in a parish in a market town, so everyone knew me. I was really visible, been in services, et cetera.
And we always knew that I could be outed. Anything to do with sex and vicars, or sexuality and vicars, you’re a bit of a target. And I was sitting at my desk on Friday afternoon and I got a phone call – a very nice phone call – but a phone call from a journalist saying he was working for a national newspaper, he had all my old details and he said you know, “is it true?”
And we’d always had this long-standing plan that because I’m not a professional in dealing with journalists, I simply refer him to the diocese to say “look, just speak to so-and-so.”
Anyway, this is what we did. But, they wanted the story. It was one particular newspaper at the time. We had an interview – we gave them an exclusive interview – and they didn’t publish for various reasons. And after three days of them not publishing, the diocese said to me that we couldn’t live like that.
Basically, every morning I would wake up, go down and buy this particular daily newspaper, look at it to see if I was outed in it, and then try and live my life. So in the end we decided that we had to out me. So we sent the press release out on the wires. And then I had three days of the world’s press contacting me.
Rosie: It must have been a heavy burden to shoulder in the early days.
Sarah: Yeah. It was all quite difficult, because it was all sort of in crisis mode, in the sense that your diary just gets completely taken over by this. And I’d made my gender change many years before, and so there were a lot of people who didn’t know about my change, including some quite close friends.
So I had to scoot around a whole bunch of people, to tell them that they were about to see me in the newspaper. I interrupted some close friends actually eating their dinner. I knocked on the door and said “can I speak to you?” and they said “can you come back in an hour?” and I said “I can’t. Because I’ve got to be somewhere else to tell someone else something.” So while they ate their dinner, I sat down and told them, and it was a bizarre situation.
There was a lot of, kind of, “I need to tell you something; I need to tell you something now.” And, in fairness, most of the people hearing it didn’t need to hear it. They wouldn’t have wanted to hear it. It’s information that they would say, “too much information.” I mean, no one said that to me, but if you go to church, you might not want to know about the most intimate details of your vicar. You go to church, for a lot of reasons, not to think about someone’s medical history or their sexual preferences. It was a tricky time.
When I got this last posting now that I’m in at the moment in St John’s in central Cardiff, the diocese and the church were just great from the beginning. But they said to me in my first week, “look, we probably need to do the story again.” And I didn’t honestly particularly want to, because I’m already out. But their point – and they were correct – their point was “if we don’t do a newspaper article and put it out there, somebody else will and they might write it sloppily and get some of the facts wrong” and all this. So it’s just far better since we’re not ashamed of anything that we actually do a press release and do the story.
And they were 100 percent right, but it’s these little things that kind of… in one sense it takes it out of you because you’re giving and it’s more vulnerable again… but, do you know the good thing? The good thing is that, every time I’m outed, and every time somebody says something to someone, or every time someone writes a blog post, it’s almost certain that there is someone out there who says to themselves, “oh my word, I’m not alone.”
Being visible is a bit costly, but also, it really helps other people.
What is interesting too, is sometimes, particularly when I was outed in Ross, people sought me out for things nothing to do with sexuality and gender.
I had several people come to me with problems, such as gambling or addictions, and they said to me, “I’m coming to you because I saw you in the newspapers and I realise that you have been through a difficult time. I feel I can talk to you about my difficulty, because I know that you have your gender change, or had it.” So it was very interesting that actually, it’s not confined to LGBT matters; people see people – certainly they saw me, as a priest, as being more approachable because I’d had to deal with something big in my life.
Rosie: Mmm, and perhaps that level of empathy as well. That you understand the human struggle, and different issues. How’s the church reacted overall?
Church-going people have been really fine mostly. When I was outed there was no one in the congregation who actively sought me out and told me off or anything.
I do think that there may have been a couple of people who were uncomfortable and maybe didn’t agree with it and gracefully pulled away or maybe found another church to go to. I mean, there wasn’t a mass exodus, but it was nicely handled in a sense. Most people are fine because they knew me; they knew me first; they knew who I was.
The church has been, both fine, and not fine. I had great support when I was outed, the Bishop was wonderful. He’d always said to me, if you’re ever outed I will stand right by you because I’m backing you, because I do not see this as a, kind of, problem. And he was as good as his word.
But then senior leaders come, senior leaders go, management changes. And some of the later key players in part of the church where I were liked me perfectly well, but actually it was pretty jolly obvious that they were not really looking at me as one of the key pillars of what they were wanting to build.
I had one very senior person who I liked very much and who liked me just say to me, “is it really surprising that some people don’t want to consider you for the next post?” It’s a kind of wake up moment, isn’t it? That somewhere there in this really nice person, who liked me, thinking well there’s, you know… of course some people are going to be prejudiced.
On the other hand, there were lots of really good senior leaders who were very supportive. The diocese here when I applied for the job could not have been better – they support me along the way. So, it’s kind of mixed, and there’s work to do, but on the whole, I’ve had a lot more good than bad. But there’s definitely bits of the church where, really, it’s pretty obvious they don’t want a trans person around or anything.
Rosie: Yeah. I mean a lot of that will come into them sort of not taking that time to read the scriptures and to explore how the faith works so well in tandem with everyone being different. And I suppose some people just haven’t dedicated the time to that.
What strikes me, and what I hope listeners of the podcast take away from this, is that there is so much positivity in the church towards LGBTQ+ people, and I think that’s refreshing to hear. And it’s really inspiring to hear from you within the church about how you’ve been welcomed and about your experience.
Sarah: Yeah, thank you, thank you. And there is, there genuinely is. I mean, you can tumble down to your local church and if you’re unlucky, people will, you know, think badly of you. But, not so far away will be a religious group that would welcome you with open arms. So it is getting a lot better, and there is a lot more welcome and positivity out there than people might think.
Rosie: Yeah. Am I right in thinking in around 2017 the bishop of the Anglican church looked into welcoming transgender people, specifically?
Sarah: Yeah. [In] the Church of England, you have to use certain services. You can write your own bits within certain guidelines and rules, but essentially, you’re not free to start from an absolutely blank piece of paper.
And the Church of England realised that there were trans people coming forward, who were saying to them, look “I would love to be welcomed in my new name.” Even if that new name was, they’d made their change twenty years ago, or fifteen years ago. So the Church of England did repurpose an existing service, but having said they were going to do it, there was a conservative backlash. Lots of people wrote to the Church of England and said, “this is terrible, you can not do this” and in fact they backtracked. So it never actually happened. So that for me was one of the first indications that there was an anti-trans backlash on the way.
Rosie: It’s such a shame. I feel like for every step forward there are three steps back, which has been the case throughout LGBTQ+ history.
Sarah: Yeah. It’s true. And certainly recently, let’s say the gender critical movement, has really pushed back against trans people a bit, on different levels. And it’s been a bit unexpected, because when I made my gender change, I was just making a personal decision. This is not a movement, it’s not a political ideology, it’s not an anything. I was just saying “how do I live in the world without crumbling inside, or living a lie?” So I made my individual gender change based on how I was in the world.
But it’s sort of being portrayed now, by various groups, “oh there’s a big movement, you know there’s a trans ideology, and if you’re a kind of tomboyish potentially lesbian young girl, be careful because you’re going to come into contact with this movement, it’s going to convince you you’re really a boy because they’re sort of just trying to grow the movement.”
But it isn’t true. It just isn’t true. Like any form of prejudice, it’s just wrong as a prejudgement. I mean, you can say someone behaves badly if they behave badly. But don’t take a characteristic like their race or their sexuality or their gender or anything about them, and say, “oh, well you know, you’re from this country, you must be bad in this sort of way. Or your tans, you must be this…” It’s ridiculous.
Rosie: Exactly. And it feels like once you take an issue or an experience, and shed light on it, everyone’s suddenly so worried about it. There’s this magnifying glass. And I wonder if that’s sort of what’s happening with politicising the trans movement or politicising any kind of trans identity at the moment. Perhaps as more people understand it and see it, and experience it and more of us are speaking about it, there’s going to be those people that say, “oh, it’s suddenly taking over the world.” Well, it’s not. It’s just, as you say, someone having their experience and going through the experience they need to go through.
Sarah: Yeah, indeed. I remember when women were really not as visible in the workplace, certainly as managers, and I remember in the 70s and 80s, “oh women are taking over now, it’s all women this, it’s all women that…” and actually nobody really says that now. We’ve just realised that all that’s happening is the mix is getting slightly better and we’ve got a long way to go. So you’re right, there’s a kind of… because it’s lit up in lights at the moment, sometimes people are worrying more about it than actually the reality warrants.
Rosie: Exactly. And you mention this backlash, but what else has changed over the time that you’ve been out as trans? Have you felt a shift or a change in society?
Sarah: I think there have been lots of positive changes. I mean I made my gender change properly in 1991, and do you know, you could turn on the television or the radio and you would never hear a trans person on it? And now, there are people in the media, and we’re a bit more visible and things. So that’s kind of nice.
And also I think more people know someone who has questioned their gender, or is somewhere on this kind of spectrum and not necessarily making a gender change, but is being non-binary, or is somewhere here, there, or what have you. And it’s becoming more, kind of, normal because the world is still turning. And people realise that they still love their colleague, or their boss, or their friend, or whatever, and not a lot has changed in so many ways – even though this person has changed a bit about them. So yep, there are some good things I think.
But imagine now, you were in that place of having to think about, do you need to change your gender? Maybe you’re 12, or you’re 21, or you’re 7, and you’re just realising, and you catch some anti-trans backlash or rhetoric. Oh my word, nobody needs that, in exactly the same way that gay men and lesbian women for years, in the 50s and 60s, caught this idea that society thought they were disgusting or perverted. How much harm can come to someone because their very core identity is overloaded with this, well, rubbish. It’s dangerous, it’s very dangerous.
Rosie: It is dangerous, and I think speaking about it you attract that kind of criticism, feedback, horrible phobic comments. But then if we don’t speak about it, we can’t be the role models that help these people come out. So, it becomes this battlefield and I think it’s a battlefield that social media has completely… what’s the word? Well has given a platform to these kinds of battles, really – these battles of experience. Which is negative.
You mentioned in the same Attitude interview that I’ve mentioned, that it can just be exhausting to be a queer person in a straight person’s world. That resonated. I think, you know, we’re here on a podcast that’s talking about coming out. But coming out is a bit exhausting, and with all the good that we can do, the bad comes with it.
How do you keep your energy up? I know you do lots of public speaking, you do public engagements and you inspire so many people. How do you keep that energy up?
Sarah: Aw, that’s nice for you to say, Rosie. I mean, sometimes doing good things in the speaking, or something like the podcast here, actually that does give you a lift because you’ve done something. So I kind of like that.
But you know, there, honestly, there are days, even now, when I sometimes sit and cry. I’m just so tired and so exhausted and so fed up. And it’s not like I’m depressed or there’s a massive problem, it’s just the sheer exhaustion all the time of carrying this extra kind of load. And I’ve just learned that if there are days like that, then you go with it, because, you’re not making it up, it’s what happens. And you get up and fight the next day, you know, you just do it better.
I do find that my faith keeps feeding me, and I do find that actually I’d rather do something about a problem than be crushed by it. So I love doing the speaking, I love finding funny ways to introduce things, and make people kind of think, “Oh yeah, okay I get that now.” That, for me, is taking a bit more agency over what’s happening.
Rosie: What gives you hope for the future?
Sarah: Well, do you know what? I actually think the future is more accepting and more diverse. I think it is an argument we’re going to win. You know, we’re not going to win every single day with every single person, but actually, ultimately, most people on the LGBTQIA spectrum are fine people. And people will realise that. And also I am just a kind of hopeful person, to be fair. I think part of faith is saying that there are terrible times, and actually, ultimately, we will tend towards salvation.
Rosie: It’s such a positive note to end on.
Sarah: One of the reasons I wanted to do this podcast, is because I think OUTcast is all the things that we’ve been talking about today. It’s about being a positive influence; it’s about being a little bit of light in potentially a little bit of a dark place; it’s about supporting both the baby dykes and the people who’ve been doing it for years; it’s about sharing humanity and good stories, and all of this. So, I think OUTcast is going to be part of the reason I have hope.
Rosie: Aw, thank you so much.
Sarah: Thank you.
Rosie: It’s honestly so incredible to hear your whole story directly.
Thank you for listening to OUTcast, a podcast with interviews and coming out stories from inspiring LGBTQ+ people. I’m your host, Rosie Pentreath. I hope you can join us again next week.