Reported by The Herald – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

Young, male and with an inner drag queen screaming to get out, Ewan Armstrong couldn’t wait to escape the restrictions of his Stornoway life.

Eventually, bags packed, he sashayed into a new life, with shoulder-length Rita Hayworth waves, an overflowing make-up bag, floaty black chiffon gown and the name ‘Duchess’.

“I left,” he says, dabbing on an extra layer of eye shadow, “and never looked back.”

From her Stornoway home, Amanda MacLennan drove her car to the Butt of Lewis, as far north as it’s possible to go on the island, and where the tall, slender lighthouse has shone as a beacon of hope to those battling turbulent seas since 1862.

After four years of trying to figure out her feelings, the 18-year-old watched the waves pummel the rocks and wondered if she should just keep on driving.

Instead, she went home and told her father she is a lesbian. “He said ‘You never were very girly, where you?’,” she recalls. “I said ‘No, not really’, and that was it.”

Now the complex challenges faced by them and other LGBT+ people living in tight-knit and often deeply religious communities, are to be revealed in a new BBC Alba documentary.

Due to be screened on Monday night as part of the Trusadh series, Bogha-Froise (Pride) features frank and highly personal interviews from LGBT+ people, which shed stark light on fears their sexuality could spark stigma, bullying, religious wrath and estrangement from loved ones.





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