Saturday, 14 March 2015

Paul Harfleet: Pansy Boy

“I was just very aware that my sexuality, my identity was different. I was the first male grandchild in my family and from the age of about five I remember noticing the emphasis on me representing the continuation of the family name. It was a weird pressure to feel at such an early age, but I did feel it. Even at that point, I knew it probably wasn’t going to happen.”

“You lie. You cover your tracks, you make things up and you act how people want you to act. When someone says, ‘What do you want to be?’ You don’t say fashion designer, which is what I wanted to be, you say racing car driver because that’s what they expect you to say.”

“I didn’t come out of the closet because I was never in the closet. It’s one of those things that my family have always known. It was so obvious.”

“When we moved to Scotland, I wasn’t just the gayish looking boy who was quite girly looking, but I was also English so I was basically the gayest person it was possible to be. In terms of abuse, it was constant. It wasn’t violent but it was a damaging environment to grow up in.”

Paul Harfleet - of The Pansy Project - is profiled in The Guardian; Why I plant pansies at scenes of homophobic abuse.

Paul is currently looking for a publisher for his illustrated book, Pansy Boy.

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