The BBC has launched a collection of stories to mark LGBTQ+ History Month which brings together some of the best content about sexual and gender identity from across the BBC’s local and regional services.
To mark the launch of the collection, the BBC’s own ‘drumming weatherman’, Owain Wyn Evans, who lives in Manchester, is presenting a special series of interviews this week on North West Tonight.
Owain has shared his own coming out journey and the challenges he faced, along with talking to others from across the region to hear their stories.
Stories featuring as part of LGBTQ+ Life range from a headteacher who came out as gay to his pupils to actor Nathaniel Curtis talking about his role in hit series It’s a Sin and how he was infected with HIV after his first sexual encounter.
A 24-year-old rugby player from Lancashire and a 67-year-old woman from the Wirral talk candidly to Owain about their different experiences of coming out.
The series also explores the story of a transgender woman living in rural Cumbria and speaks to a member of the congregation of one of the only churches in the country that is specifically designed for the LGBTQ+ community.
“I grew up in the South Wales valleys, an area which is really similar to so many parts of the north of England, an ex-industrial area with a close community… I think that’s why I feel so at home here,” says Owain, who now lives in Manchester.
“Growing up in Ammanford as a young gay man was difficult, but I like to think it’s better for people who are in a similar position now – but it’s still not easy.
“Coming out is a very personal thing and a decision you can only do when you’re ready.
“You’ll hear from a variety of people in these items, each with an unique story. They really are lovely films.”
LGBTQ+ Life will serve as a dedicated online library webpage showcasing BBC content from across regional television and radio that celebrates identity, exploration and togetherness all in one place.
The LGBT Sport Podcast also features in the collection, which celebrates the amazing achievements of LGBT+ athletes, the impact they have made beyond the realms of sport, and the issues that still exist within the industry.
The collection is available to view online at bbc.co.uk/programmes.