Alan David Trimmer: Full Interview

Duration 11:00


Alan Trimmer
Interview by Paula Smith
13 June 2019

PS: Okay, Paula Smith interviewing Alan Trimmer from 2BU Wakefield. So we wanted to talk about you coming out.

AT: Yes.

PS: Okay, so I’ll let you start.

AT: Right, so: I first came out in 2014 and… when I first came out, yes there was mixed reviews. My mum at the time – I wouldn’t say she was… She was surprised more than anything. She was a bit, yeah… But we then, after that I um, she was okay with it and she became to accept who I was. I always knew for the… from quite a specific age that for a good number of years that I would eventually come out. I had two failed relationships with girls, so – well, actually, with the same girl and it, yeah, it didn’t work out and I then knew from the start from then on that I was, yeah, more attracted to men than I was women so… Erm, the reason I came out then, or decided to come out in 2014 was because then I felt was the right time to come out. I felt more confident at the time, whereas before I was obviously very young at the time and didn’t think much of it. I was, yeah so, and then so yeah, so that’s how it all came about really. I start – I then tried looking on like specific websites for… well to meet somebody or to try and get in touch with somebody. I’ve tried numerous websites; nothing’s come about. I then got hooked on to Facebook and found a load on Facebook. And um I have now got over – well, I’ve got quite a lot of gay friends – and transgender friends as well, who I am quite, who I’m friends with, and I regularly talk to. The main reason that I came out was so that I now feel that I am more confident and I know who I am and I’m proud of - to be who I am.

PS: That’s excellent, that’s really good. […] And what ways do you choose to express yourself in your sexuality now?

AT: That I am…

PS: So for example, the last time we were here, you wore some heels.

AT: Yes, I did yes.

PS: So how did they make you feel?

AT: They made me feel… Well, A, one, taller [laughs]. No, that actually came about – also in 2014, same year, that were, that all came about kind of when I, when Eurovision was on, and I saw this gentleman called Conchita, who’s Austrian, in a dress and heels. Yeah, so that’s how basically it came about. But I – I don’t know, I think it was – also before then, I think, over the years I’ve wanted to try heels but never found the right confidence to try them, and then out of there I bought my first pair. Bright pink.

PS: Obviously.

AT: Yes. [Laughs] Bright – bright pink, five inch high heels.

PS: How did that go?

AT: Not very well at first! [laughs] It was a struggle, but I got the – I got the hang of it. I then bought my first ever dress, which was quite a short – it was a black, a very short black one, at the time. But, again, I had mixed reviews with that one, mainly negative because… the heels my mum is fine with, it’s the other one, it’s the dressing, it’s the dresses that she’s not really touched about on but…

PS: How does it make you feel, dressing in heels and a dress?

AT: To me, I feel… That’s a hard one. I feel, um…

PS: How does it feel inside when you put them on? … Well, you’re smiling so I’m assuming-

AT: It makes me feel happy, I like, I like, I like it, so... I always say that if other people do it then why, why can’t I? Why can’t I do that? I mean, we’re living in an age now where stuff like this is acceptable, now. So, I feel happy, I feel…

PS: Free?

AT: Free, yes, I feel free, I feel free, I feel I’ve got me freedom. And proud to be who I am, and – and I’m safe. I’m safe to be who I am.

PS: It’s a very good word, I like that. Tell me how you came to meet Christian and 2BU Wakefield.

AT: I first met Christian and Michael at 2BU Wakefield in November Two Thousand and… it was either September or November Two Thousand… or was it April, I can’t remember – 2018 – it was over a year ago. And over the last year we have been all over, we’ve done various prides, we’ve done Wakefield Pride, Doncaster Pride, we’ve been on trips to the Trafford Centre at Manchester…

PS: Had you attended a pride before you came to 2BU Wakefield?

AT: Without – yes I have, but with, not with 2BU Wakefield. I – the first pride event I attended was back in 2016 and that was Doncaster Pride, under the company that I’m currently living with. That was, that was the first pride I ever attended and that was very big, yeah – I was quite surprised at that actually. Yeah, and I really enjoyed it, regardless of the weather.

PS: What did you do on the day? […]

AT: I, well, we got there a little bit early so we had a look round for a bit and then headed off into, I think it starts from like the market square, and worked its way round to, I think what you’d call, I don’t know what you’d call it, like the [?] I think, or where the main arena-type thing is in the square where they have the party in and, yeah. Joined in the march, again in heels. These were black.

PS: Were these a bit more sensible?

AT: No, I went a bit naughty with these ones [laughs]. No these had, I couldn’t – I tried walking round and I couldn’t walk in them. They um –

PS: I can’t walk in heels...

AT: The reason being I couldn’t walk in them, they had a platform on the front, which was the reason why, they had a great big massive platform on the front, then a five inch stiletto on, as the heel.

PS: Shoes are a learning curve, aren’t they?

AT: Yes. But I’m getting the hang of it, slowly. But, I am now, but that was my first, then my second pride was, pride event, was Wakefield Pride last year, with 2BU, that was my second pride event, which again I really enjoyed and it was the first one I’ve done in the space of two-and-a-half years, cos I don’t think I, I don’t, I didn’t attend any in 2017. 2018 was Wakefield and Doncaster again, and… And then this year is Chesterfield and Wakefield again, for the third time, so yes, I look forward to those two.

And, but, no * this group came about last year and like I said we’ve done all sorts. And it’s just, it’s a, it’s a place I can come to where I feel comfortable, I feel safe. We can talk – we can talk literally about anything, anything – there’s no right or wrong answer, you can talk about anything, you’re open to talk about anything, and that’s the reason why I like coming here because I feel safe and I can dress in the way I want to dress. No one can judge me for the way I am or whatever, and, yeah, it’s…

PS: Would you… recommend 2BU to other people with learning disabilities?

AT: Yes.

PS: And why would you recommend it?

AT: Cos it’s… they’re a great bunch of people there. They are friends, to me they are what you call friends for life. I made some friends, some good friends here and – I would, it’s just basically because it’s a safer place to be. The word is ‘2BU’ – safe to be you, who you are and who you want to be. So, yes, I would recommend it to anybody who’s got either a disability or non-disability, yeah, it’s open to everyone, whether you’ve got a disability or not, so yeah.

PS: Okay, is there anything else you’d like to say?

AT: At the moment, no.

PS: Okay, brilliant, I’ll stop it there.


Part of: A group for queer adults with learning disabilities