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02x90 - Gentleman Jack Changed My Life

Posted: 06/03/22 05:48
by bunniefuu
I love you, Anne.

I'm in love with you.

[MOUTHS] I always have been.

- I'm not as strong as you think.
- [MOUTHS] Well, I am.

Well, I am, obviously, but...

It's just beautiful
to see that, you know,

to see real love.

There's a different kind
of connection and I don't...

I can't describe it, but it's just like,

"Ah, yeah. That is what I am".

The drama series Gentleman Jack

is based on the real
life of Anne Lister,

a th century Yorkshire landowner.

I love and only love the fairer sex.

Her private life was
discovered in secret diaries

revealing her loves,
lusts and heartbreaks.


Anne Lister has just been immortalised.

How are you feeling about that?

Anne Lister is an
inspiration to be visible,

to be who you are.

She was very modern, really.

The show, partly inspired
by Jill Liddington's book,

Female Fortune, has introduced
Anne's story to a global audience.

I've come all the way
from North America.

This is actually my
seventh trip to Halifax.

- Here we go, rehearsal and action.
- Ah, here we are.

I think people didn't
know they were looking for

a protagonist like
that, a hero like that.

And I think that that's
why it's resonated

with so many people, because there's
no-one like her on our screens.

When you write a show,
you hope that you'll get

good viewing figures,
you hope people like it,

but the response
globally that we've had,

this huge emotional response,

you don't expect that
when you write telly,

you just think you're going
to entertain people, so it's...

... it's very good, and it's
all because of Anne Lister.

Across the world,

thousands of women have
come together in fan groups

and forums to share their stories.


... and in some cases,
discover their true sexuality.

The Gentleman Jack
community is like a family.

Got my little tattoo with the top hat.

I felt loved and valid.

I realised that I was a lesbian.

With women of all ages being emboldened

by the portrayal of Anne Lister,

this phenomenon has become known
as "The Gentleman Jack Effect".

So I've wanted to tell
you for ages and ages...

As I left she hung upon me

and cried and sobbed
aloud at parting, saying,

"I hope we shall meet under
happier circumstances".

"Well", said I to
myself as I walked off,

"a pretty scene we have had".

In the s, the expectation
was for women to marry

a man and have children.

There was simply no concept of
women having their own sexuality.

So Anne Lister spent her life

writing about her forbidden
loves in her secret journals.

It was therapeutic for her to put down

her heartbreaks and love affairs.

I mean, when she can
write something like,

"I am neither man nor woman in society,

how shall I manage?"

You know, that is an existential dilemma

for her in that day and age.

In the s,

when Anne's ancestral
home became a museum,

her hidden journals were found

and donated to the local library.

Over the next years,
historians studied them,

but Anne's sexual
exploits remained secret.

Until local historian Helena
Whitbread revealed all.

I wanted to try my hand
at freelance writing.

I looked round for something local

and I don't know why,
but I just thought,

"What about this woman
called Anne Lister?"

I got on the bus and I went
down to the local archives.

And there was this young man there

and I said to him,

"I believe Anne Lister has some
letters in the archives here".

And then he said to me

these few words that
set me off, he said,

"Did you know she kept a journal?"

And I said, "These journals
are written in code".

And I thought, "What would a woman

living years ago

need to write in a secret code?"

And that triggered off

intellectual curiosity, basically.

I thought, "She's got
something to hide".

It was a little while
before I twigged on.

I remember seeing a
little phrase and it said,

"I think I will have to go to Russia

and find myself a wife".

And I thought, "So this
is what she's hiding".

Out of the shadows of
history, you might say,

came these wonderfully
depicted people in her life,

women that she was in love with.

And slowly, as I worked through,

all these wonderful characters emerged.

So thunder...

thunder storm last...

Oh, that's an N, so
that's going to be night.

So here, she's switching into code,

which is where things get fun.

Volunteer code-breakers
all over the world

are helping the West Yorkshire Archive

to continue to unlock Anne's secrets.

Oh, "Very good kiss".

So I got some of the... "Lairy
good iss", some of the sounds,

but missed a couple of the letters.

Isabel is one of the code-breakers

and a long time fan of Anne Lister's.

It was about five years ago
that I picked up the diaries

and I thought they were so fascinating.

Jane Austen, I specialised
in at university,

and it's incredible to imagine that

Anne Lister was walking
around at the same time.

She seems in some ways very modern.

I've just finished this whole bit here.

"There's a big thunderstorm".

And then she switches into the code.

And she says, "In the midst of all this,

we drew close together, made love

and had one of the most

delightfully long tender
kisses we've ever had".

I just love the switch. All
of the sort of quite boring,

"Oh, yeah, there's a thunderstorm".
And then a quick quickie,

and then straight back out!

It's fascinating, really.

So in May , the BBC launched
a series called Gentleman Jack.

And this is where my troubles began.

I saw my life growing up came
vividly back and it h*t me,

"I'm not straight".

I cried, I wept, shook, and
at the point even laughed

at the absurdity of it all,

as despite my tender years of age,

I have no idea how to
navigate my way through this.

I wanted to get married,
I wanted to have kids.

I was happy because I was on
the road that everybody's on,

so I'm normal.

I'm OK.

I always wanted a white
suit like Suzi Quatro.

But then,

I want to live the dream
that everybody dreams about.

So I went for a proper wedding dress.

Here starts the single parent journey,

new chapter,

different hairdo,

no fuss.

Just get on with life and
managing these two kids.

Hiding, operating out of
this false kind of person,

and you can lose track of
the real self, who you are.

To know that, because you're trying
so busy to be like everybody else.

And maybe that was the
relief when I discovered this,

because it was just
like, "Ah, that's why.

That's why ", you know, " you
couldn't feel what other people felt.

That's... "Ah, that makes
sense". And it was like a relief.

And for that second, it was like,

"Oh, my gosh, that's
brilliant. Now I know.

And that makes sense. "Now my life, now,

yeah, that fits with me".

But then you have to navigate
the rest of your life.

They say, "Well, you know,
if you don't want to come out,

you don't have to". Do
I really need to tell?

But I don't want to keep
secrets from my kids.

It's just not me.

I'm a -year-old lesbian,

I'm mixed race Arabic and
English and live with my mother.

I work as a lawyer,

but I'm also a carer for her
in the hours I have spare.

We watched Gentleman Jack
together, and I absolutely loved it.

I found strength within
myself through watching

how Anne struggled and held her own.

However, my mum didn't
like her dress or manner.

She was in denial for a
long time about my sexuality,

and still might be inside.

Finding the love of my life
is an ongoing and slow process.

Anne's given me the
drive to keep looking.

I hope that you enjoyed my story.

Sami is one of the many
thousands of women worldwide

who've embraced fan groups
celebrating Anne Lister.

She manages full-time work as a lawyer

with caring for her mum, Hazel.

When I fall, she's
there, she picks me up.

She takes me everywhere I want to go.

She became a barrister,

and now she's studying
to be a solicitor.

- I think that's his call

to have his breakfast.

I'm daughter and carer,

and my job is quite demanding,

because I'm juggling quite a
lot of things at the same time.

I've found it's been
quite stressful recently,

'cos her health is not getting better.

That was my call to the bar.

Less than % of people that join
actually make it through and pass.

So I am in an elite bunch there.

This is the thing with me and my mum,

she thinks I should be
married to a Mark Darcy,

living the Bridget Jones
lifestyle and living in a mansion.

But it's not quite worked out
like that, for many reasons!

Sami came out to her mum ten
years ago, when she was .

At first, I thought she was
joking with me, as she does.

Always joking.

And she said, "No, Mum, it's the truth".

I was stunned more than anything,

and I didn't know how
to talk to her about it.

I think that might've been one
time I've not been there for her,

because I just didn't
know really what to say.

And it was never mentioned again.

Initially, she cried.

And then this sort of anger, rage,

and then the hatred came out.

It was the hurtful comments,
like, "You weren't born like this".

It has scarred me, as it
was like a different person.

I do feel I've had to,
like, go back in the closet.

I've brought people
round I've been seeing,

but just introduced them as friends,

just to try and keep her at bay.

Seeing how Anne Lister faced
her society back in, like,

the s

and how different she was,
was just energising for me.

She didn't let it stop
her from being herself,

and I think

that, to me, is very touching,

and that's the inspiring part.

So, different set of circumstances,

I don't have my own estate!

But, you know, still face challenges
that are quite difficult, really.

Anne Lister singlehandedly ran
her family estate near Halifax.

She was also an intrepid traveller.

In , during a trip to Russia,

Anne d*ed from a fever, aged .

She's buried here, in Halifax Minster.

The exact location of
her grave is now unknown,

as her tombstone went missing
some years after her death.

She was an amazing woman.

She is a person who
people in my community

see as a real hero.

She's someone we can look up to.

She was filled with courage,
she was filled with determination

she wanted to live her own life
in the way that she firmly believed

that God had created her to live.

To find a place where she was
interred here in the Minster

is something that feels
spiritually important to me and to

thousands of women.

And even more so to have
a place that we can come to

and know that she's here.

In March , during
renovations to the Minster,

Anne's shattered tombstone was
found under a raised platform

by stonemason Andrew Barraclough.

They've had a big hammer

and they've struck that,
and that's what that...

to form that type of a break.

- That was a heck of a h*t.
- That's a... Yeah, a big hammer.

- Yeah.
- And the same there.

So they've h*t there

- and they've h*t there.
- Yeah.

- Her stone has been desecrated.
- Yeah.

- Call it what you want.
- Yeah, literally.

- Within living memory,
- Yeah.

- which is really, really sad.
- Yeah.

She was a very prominent
person in Halifax.

- There's no two ways about it, you know.
- Yeah.

Anybody that was anybody...

- Got it.
- ... knew that she was who she was.

And I feel she's not being

- treated as she should have been treated.
- Yeah.

I say I've no axe to grind.

- Right.
- I just,

as a person, I feel that

she's not been treated in the right way,

not been shown any respect.

Are you going home?

What the hell are you doing?

I asked you if you're going home.

Some people think it's
time you went home.

Keep still!

- You dirty f*cking Jack!
- Damn you!

"Jack" was a slur used against
lesbians in the th century.

Anne Lister was dubbed
"Gentleman" or "Jack"

by people who disapproved
of her lifestyle

and nonconforming dress sense.

Leave Miss Walker alone.


I think that stood out to me,

not for, like, "I love that scene". No.

It's because that's how
I felt when I was younger.

I felt like around
every corner was someone

who was just going to hate me.

I have this lump in
my throat knowing that

there's a chance of her
being beaten up to pulp

just because she lives in this body

and someone from the outside
comes and decides for her

that this is the body that you live in.

Thus, this is what you are,
and I can do these things to you

because I'm more powerful.

So, yes, that's definitely

something that got my heart rate up.







It took me ages to realise I was gay.

I still had, like, quite a lot
of shame surrounding it, I think.

And I still kind of struggle
with that a little bit.

At the moment, I'm still
not out to my grandparents.

Whenever they've said the word "gay"

it's always in a negative
light most of the time.

So, you know, things like that

kind of made me really think,

"Oh, is it a good idea?"

-year-old Kiki came out to her parents

after watching Gentleman Jack.

I was watching so
many shows with so many

q*eer characters and
q*eer relationships,

and I think it finally dawned on me

that straight people don't
really care that much,

they're not that invested
to the point where,

you know, it takes up most
of their thoughts of the day.

Get that slow-mo spray!

I did go through a period of
thinking that I was pansexual,

and I didn't really
know. And then realising,

"OK, I definitely am
gay, that's just... Yeah".

I told my mum straight after I realised,

because it felt like,

not that I was lying to her,

but definitely that I was
keeping something from her

which I never do, so I
told her pretty quick.

I think I had to come out the
first time to get the ball rolling,

and then I had, like,
a year or something

kind of getting used to it

and being more comfortable with
it before I then told my sisters.


At least smile for the video!

I was quite grateful to be able
to do it how I wanted to do it,

tell people as I wanted to
tell them and go at my own pace,

which was quite nice.

- Oh, banger!
- I know!

- Shall we all try standing up?
- Are you sure?

My family know that I'm gay, but

my grandparents don't.

My sexuality isn't my whole personality,

but sometimes it is.

And sometimes I, you know, have,

I don't know, days where,
like, I want to say something

or reference something or
make a joke about something,

and I stop myself because
I'm like, "Oh, I can't".

Because then obviously they'd know, and

um, it's just the actual,

getting it out, getting it
over, like, the last hurdle.

I want to go and tell them tomorrow.

Because we're so close,

I don't want to think about
us not being that close.

But I just want to know that
they're seeing me for me,

because sometimes if they're saying,

"We love you", and I'm like,
"Oh, but would you if you knew?"

I don't want to have to feel
like I'm kind of squashing

half of me down when I'm around them.

The thought of kind of being like,

"Here's me, take it or leave it",

is quite scary because,

you know, it matters when the
people mean so much to you.











Before visiting,

Kiki told her grandparents
she's being filmed

for a documentary about Anne Lister.

Oh, hello!

- How are you?
- I haven't seen you for ages.

I know.


Hello, my darling.

- You all right?
- Mwah.

- You are?
- Yes, thank you.

I'm sure you've grown! I've
shrunk, or you've grown.

Well, let me take my shoes
off. Look, there we go,

I've shrunk again now!

So, are we going to know what's
going on, then, are we, or... ?

Erm, OK.

Erm, yeah.

So I want to tell you for ages and ages,

but, well, I'm gay.

So, that's it, that's
all I wanted to say!

God, are we embarrassed!

- I knew you were going to say that!

We live with a gay
granddaughter! I can't believe it.

So, do you have a
girlfriend at the moment?

- No.
- What's the point of being gay?

Well... !

Going through all this and not...

- not have a girlfriend!
- You know, one day!

I'd have kept quiet!

Grandad, I kept quiet for three years!

- Three years?
- Well...

I mean, you're still young.

You're positive about it?
This is where you're going?

Yes, absolutely.
Definitely. No questions!

Do you visit gay bars?

Erm, sometimes.

- Not that often, but sometimes.
- Not yet.

You haven't really got into it.

- Well, I've been to...
- Are you a little beginner?

Yeah, I've only been to a
couple, but not that many.

You'd be a good catch
for some young lady.

Certainly doesn't worry me,
my lovey. Whatever you...

Oh, thanks, Grandad.

want to do, we love you.

You are very brave to tell us.

- Oh, thank you.
- Well done.

I can't believe it!

Thank you very much for telling us.

- You're still the same Kiki.
- Yeah.

It doesn't matter what it
is. But you seem happier.

Oh, that's good. I feel happier.

Yeah. That's good. That's everything.

- I loves you, Grandad.
- I love you, my lovey.

- It makes no difference at all.
- Ah, thank you, Grandad.

It was just saying it,
and I think I still got...

I still find it hard even
just to say the word "gay".

Like, I still I have to push it out,

because, like, the amount
of shame that is still there.

But I can come for the
weekend and enjoy it.

And I don't have to question that
when they say that they love me,

I know that they love all of
me and I don't have to worry.

I just know that they do,
and I can just accept it

and move on with the rest of my day.

- All right?
- All good.

You did very, very well.

Well done. See?

Nature played a challenging trick on me,

putting a bold spirit
like mine in this vessel

in which I'm obliged to
wear frills and petticoats.

Well, I refuse to be cowed by it.

People can be very cruel.

Shame on them.

I don't want you to be hurt.

Sometimes if we want to be happy,

we have to risk getting hurt.

I watched Gentleman Jack when it was on

and I was living alone.

I didn't have a relationship,
I'd been like that for years.

I could identify myself in Anne Lister,

she was such a strong
character and so brave, erm,

to be open with how she felt,
because I personally know

what it's like to feel like that.

In the s,

same-sex relationships of
any sort were frowned upon.

Even though lesbian relationships
were not actually illegal,

but nobody ever talked about it.

ARCHIVE REEL: The swashbuckling
approach, the thumping stride,

the tough man's clothes.

These things are
natural to some lesbians,

but mostly unacceptable to
people outside that world.

Today, attitudes to
lesbianism have changed

beyond all recognition
for women like Pauline.

Even so, she's decided
that she doesn't want to be

completely recognisable,

so hairstyles and
names have been changed.

From a very early age, I
realised my sexual orientation.

As I got into my teens, I started having

kind of slight
relationships with people.

And then I met Trixie
in the work situation,

she was very young,

very beautiful and very
easy to fall in love with.

We were actually together for years.

We separated, because Trixie felt

she should do what everybody else does

and be going out with men
and meeting up with men.

I was absolutely
heartbroken when we split up.

It took me a long, long
time to get back on my feet

and realise that I had to go on.

Life was still in front of me.

I did try to have
other relationships, but

somehow it never worked.

Nobody could ever take Trixie's place.

I just threw myself into work.

I watched Gentleman Jack and

was very affected by it emotionally.

And it really stirred
me into doing something.

I couldn't just sit
and do nothing any more.

I had a photograph of Trixie
in the drawer of my desk

and every now and again
would get the photograph out

and just gaze at it

and wonder, should I or
should I not try and find her

and get in touch again?

I found out where I
thought she might be.

I wrote this card that had
my contact details on one side

and I just wrote on the back,
"Would love to know how you are".

That card actually laid on
my desk for a number of weeks

before I was actually
brave enough to post it.

I did post it and waited
with great trepidation.

Eventually I did get a reply.

I got home from work
and there on the floor

was a white envelope and I
just recognised the handwriting.

I thought, "No, that
can't be". And I opened it,

and there it was, very
basic, "How are you?"

Absolutely gobsmacked.

I think it was a couple of
days later the phone rang

and it was Trixie.

And she plucked up courage to ring,

and that was a very, very emotional
moment after all those years

to actually talk to each other.

- We just cried most of the time.
- Well, we did, really. Yeah.

And it got more and more every day.

And then she said, "Why
don't you come for a holiday?"

And she said, "I'll
come and pick you up".

- She stayed for two weeks.
- Yeah.

Two weeks. And in that time decided,

that, yes, we were going
to get back together again.

And it was just as if that
years had never, ever happened.

I think that goes on there. That's it.

I would love to go to Shibden Hall.

Just brings the whole
story to life, doesn't it?

Yeah, it does. We shall
have to look into that.

I wonder if there's a
special trip with a coach

that we could get so
we don't have to drive?

- Maybe.
- Yeah.

We'll have to look into
that. Over the years,

when I got engaged to people,

there was never that
depth of love there,

so I didn't bother, I just
didn't want to marry them.

And I think deep down,

that was the only one
ever took my heart,

was this lady, really.

It's amazing that we had to
be apart for so many years.

And here we are, back together.

Attitudes have changed
a lot, and I think

things like Gentleman Jack
have done a lot for society

and an awful lot of people

have benefited from that.

I will never cease to admire Anne Lister

and Ann Walker, because
they were very brave people.

The second series of
Gentleman Jack is under way.

It's being filmed at Anne
Lister's real home, Shibden Hall,

just outside Halifax.

I'm just really pleased that more
people know about Anne Lister.

I'm pleased that people are interested

- to know about Anne Lister now.
- Yeah.

You know, she deserves to be much
more famous than she has been.

And I think that is
the incredible thing,

off the back of this
show, that it's now...

that it's now part of the history
of Halifax and the country.

But it is because of what you've done.

It's a strange situation
that a TV show has

told a bit of history that people

- didn't know before.
- Yeah.

You've taken the diary
and not missed a b*at.

Like, you know,

these characters aren't just
kind of, like, thinly drawn.

Like, you've gone so deep into

every aspect of their
relationship, which is beautiful.

Quiet now, please.


Ah, here we are.

- Ah, how was your journey?
- Bit of a delay.

- Thank you for inviting me.
- You're very welcome.

Thank you.

Thank you.

I've had so many letters, I'm sure
you guys have had so many more,

from people saying, "I watched
the show and I was able to

confront who I am and
be comfortable with it".

And it gives a visual
reference to their parents,

to their friends, to say,
"Look at this amazing woman".

To go, "Oh, that's how I feel.

It's OK to explore
my gender in that way.

It's OK to explore my
sexuality in that way,

and to be courageous with it".


There's no infection, I'm told.

He's been very lucky, he's healing well.

It were very good of you,
ma'am, to pay for Dr Kenny.

It was my sister who paid
for Dr Kenny, but, yes,

it was very kind of her.

Do you think she looks
better without the hat?

Yeah, I suppose so, but
I still don't like her.

Are you a man?

No, I am not a man.

I'm a lady, a woman, I'm a lady woman.

Think she explains that very well!

But I think, yeah, it's
just a little boy confused

as to her appearance.

But it doesn't faze her,

and I think she deals
with it really nicely.

What do you think, Mum?

I thought she was really
nice with this little boy.

I think this is a part that I like.

Yeah, it's a really
nice, touching scene.

I think it is getting
better as time's going on.

She does want me to just,
like, get married and have kids,

as she's done.

But I have asked her
what her problem is,

and she says it's like
a generational thing.

She's not grown up around that
sort of alternative lifestyle,

and she says it's not
been in the family.

But again, it's like, well, she
was the first to date black men

and have children with them,

so I just don't get where that

source of hatred is coming from.

It limits how close we can
be and how much we can share

and how much she knows about my life,

erm, which is a shame.

She's been promising
me to do this for ages.

Ten years after coming out to her mum,

Sami has plucked up the courage
to broach the subject again.

You know how when I first
told you about my sexuality?

- Yeah.
- You were so upset and crying

and then maybe some anger,

- do you remember?
- Yeah.

So I just want to
check now, why was that?

I was... It was a shock.

I never expected it.

Were you disappointed?

At the time, going back,
yeah, I'm not going to lie.

And there's been some
hurtful things that were said.

I know you've said stuff like
I needed to be straightened out

and I wasn't born like this.

Those comments, was that
part of the shock, or... ?

Yeah, course it was.

Because I just want to know,
like, what place that's come from?

Is it, like, genuine hatred or just... ?

No, I didn't hate you in any way.

I just thought that
it was a passing fancy

and it would go away.

It's felt to me like
you'd be more accepting

if I was with a guy that
was a criminal or crook.

That's more acceptable
than being with a woman.

Well, it's not like that.

It's how it's come across,
which is very hurtful, really.

Looking back, when you told me,

you think, "Gosh, what
are people going to think?"

But now...

... as long as you
find, go meet somebody,

maybe a man or woman,

I don't mind, as long as you're happy.

It's unlikely to be a man, I'm afraid.

But, yeah, it's really good to know

going forward that, you know,

I can be more at ease and more open,

because I think that
will allow me to progress.

And what if I meet someone
and want to get married,

- would you come to that wedding?
- Of course I would.

And would you be proud about it, or... ?

I don't know. I'd have to cross
that bridge when I come to it.

Yeah, it took me a long time
to get my head around it.

But I have now.

It's your choice. What you want.

Good. Next foot!

I belong to the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints,

more commonly known
as the Mormon Church.

I was an avid teenybopper Osmond fan.

And their mother used to
always be putting stuff

in the magazines about faith,

it was sometimes seen as a cult.

But because of the Osmonds,

I knew how good they were
and how nice they were.

So I decided I would get baptised.

h*m* is a sin.

Same-sex marriage is a sin.

So that's difficult.

I can say probably to
people, I'm gay and,

you know, they'll understand,

and they may well
eventually treat me normally,

and it'll be all OK.

But if I met somebody, then

I'm not really welcome,

because then that's viewed as the sin.

You know, in my heart,
I just love my faith.

If I just forget about meeting anybody,

or that ever happening,

then I can participate in all of that,

but I can't have that joy.

You know, it is quite
emotional, it's just like,

"What, do I just hang
on and sacrifice that?"

What do I do? Because either way,
there's going to be a sacrifice.

A year after first
hearing about Anne Lister,

Yvonne has just come out
to her daughter, Laurie.

I was trying to say and I
couldn't, and then she just said,

"Are you gay?"

This is the first time I'm
going to actually meet her

and see her face-to-face,

so I'm a little bit nervous.

Yvonne brought up her
children, Laurie and Jordan,

as members of the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Laurie is still an active church member.

- Hello.
- Hello.

- I can't give you a hug.
- I know.

- Sit here.
- Sit here.

- It's windy.
- Oh, babe, how are you feeling?

Yeah, it was a weird one!

Not what I expected on the phone.

No. Oh!

It just felt like a whole ton of bricks

had been taken off my shoulders.

Like, knowing me.

Like, knowing me deeper than I realised.

- Yeah.
- When you said,

"I can well see you
with somebody", you know.

Yeah. That makes way more sense.

You know, you kind of
know where my joy would be.

That's what I would want for you,

because I can tell that
would make you really happy.

And that's all I want for you.

Yeah. I just thought,
"This is unbelievable".

And I just couldn't believe

that it would be so positive.

- Shall we go for a walk?
- Yeah.

My main concern is what you're
going to do about Jordan.

When are you planning
on saying anything?

Probably today,

- I will probably have to say the word.
- He'll catch on quick.

And if I can't say the word,
I'll get him to phone Laurie!

You're just going to use me now!

I'm going to be the spokesperson!


Hi, Jord.

- "Hello."
- Hiya, where are you?

- "Where am I?"
- Mmhm.

All right, OK. Have you got a minute?

- "Yeah. Why, what's up?"
- Erm,

well. A b*mb's fell
on top of me, Jordan,

I just realised something about myself.


I'm not straight.

"Oh, right, OK."

"That makes sense."

"Oh, right, OK. That makes sense!"

- "Good for you, Mum."
- Oh, thank goodness, Jordan.

I've been, like, terrified.

- "All right, see you, Mum."
- OK, son, love you.

- Bye.
- "Love you too, Bye."

What kind of kids have I got?

They're just amazing.

Just amazing.

I love, and only love, the fairer sex.

My heart revolts from any
other love than theirs.

years ago,

Anne Lister had no qualms
reconciling her love for women

- with her faith.
- I was born like this,

and I act as my God
given nature dictates.

If I was to lie with a man,
surely that would be unnatural.

Surely that would be against God,

who made us,

every one of us, in...

all of our richness.

Anne's confidence has
inspired many of her fans

whose faith is also important to them.

I grew up in an ultra
Orthodox Jewish community.

I came out, basically,
because of the show,

because of the courage.

I, like, said to myself,

"This is a woman in the th century".

I live now, maybe inside,

I live in the th century in some way,

but outside, I can go

and tell everyone that I am lesbian.

There's never been something
that has impacted me so greatly.

And it was because
of the representation.

There's this woman who
unapologetically chose

to live a life that made her happy,

which included her
being both with a woman,

and being in her faith.

That line where she said,
"God made me this way",

that just, like, really was powerful,

because it was just like,
people want to be, like,

"Oh, you're going against
God and going against this,

you're going against
that". But you're not.

This is just who you are, and
there's nothing wrong with it.

I want you to be my wife

and everything that that means.

To love,

to cherish,

to have and to hold

according to God's holy ordinance.

Katie met her partner,
code-breaker Isabel,

five years ago in their church choir.

They share Anne Lister's faith

and her desire to marry in church.

It's reaching the point
in our relationship

where we would really
like to get married.

I thought we had marriage equality,

so finding out that we can't
marry in the church where we met

was a really hard realisation.

The legal systems
within the United Kingdom

recognise same-sex marriage.

But the Church of England does
not sanction marriage ceremonies

between same-sex couples.

People always say to me,

"Why do you need to
get married in church?"

I mean, the obvious thing
is it's where we met.

We spend every week, week in, week out,

every Friday, every Sunday,
being part of the congregation.

But also I do want to get
married in the sight of God.

Just everybody else looks
happy, and she doesn't.

She knows how important
it would be to her

to be in a marriage.

Yeah, it's denied her.

Take and eat this in remembrance
that Christ d*ed for thee,

and feed on him in your hearts
by faith with thanksgiving.

- The body of Christ, which is given for thee.
- Amen.

That's the significance of taking

the sacrament together,

is that's the moment that
they are the closest to God.

Kneel next to each other

just like you would in a real wedding.

It's been nearly years,

and we know exactly how they feel.

Things have changed so
much in so many ways.

But as far as getting
married in a church,

we are exactly where they were.

That sort of frustration at
not being able to have this,

- well, that's completely relatable to me.
- Yeah.

Yvonne came out to her
son Jordan on the phone.

They haven't spoken about it since.

- Hi, Mother. How are you?
- Yeah, I'm fine, son.

So how did you feel
after that phone call?

It's just classic you,
you sit in your own world.

I don't even think it's crossed your
mind until you watched that thing.

It didn't. It didn't.

A lot of things make sense now.

Good for you. cr*ck on, get
yourself a girlfriend, Mum.

- Are you on Tinder?
- Well, that's weird. No, no, no!

and all to play for now, though, Mum.

- Oh, get lost!
- All to play for.

It would definitely be a plunge.

Well, dive headfirst.

You made the first step.

Make another one. Why not?

How are you, sister?

All right. How are you, brother?

Not too bad.

Jordan left the Mormon church years ago,

but his sister Laurie is
still an active member.

I don't think we have properly
sat down and chatted really,

- have we?
- Not about this.

Nothing has changed in
my world at the moment,

but when this moves on to the next bit,

- when random people do know...
- Yeah.

... then I am a bit
worried. It'll not affect me,

but I'm like, how will it affect you?

You, I'm not so worried about.

I don't think it will affect you at all.

That's because no-one will come to you!

I go to church, you don't go to church,

so anyone at church
is going to come to me.

They usually don't ask
the source, do they?

They usually go round the back way.

- It's all right.
- It's definitely you I worry about, I definitely do.

So the church rule on being
h*m* is the weirdest,

most confusing rule I've
ever heard in my life.

That you can be openly gay,

as long as you don't
physically act upon it.

Like, that does not compute in
my head whatsoever with church.

- I don't get it.
- I don't feel that.

And I come from a place of...

- ... I can make changes in the church.
- Yeah. Absolutely.

- 'Cos I do consider myself an ally.
- Yeah.

But I also consider myself a full member

of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints.

- Yeah.
- And we are at a...

- head with everything at the minute.
- Yes. Yes.

There's certain things
that I have to leave behind,

- because it hurts.
- Yeah.

It just hurts when there's
certain things they say.

And I know that they don't understand,

and I know what it's like
for people to feel, you know,

they think they're being
kind. You know, like,

"Well, I love you, but I don't
love your lifestyle", or whatever.

You know. It's just this
patronising kind of...

And now I really feel it more.

If a relationship came up,
I would want a relationship,

because life is too short now.

I couldn't imagine if
you did have a connection

with somebody and you
wanted to go with that,

I would then have to deprive
myself of that experience.

I mean, I don't think
I'll ever lose my faith,

and the church will always
be a special place for me.

But there comes a point, by
knowing this, that I kind of know,

"Oh, I get it now".
Actually, this is me,

and this is how God made me.

So I'm not going to apologise for that.

That was me at Rio Carnival.

That's normal me.

One at Shibden.

Sami's also ready to take the next steps

in her search for romance and
has enlisted her mum to help.

So these are some of
them that have liked me.

Too much posing on
that one! That's a no.

She lives for solitude.

So why's she on here?

- Into non-monogamy?
- What's that?

She's not just with one person.

Your face! It's like
you're in a state of shock.

No, no, no, no.

I am a bit choosy.

What are you looking for, Sam?

Someone who's sociable and
has their own life going on,

job and friends and stuff.

But someone who's not
shy of, like, you know,

cleaning the kitchen floor
and chipping in in housework.

Someone who's quite down-to-earth.

I don't know if that sounds too much,

but those are the sorts of
things I'm looking for, really.

This one is . She's
into healthfoods, fitness.

She's got a nose piercing.

Doesn't matter. As long
as nothing else is pierced!

- And what do you think?
- Give it a go.

Him and her looking
for a third to have fun.

- So I'm going to say yes to that.
- You're not, are you?

No, I'm not! Of course!

As if!

- That's a no.
- Oh, God.

I loved that.

She really seemed to
want to be part of it.

She made clear she
wouldn't be keen on me being

with someone overly butch or
someone that wears big boots,

in her words, that sort of dress.

I think dress does matter to her image.

But overall, I just
feel more comfortable.

It does make a huge difference,

allowing her to be more
involved in that part of my life.

I feel like we can move forward.

Finding out two years or so
ago that we couldn't marry

in the church where we met
and in front of all our friends

was a really hard thing

and it just sometimes feels like
the whole church is against you.

But it's not the case,
there are so many clergy

who would want to, I think.

Despite Isabel and Katie's
church being inclusive,

Church of England priests are forbidden

from marrying same-sex couples.

It's massively frustrating
for those of us who feel

it's the right thing to do
as priests to be able to marry

people who love each other and
are rooted in this congregation.

You know, that feels
instinctively right,

and I know that you could go
round the corner to the town hall,

to the register office and
you could come back here

and we could have music,
and we could have prayers

and I could speak the words of blessing.

But that's not the
point somehow, really.


- Could you get butter and eggs, please?
- Yeah.

Anne Lister's bravery inspired Isabel

to take on the Church of England,

by standing for election
to the Church's lawmakers,

the General Synod.

I just woke up one
morning, sat up in bed,

and just said, "Sod
it, I'm going to do it".

I am interested in more
things than talking about

same-sex marriage in churches,
I am interested in learning more.

But obviously, that is the
main reason why I am standing.

Change is happening, it's
only a matter of time, frankly,

I just would really like it to be

in the next ten years of my life

rather than when I'm
an old lady, frankly.

But we'll get there.

We have to.

Camera is going up.

I'll never play anyone else like her

because she's theatrical,
she's sensitive,

she's vulnerable, she's
charismatic, she's sexy,

she's hard, she's vicious,
she's cruel at times.

I mean, what a gift.

That's why it's resonated
with so many people,

because there's no-one like
her on our screens, you know.

I've spent a lot of my career
feeling quite silly sometimes

about being an actor.

It's very easy to think, "I'm
not really doing anything".

That's why it's been so
special being a part of this,

because it really has
impacted people's lives.

It's the first time I've written
something that I think was important.

- Yeah, yeah.
- Actually important.

So I'm just packing my bag,
ready to go out to Pride.

I'm trying to fit everything in
here that I'll need for the day.

I've just got my reading
glasses, my sunglasses.

That's pretty much
everything that will fit.

Before, I wouldn't have worn
this outside of the Gay Village,

I would have kept it in a bag
and put it on when I'm in there,

because I wouldn't want
neighbours to sort of guess,

or anything like that.
But now it's like,

"Yep, I'm going out there with this on".

And they can like it or
lump it, really, you know.

Hi, Mum.

Are you going to take that hat with you?

Yeah, just for a laugh.

I'm more worried about the shorts.

- No, they look all right.
- Really?


There's my answer.

See you later, Luther.

Watch what you're doing.

- Thank you.
- Be careful.

I will. I'll see later.
Or you might not, actually,

I might pull and not come home!

- Bye.
- See you later.

- Watch how you go.
- I will.

- Bye.
- Bye.

- I thought I would run by you...
- Go on.

- ... a little ditty I've written.
- Yeah?

It just encapsulates how mad
my life has been since this.


♪ The journey, it started
just watching the TV ♪

♪ Anne Lister in Gentleman Jack ♪

♪ And I was astonished at
how proudly she walked ♪

♪ With self-acceptance and no apology ♪

♪ So here I am, embracing rainbows ♪

♪ My colours for all to see ♪

♪ 'Cos finally I see every
shade that makes me. ♪

I like it, Mum. I like it.

Next Pride anthem, that one.

- I learnt a song, Mum.
- Oh, did you?

I did, yeah.

Just for you, Mum, in
your current situation.

♪ I'm coming out ♪

♪ I want the world to know... ♪

Embrace more rainbows, Mum.

♪ I'm coming... ♪

Sami is still looking for a soulmate.

Kiki is very happy her whole
family now knows the real her.

Isabel narrowly missed out
on election to the Synod,

but she's going to try again.

Yvonne's made new friends through
the Anne Lister fan groups.

And Pauline and Trixie
finally visited Shibden Hall.

♪ I'm coming out ♪

♪ I want the world to know ♪

♪ Got to let it show ♪

♪ I'm coming out ♪

♪ I want the world to know ♪

♪ Got to let it show ♪

♪ There's a new me coming out ♪

♪ And I just have to live ♪

♪ And I wanna give ♪

♪ I'm completely positive... ♪