Socialist Worker

Safe—stories of survival

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2751

Characters share painful stories in Safe

Characters share painful stories in Safe (Pic: Jane Hobson)


Safe—a new digital theatre production—tells the real stories of four young LGBT+ people facing homelessness or living in difficult circumstances.

In Britain 25 percent of homeless or at risk people are LGBT+.

So it was important that their stories were told in the words of the people themselves, by an LGBT+ cast.

The characters share coming out stories, and the early years of confusion and non-acceptance by family members who physically and verbally abused them.

This led to some ending up in care, and others without a stable home during their teen years. This also damaged their education, and mental and physical health.

Safe presents each character powerfully, especially the trans man and woman who begin by trying to work out their sexuality and eventually discover their gender identities.

It shows the battles and barriers trans people face, from self-medicating to feeling invisible.

Each character experiences rejection and loneliness, with some turning to drugs and alcohol as a result.

Due to not being accepted at home, the characters are moved around to different houses by multiple charities or associations.

The reality is that at 23 one character was forced into prostitution after their benefits stopped.

Another had nowhere to sleep for the weekend but was told that because they were over 18 they had to “just stick it out”.

The theme throughout is survival.

Safe grapples with addiction, suicide, identity, religion and race as the characters look for what is safe—“security, acceptance, freedom and equality”.

Free to watch online at hackneyempire.co.uk/whats-on/safe/

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