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New Queer Voices: ITV 'Victoria' star Jordan Waller

The actor and writer won't shy away from his sexuality when it comes to his work.

2019-04-18

In Attitude's 25th anniversary issue - available to download and to order globally now - we're showcasing the boundary-pushing, trailblazing talents who'll be paving the way for the next next 25 years.

Jordan Waller is a British actor and writer, best known for playing Lord Alfred Paget in the television series Victoria. Here, he explains how shying away from his sexuality in his work would be a betrayal of art itself...

I am a gay sperm-donor baby from lesbian parents. So I am pure-blooded wizarding gay. I'm Draco Gayfoy.

The D Word, my recent one-man show at this year’s Vault Festival, is about losing one of my mothers and struggling to find my sexual identity as a man. It's going up to Edinburgh this summer and I hope it can pave the way for more stories about queer families because ultimately families are all queer in that they’re never normal.

Photography: Bartek Szmigulski

That’s the fantastic thing about the LGBTQ movement: it seeks to emancipate everyone through the lens of difference. Why do Jews and gays get along so well? Because we’re different. Because we’re marginalised. And because we’re awesome. The Prousts, the Baldwins, the Wintersons… they all come from a fabulous space in the margins.

Feeling different from birth means you have to explore yourself more profoundly. It means you have to question everything from the get-go, including yourself. The gay experience expands artistic vision and we should recognise this.

I recently wrote a film called Off the Rails (starring the wonderful Sally Phillips) about three middle-aged women who recreate an inter-railing trip from their youth.

If I’d had a more conventional upbringing, then, as a 26-year-old man, I wouldn’t be able to write a film about reinvigorating life as a peri-menopausal woman. But, living as I did in the warm embrace of a quilt of Bristolian lesbians all at various stages of breaking up and getting back together, my humanity was enriched, and I’m not ashamed to say so.

I understand in part what it means to be a woman because I was raised as a lesbian, and a post-menopausal one at that. I owe everything to my mothers, and the wonderful, gay way they raised me.

Our community has been persecuted for so long. We’ve fought hard just to be valued equally, that perhaps we’ve lost sight of the fact that we might be worth more.

'Off the Rails', written by and starring Jordan, is out later this year.

Meet more queer trailblazers in Attitude's 25th anniversary issue, out now.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: 3 issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.