Amanda Barrie has been very busy for most of her 81 years, so perhaps she can be forgiven for leaving it a little late to do some quite important things. She came out as bisexual at 67, and married her long-term female partner just two days shy of her 79th birthday.
One of those most recognisable faces from soap-land and an incredible acting talent, Amanda’s decision to come out proved that it’s never too late to be who you were born to be. She’s a true inspiration and a worthy recipient of an Attitude Icon Award for Outstanding Achievement, supported by Sky.
The world was a more sexist, homophobic, close-minded place during Amanda’s youth. For Amanda, delaying coming out wasn’t just a matter of personal choice; it was professional survival.
“If people had known [I was bisexual], I don’t think I’d have been in Corrie for all that time,” she says.
Amanda is a thoroughly modern woman: Back in the ’60s, she entered a seven-year, three-way relationship with actor Ian Hunter and a woman known only as ‘Sally’. Now, she’s a proud and visible beacon of bisexual pride in a world that still tries to conceal those for whom gender isn’t a barrier to love: Her refusal to let the media tell her story has meant that her coming out, while a little late in the day, was entirely on her own terms.
Amanda was presented with her award by Paul O’Grady at tonight’s star-studded Attitude Awards ceremony at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue, hosted by Alan Cumming.
Read more about Amanda Barrie and the rest of winners from the Attitude Awards 2016, presented in association with Virgin Holidays, in our special November issue, which comes with six different covers featuring some of the night’s biggest winners.
It’s available to download from 11pm tonight (October 10) at pocketmags.com/attitude and available in shops from Wednesday (October 12). You can order the cover of your choice from 10am on Tuesday (October 11) at newsstand.co.uk.