Proud To Be – Beyond The Labels of Me

Proud To Be – Beyond The Labels of Me

Proud To Be was a project commissioned by The Playhouse Derry, funded by PEACE IV and DCSDC.

Proud To Be – Beyond The Labels of Me


As human beings, we are inherently designed to seek out connections with other human beings. In such a short space of time, faced with a global pandemic, the landscape in which we seek out those connections rapidly changed, isolation has exposed humanity to the unavoidable consequence of self-reflection.


Proud To Be is a performance play consisting of intersected monologues that explore the concept of how our connections with others, be that family, friends, lovers, community, work colleagues, teachers or students, reflect back a connection with our own psyche, and how we are changed and shaped by the human interactions of a lifetime. These stories are told through the lens of the experience of being LGBTQ+ living in Northern Ireland where a backdrop of religious identity, inequality and discrimination has impacted upon access to support for the community as a whole, and the individuals living within them.

These monologues examine the labels we carry as humans, as those who identify as LGBTQ+, as Queer, as Catholic, as Protestant, as neither, as defiantly against labels, as rebellious to conformity, as wanting to fit in and belong. It will aim to examine just how much our cultural identity colours our responses to, and our experiences with each other? What would the landscape of connection look like if we were honest enough to speak openly and unabashedly about our lived experiences? What would that landscape look like if we refused to carry any labels at all?


Proud to be… Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transgender. Non-binary. Queer. Non-normative. Living outside the prescribed normal. Not the fairytale. Unapologetic. Visible. Vibrant. Defiantly unhidden. Candid. Honest. Human. Me.

The Playhouse Derry Logo


Commissioned by the Playhouse Derry to write the production element for their Proud To Be project funded by Peace IV and Derry City and Strabane District Council to examine the lives of LGBTQ+ people living in Northern Ireland.
Created in lockdown through Zoom with participants from the LGBTQ community, issues of identity were explored and workshopped. From this, a poem was written and from that, a play. Drawing on the lived experiences of the participants as well as over a decade of research, the monologues were created to initiate a conversation around how difficult it is to connect with ourselves when we don’t see ourselves in the world around us and the images that we do see, are often misrepresented.

Beyond The Labels of Me was live-streamed around the world from The Playhouse theatre stage as part of the new Digital Playhouse for Foyle Pride Festival.

  • Date : 28th Aug 2020
    Written by: Mel Bradley
    Directed by: Kieran Smyth