Ian ‘H’ Watkins’ new documentary explores what it’s like to be the ‘only gay in the village’

Ian 'H' Watkins' new documentary explores being the 'only gay in the village' (Getty)

Steps star Ian ‘H’ Watkins’ moving new radio documentary explores the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people growing up in towns and villages across the UK.

The Only Gay in the Village is a touching radio documentary that tells the stories of LGBTQ+ individuals who have lived as the sole gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or queer person in their town or village. 

Originally airing on Virgin Radio Pride UK on 8 August, Steps star Watkins narrates the hour-long documentary and details how he felt like “the only gay in the village” growing up in the in the beautiful small town Cwm-parc in Wales.

Produced by audio content agency This Is Distorted, this programme showcases the powerful perspectives of a number of contributors from the LGBTQ+ community, and focuses on first-hand accounts detailing the highs and lows of appearing to be “the only gay in the village”.

The programme highlights the ongoing need for awareness, education and measures to combat acts of hatred and intolerance. As documented in the Hate Crime in England and Wales official statistics, hate crime figures have more than tripled since 2012

Ian H Watkins, part of band Steps, performs at Brighton Pride.
Ian ‘H’ Watkins dazzled in white shorts during Steps’ Brighton Pride show. (Getty/Lorna Thomson)

In a statement, Virgin Radio Pride UK said: “It has been fantastic to work with This Is Distorted for a third year on Virgin Radio Pride. This documentary builds on the incredible work they have previously made for the station, continuing to start conversations around those difficult issues the LGBTQ+ community faces.”

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This is Distorted also praised Virgin for having a dedicated Pride radio station: “Now in our third year working with Virgin Radio UK on their brilliant Pride station, the production team have loved the freedom to explore important issues and tell thoughtful and thought provoking stories.”

Watkins recently appeared at Brighton Pride where he sent a powerful message of solidarity to the trans community.

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Performing with his Steps bandmates for the group’s only performance of 2023, Watkins addressed the crowd during the set.

“Those people under attack, especially, are the trans community, who we love,” he said. “To trans people, to people who are identifying in a different way or maybe you just need to hear this: you matter. You are valued, and you are loved.”

Watkins later reaffirmed his comments on Instagram after the show: “We mustn’t forget that even though Pride is about celebration, parts of our community are still under attack.

“They are under attack because they live in fear of being themselves.”

The Only Gay in the Village is available wherever you get your podcasts and on Virgin Radio Pridecast.

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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