Queer Diary is the night where LGBTQ+ adults share extracts from their teenage diaries. It all started on Zoom in 2020 as a fun nostalgic distraction from, well… 2020! July sees the first ever in-person Queer Diary event, happening at Omnibus Theatre as part of 96 Festival 2021. We’re super excited to bring together a room full of friendly IRL queers after a very long year of connecting through screens.
On Friday July 9th a few brave souls will take to the stage to share revealing journal entries, risqué fanfiction, and perhaps the odd piece of angsty poetry – all penned in our formative years. We’ll also be hosting a pop-up exhibition of art and artefacts from our teenage years – from artful exercise-book doodles to treasured souvenirs from early nights out. All of this will be happening in the gorgeously well-ventilated Omnibus Cafe Bar, with readings punctuated by a nostalgic throwback soundtrack. It’ll be a relaxed evening aimed at anyone keen to get back to sharing physical space with other LGBTQ+ people, safe in the knowledge that COVID-security is still being taken seriously.
Whether you spent your youth as a Closted Queer, a Queen Bee Bisexual, a Geeky Gay, a Lovelorn Lesbian, or an Angsty Ace – you’ll be extremely welcome to join us at Queer Diary!
To give you a tiny taste of what to expect, now you can take our Queer Diary personality quiz to find out which relic from queer teenage life most represents who you were back then – and what kind of adult you turned into… Let us know what result you get by tagging us on social media #QueerDiary @hasbianshow. Bonus points if you can share a photo that shows how accurate (or not) your results were!
Answer as honestly as you dare, make a note of which letters you answer to calculate your result…
If you’re inspired by this quiz to dig out some old memory-boxes of your own, there’s still time to submit something to share in the gallery of Queer teenage art & artefacts – find out more about taking part here!
BEGIN THE QUIZ
1. What was your love life like?
A: A few very dramatic relationships and/or unrequited loves. I could never hide it and had NO chill when I got a crush on someone.
B: Lots of flirtation that never went anywhere serious or long-term. For all my confidence, I didn’t like feeling vulnerable enough to put myself out there romantically.
C: I usually had a relationship on the go. Not being arrogant, but I’m pretty sure there were more people who fancied me than I had crushes on other people – it led to some awkward moments when I wasn’t interested, but I always let them down kindly!!
D: I had some very intense obsessions with people (I often wasn’t sure if I was in love with them or wanted to be them), but most were a closely guarded secret.
E: There were a few people who were important to me, but nothing that went anywhere you’d call ‘long term’. It wasn’t really a priority.
F: If you didn’t know me, it might have looked like I never had a “love life”, but I had several close friendships that went a LOT deeper than just being besties.
2. What was your favourite lesson?
A: I never admitted it, but I got great satisfaction from maths – finding a definitive solution to a problem would bring me a much-needed sense of calm and control!
B: Anything where the teachers kept off my case! I wanted to be left to myself to chat to my mates at the back.
C: PE – I love to keep fit & be part of a team. I can be a little bit competitive but it’s all in good fun! I wasn’t very academic & I prefer to be DOING, rather than thinking.
D: History – especially the gory details. I’m fascinated with how messed up humans have always been! I was all about asking things like: “How long does it take to chop someone’s head off, Sir?”
E: English – Some of the poetry & classic books were actually quite good when I could be bothered to read them.
F: I was good at pretty much everything, but drama was my favourite.
3. What was your extracurricular activity?
A: A bit of everything! As a high achiever I sometimes spread myself thin, but being busy is better than being bored
B: TV & cinema – I don’t like to show off but I’m a bit of a movie buff.
C: Hanging out with my mates, parties etc. I have definitely always lived for the weekend!
D: Watching horror movies – the more countries they’ve been banned in, the better.
E: Music. I thought some of the stuff I made was actually quite good at the time but do NOT ask me to dig out any of it now.
F: I loved anything that allowed me to completely immerse myself in another world: reading epic books or comics, absorbing myself in long-running TV & film series set in other worlds & times. And I’d take every opportunity to get FULLY involved in that world – board games, video games, acting, role play, fan conventions etc, etc.
4. What was your role in your friendship group?
A: Fiercely loyal. I’d stand up for my friends against ANYTHING
B: Definitely the joker.
C: The leader of the pack – not that they always did as I said, but I always took the initiative rallying my group of pals to get together, and still do.
D: The weird one. Even amongst my crowd of oddballs, I’d pride myself in being the one to say and do things that shocked people.
E: The chill one – most people liked my relaxed vibe, so I had plenty of good pals, but I wasn’t someone you could rely on to remember anyones birthday or anything over the top like that.
F: I was the brainy one, others always asked for my help with their homework. But don’t be mistaken, I also had a wild side, and was always up for a game of ‘spin the bottle’…
5. What was your teenage bedroom like?
A: Extremely neat & tidy – even in the throes of puberty, I liked everything in its place!
B: Constantly changing, I used to move the posters and furniture around & redecorate as much as I was allowed to.
C: I took care of it – unlike many teenage bedrooms, it never smelled of sweaty feet – I was a liberal user of body sprays & perfumes from an early age!
D: Dingy, gloomy, sombre, NO PARENTS ALLOWED.
E: A bit of a mess. I sometimes struggled to find clean socks, and there was always a dusty teacup on my desk, but it never got out of hand.
F: Totally full to the BRIM. Every surface was covered with stuff & I wouldn’t stand for anyone telling me to clear it out. It wasn’t clutter it was A COLLECTION! I spent ages decorating the walls with pictures from all my fandoms – honestly? It was a work of art in itself.
6. What kind of music were you into?
A: I didn’t really stick to one style. but tended to go through important phases. I had bouts of listening to the same song over and over again. I’d learn EVERY single lyric & get completely obsessed with knowing EVERYTHING about a band I liked.
B: Anything upbeat – nothing too angsty and depressing or schmaltzy and romantic (flashback to the horrors of being asked to slow-dance once! Ugh.)
C: Chart classics – you can’t deny that the era I grew up in was objectively the BEST for music!
D: The rebellious kind – constantly blasting loudly from your bedroom to drown out the rancid reality of the outside world.
E: Everything, but not ANYthing, you know? I had a wide range of tastes – from old music to bands so new no one else had heard of them, but even as a kid I was very discerning. Don’t call me a music snob, but…
F: I wasn’t really ‘into’ music, like cool music at least (don’t ask me what was number 1 when I was 16!) I just listened to whatever my friends were into, or the soundtracks to my favourite film, tv/theatre show, or video game.
You're an angsty journal entry: full of feelings, worries and woes
Written in tear-smudged ink, occasionally your diary comes across as self-involved, but often your angst takes the form of worrying about others as much as yourself.
Your high standards meant you only had a select group of friends in your teens. You were fiercely loyal, so falling out was rare, but you can’t stand dishonesty so if you got the slightest whiff of anyone cheating or lying, the result was HIGH DRAMA.
You rarely had frivolous crushes. When you fancy someone it’s LOVE, and if it doesn’t work out you’re DEVASTATED.
As an adult you’re extremely sensitive and super intelligent, with a strong moral compass. Your biggest downfall is being a perfectionist - that’s not just something you say to sound good in a job interview, it’s really true!
You’re most drawn to: B - They’re hilarious, and you’re convinced they have hidden depths, if only they’d open up to you.
You're a cheeky cartoon doodle, lurking in the margins of a school exercise book, etched hastily but skillfully, in blotchy biro.
At school you were a bit of a class clown. Your sense of humour & light-hearted nature meant you got on with all your classmates, but you were sometimes accused of not taking things seriously ENOUGH - especially by teachers with an authoritarian streak.
Sometimes you have a bit of a sarcastic side and your jokes have been known to inadvertently offend, especially when you were a careless teenager, but you weren’t in the mean clique - your scribblings are not Burn Book material!
As an adult you’re very independent and value your own company. Most people warm to you and love to have you around because you’re great fun. You may have had lots of different jobs/homes/relationships but don't feel unsatisfied with that choice - you have strong sense of self that doesn’t need to be validated by anyone or anything else.
You’re most drawn to: E - They're easy to hang out with, even if you take the piss out of them for being pretentious.
You’re a well-loved item of clothing. A battered pair of shoes, a well-worn top with sentimental value, an old faithful jacket.
You can’t bear to throw these things out because they remind you of the days when you were not just on-trend but setting trends.
You were popular and well-liked in school - people have always been drawn to your natural charisma. You’re not arrogant, just a people-person, with a natural instinct for connecting with people that makes you as good a listener as you are a talker.
As an adult you might not be as fashionable (or as much of a party animal) as you once were, but still have lots of friends. You get nostalgic sometimes thinking about the past - there’s no doubt your school years were your prime, and you feel like no one ever REALLY knows you till they’ve met your mates from that era. You’re still the centre of that group in some ways - would they even still be in touch if it wasn’t for you keeping the old school gang alive?
You’re most drawn to: A - they always keep you up to date with the best gossip - usually because they’re involved in it!
You’re a slightly disturbing verse of poetry.
You’ve always had a dark side - even as a kid you used to make up stories that were more Roald Dahl than Enid Blyton. It was almost inevitable that as soon as you hit your teenage years you’d reach for the black nail-varnish.
You were bullied or ignored by ‘popular’ kids, but you developed a thick skin and eventually wore their scorn as a badge of pride.
As an adult you’ve found other ways to express yourself than furious poetry, but you're still creative. You’re much more emotionally well-adjusted, but you still gravitate towards unpicking the grim complexities of life, and find catharsis in screaming along to a song from your wilderness years. Halloween is still your favourite holiday.
You started finding ‘your people’ via subculture when you were a teen -- you recognised each other by your shared style, and felt instantly understood without needing to say anything. Going to gigs was the first time you really felt ‘at home’ - even if the music was too loud to talk to each other - or maybe BECAUSE the music was too loud to talk.
You’re most drawn to: E - even though you would NEVER admit it. You feel like you share a bond because you both find solace in music. You think you'd really connect, if they ever spoke to you... but they have this air of cool that keeps them at an arms length.
You’re a crumpled concert ticket.
Even as a teenager you were pretty chill.
You weren't really interested in all the drama of who was dating who, and couldn't care less about schoolwork - though you sailed through school making decent grades, and being popular enough not to draw the wrong kind of attention. The worst name anyone called you was 'pretentious'.
As an adult you stick to a similar 'uniform' of a plain & simple style that suits you (only the shape of your jeans changes with fashion) & still regularly buy enough records that people turn to you for recommendations - you definitely know more about new bands than mates your age, even if you feel a bit old going to gigs these days. You miss buying music magazines, even though you always rolled your eyes at their choices.
The only thing that awoke passion in your youth was music, and you became a bit of an expert in an array of genres from your own time and before.
You're most drawn to C: It's so basic of you, but they're extremely charismatic. Also they're super organised which is useful - you'd probably have had no social life at ALL if it wasn't for them throwing parties a couple of times a year & asking you to play/DJ.
You’re a (Not Safe For Work) Fan Fiction.
At school the popular kids thought you were a loserrrr!
What they didn’t realise was that you were having the time of your life, living in the worlds of fantasy, fiction & fandom, completely oblivious to the hierarchies of popularity. The worlds in your imagination were much, much bigger, more inspiring, and higher stakes than any playground dramas.
Your nerdiness and focus has served you well and you've been extremely successful in your career. Your lack of self-consciousness and warm open enthusiasm makes you way more popular than you were in high school.
As an adult you've got less time to devote to fandom, but you're still somewhat engaged with the communities around your teenage faves - you met some of your lifelong best friends through shared obsessions!
You're most drawn to: D - they understand your obsessive nature, and you see their sensitive side. You don't mind doing their homework for them when they feel too depressed (or stayed out too late) to focus on maths.