Aaron’s Story: Plastic Paddy

rainbow colours of paint, in little blocks, sitting on a surface smeared with paint.

For Pride month, we asked some of our members if they would like to tell their story and why they are proud. If you would like to contribute, please email londonirishlgbtnetwork@gmail.com  Here’s Aaron’s story:

Plastic Paddy

by Aaron McCarter

You might say I was late to fully appreciate my Irish ancestry, as a child, born in the Yorkshire town of Keighley to a Northern Irish immigrant, I was never able to fully appreciate my Irish roots as my father was born in Derry during the troubles and moved to the north of England as a child. The scars of that trauma as a kid stayed with him for a long time and he was always wary of taking us ‘home’. I always loved hearing my dad speaking with his 8 brothers and sisters in that wonderful Derry accent where I never realised the word fuck could be used so commonly as a verb!

I understood I was a little ‘different’ at an early age when my older brother would be playing football and fighting, I would be playing dress-up and performing with my little sister for home concerts. My Irish granda sadly died of cancer when I was a baby, but I always looked forward to seeing my granny, a rather stoic woman, full of love and warmth, but tried her best to hide it. All I remember as a kid was a thick Derry accent, with NHS prescription glasses and nylon dresses. She would always ask for (in that wonderful accent) ‘a cup of tea and a wee slice of bread’. This woman was an enigma to me as we didn’t see her often, but when we did I was always excited to see her. Years later (a month before lockdown), I would find out that ‘she always thought of me fondly and worried about how much I got bullied at school’.

Continue reading “Aaron’s Story: Plastic Paddy”