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Give Me Courage: My Story, by Phil Sanger.

Updated: Feb 28, 2022

Phil Sanger is one of our newest recruits to the Create Space collective. He joins the team as a facilitator and certified coach. We asked him to share some of his story.

Photo credit: Phil Sanger by True North

In 1999 I left my hometown of Barnsley. Kate Bush was playing on my walk-man, on repeat. My destination was Leeds and my goals were to take up professional dance training at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and, much to the dismay of others, to come out. With both goals firmly under my belt I have since enjoyed a flamboyant career of touring world class stages, appearing in television and film productions, and working with some of the most renowned and queer choreographers to be found. Ten years later (2009 with Kate Bush still on repeat) I began fundraising and producing local and international cultural events. By this point I had become a dance-maker, mentor and educator and I had, at some point, also found time for a hiatus as a nightclub and event manager where I discovered a little more about what it means to be queer, and whole lot more about what it means to be me.

Over the years my creative interests have evolved and become much more politically centred around queer visibility and coming out stories. The shift in content was galvanised when I started working with a coach who supported a transitionary period of my career and to my surprise, I uncovered in myself a lion's share of internalised homophobia and so 'the work' began. The result was that I myself would go on to become a coach and trainer, and the wellbeing of the LGBTQ+ community became the next focal point of my practice.

Another ten years later (Yes, 2019 and Kate Bush is STILL on repeat) I toured a pseudo-glamorous solo show titled 'For Only An Hour'. The premise of the show was that I would confront my shame and share my coming out stories on stage as a political act of queer visibility and LGBTQ+ rights. The show consolidated my otherwise incoherent journey and now, I am here.

Phil spoke to our Programme Director, Maylis Djikalou, about his Create Space workshop, ‘Give Me Courage’ taking place Saturday 1st May 2021.

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