Pride Knows No Age: Miriam Margolyes Takes Part in Her First Pride Event at 81
Attending your first Pride event is always a moment you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Miriam Margolyes, who portrayed Professor Sprout, recently attended her very first Pride parade at the age of 81 in Hobart, Tasmania.
But her attendance at Hobart’s Pride event wasn’t just for kicks. Margolyes traveled to Tasmania to explore some of the history of LGBTQ+ rights as part of her new docuseries, Australia Unmasked. She also met with Rodney Croome, a Tasmanian gay rights activist.
While digging deeper into the past, she met with locals to hear their stories and even shared some of her own experiences with coming out as a lesbian. She explained that her parents were not supportive of her or her relationship with her long-time partner, Heather Sutherland. She recalls in her memoir, This Much is True, how coming out went with her mother and father.
She and my father insisted I come into the drawing room and swear on the Torah never to have relations with a woman again. I did as they asked, but I broke my promise.
I stayed with Heather because I loved her, because my whole soul cleaved to her, it would have been impossible to stop.
One of her stops during Australia Unmasked included meeting Francine, an 80-year-old transgender woman who started her transition later in life. The two sat down to talk about Francine’s journey. Warning: A portion of the interview contains explicit language.
Margolyes also discussed some of the major changes that have swept through Tasmania in recent years in parts of her docuseries.
The bigoted state that so many of my new friends grew up in has all but vanished… Tassie now boasts the most progressive LGBTQI laws in Australia. Although the struggle isn’t over, I’m proud to march – or roll, rather – right along with them.
In 2019, Tasmania passed a bill allowing people to legally change their gender at age 16 and removing gender affirmation surgery as a requirement to do so.