Hello my lovelies.
Welcome to my brand new column! First of all, can I just say how excited I am at being given this opportunity, and secondly, can I apologize to all of you who listen to me witter on your nights out that now have to read about me as well!
For those of you who may not know me, I have worked in various venues on the Leeds gay scene for over 10 years, doing everything from bar work, to singing, to hosting karaoke. In fact, I bet most of you who know me didn't know that. During this time I've met a lot of characters, seen a lot of changes, and made some amazing friends. As a singer I've worked all over the UK in some great venues, but gay Leeds is where I always feel welcome, where my heart is and where I can truly be myself... the little diva that I am!
So where did it all start? Without boring you all, I think it's fair to give you a little background. At 18 years old (yes, I was young once!) I sheepishly stepped in to one of my first gay bars, the Bridge. The thing of fairy tales, I fell in love with a beautiful (she says stunning) barmaid who you all now know to be Charlie. At the time I loved to sing and karaoke at the Bridge was as fabulous then as it is now (minus today's sexy host of course!). The infamous Judy and Leroy took me under their wing, mentored me and helped me to audition to work the Yorkshire music scene. And thus began 'Kira'. Since then I have performed at stadiums, prides and elite functions; won many awards, hosted award shows, judged competitions and much more!
These days, most of you living in Leeds and those who visit, will find me perched on my throne in either the Bridge or the Viaduct, listening to you lovely folk singing your hearts out... or not in some cases! That's not to say I sing less, on the contrary, my singing career has blossomed over the last few years and there are lots of exciting things in the pipeline.
Of all the stages I've performed on over the years I can truthfully say that the Leeds Pride stage is my favourite. I've performed at Leeds pride for four consecutive years now and it’s been the highlight of my year for that long. I love pulling out all the stops to wow the 20,000 strong audience and I love that it's my home crowd cheering me on. In 2012 I had Neil Raven Williams (who should be a household name by now) and his team of dancers who helped me re-create the winning song of the 2012 Eurovision song contest, Euphoria. I had so much fun and we smashed it!
I'm always surprised and flattered by my success in Gay Leeds. I think it's fair to say that the majority of successful DJ's, artists and entertainers on most gay scenes are male. I'm not sure why that is, and I'm not going to start analysing now, but whatever the reason I've bucked the trend and seem to be embraced in all of Leeds' gay venues. My friends have referred me to as an honorary drag queen. No, I don't look like a man in a dress (I think!), it’s more the hair and the sparkly dresses. (I hope!).
These friends happen to be the very best in their craft. I am lucky enough to work with these incredibly talented people everyday. From bar owners, managers, bar persons, organizers, dancers, drag queens, DJ's and all round entertainers. They all make the up the eclectic Leeds gay scene and we are very lucky to have them. You'll see these entertainers every time you step into gay Leeds, and they will always work tirelessly to make sure you are looked after and entertained. These people have also given me some great opportunities, such as Leeds Pride, Drag idol, the Owlies and now Gayleeds.com.
So what can you look forward to in the coming months in Leeds (Other than my fabulous column, obviously) Well The first big entry in the Diary is the Owlies which is an annual award ceremony recognizing individuals and groups who make an outstanding contribution to the LGBT community in Leeds. The public votes for the winners and this year’s nominations have already whipped up a talking frenzy! Some incredibly hard working individuals are among the nominations this year.
The Owlies is a free event and is open to all members of the public and I am proud to have been asked by organizers Jon Bishop and Marky Mark to once again co-host this prestigious event. It will be held on Thursday 28th February and by popular demand will be back at the Alea casino. 2012 was amazing and I know 2013 will be bigger and better. Make sure you all come and support your favourites! Check out all the nominations on www.theowlies.co.uk.
It's also that time of year when we start to raise money for Leeds Pride. This massive event is still free of charge to the public, but the only reason it remains so is by your generous donations. Every year I love to see the LGBT community in Leeds come together to fund raise for the biggest year on the Gay Leeds calendar. As part of the first of many fund raising events, I will be performing at the Bridge bar's 'Valentines Extravaganza' on Saturday 16th February. This event is also to raise much needed funds for the Yorkshire air ambulance. I will also be singing at the Viaduct Showbar’s 'Leeds Pride fundraising weekend' on Sunday 17th February. Both bars have a weekend crammed full of the best in entertainment and both will be raising money for pride 2013.
Don't forget, this years pride theme is 'The Wizard of Oz'. Charlie and me are putting bets on how many pairs of glittering red shoes we see!
Until then you can catch me at the Viaduct every Sunday afternoon and The Bridge every alternate Sunday night. You may even bump into me having a sneaky drink on the few occasions I’m let out of my cage! If you do, say hi and if any one has any issues they would like me to cover in my articles let me know.
So it's farewell from me for today, I'll be posting my column on the first of every month so be sure to come back and catch up on the next instalment!
Love to you all