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We met in the famously tacky nightclub Isabella’s in Sheffield, which had a gay night on Thursdays. This was in 1993 when I was in my final year at the University of Sheffield, and Matthew was living at home having just finished his A-levels. There was an instant attraction – I thought he was so beautiful and loved the way he danced with such joy and abandon. We then spent the whole of the evening dancing and talking. We discovered we had so much in common, not least a shared love of theatre. Matthew did try to kiss me but I refused because I had a boyfriend. We finally got together on February 17, 1994 at the same club. It was a Stonewall fundraiser and my friend Polly snapped us with Michael Cashman. Once we started kissing we didn’t stop, and once again had to be thrown out of the club by the bouncers. It’s remarkable how much attitudes have shifted towards LGBT people since we’ve been together – although that’s not to say there isn’t still a lot of prejudice to fight against. We may occasionally bicker but we very rarely fight. We’ve worked hard at our relationship and we get along better now than ever, and I still love being with Matthew more than anyone else.

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About Attitude

This month’s Attitude cover star is One Direction’s Liam Payne, who gives the band’s first ever solo interview, and first gay press exclusive. Shot and interviewed by Attitude, he speaks out about his relationship with the gay community, and the band’s future. We also have an interview with music’s most profound gay voice, John Grant, the King of Broadway Harvey Fierstein, alternative pop star Peaches, and young adult author James Dawson. We have a feature looking at what really happened at the Stonewall riots, and look back at Emile Griffith, the tragic gay boxing star from the 1960s. This issue also introduces a few new pages to the magazine, including a Books page, the new Readers Question spread, and the debut of columnist Jemal Polson.