There were very few LGBTQ role models on television or in the media, and only a handful of teachers ever challenged my tormenters. It was not until my early 20s that I told my parents the full details of the bullying I had faced at school. By then, I had realised the huge effect it had caused on my confidence and feelings of self-worth. The material focused predominantly on heterosexual relationships, and form tutors were left to answer any questions the students had on sex, which is quite a responsibility if sex is not your specialism. However, I had an incredibly supportive department who would report homophobic incidents and ensure students faced the consequences of their actions. My new play, Next Lesson, has recently been published, and is a portrait of a London secondary school that focuses on a gay student named Michael. There seemed to be one set way of having relationships and it looked totally different to the way my feelings were developing. More gay students came out in school, and I directed plays about sexuality and challenged homophobic bullying. Sex can be one part of a relationship — but not the defining feature — and young people need to be able to understand how to communicate their emotional needs more. There was no sex or relationship education relating to same-sex couples, and I felt this absence deeply. In , two years after Section 28 was repealed, I went back to Bromley to work as a secondary school teacher. The sex education classes at the school were often delivered through short tutor time sessions at the end of the school day. It was powerful to have them tell me that they felt my presence had made space for them to be who they wanted to be and given them the confidence to come out. After six years of working as a drama teacher, I returned to my professional passions of acting and writing. Advertisement The major theme of the play focuses on love rather than sex in LGBTQ relationships, which often gets overlooked when discussing sexuality and relationships in schools.