This film is part of Rentals

A Boy Called Mary

The fabulous life and times of queer writer Kris Kirk, who became one of the UK’s most influential music journalists.

1986 52 mins

Director: Paul Oremland


Self-proclaimed ‘Catholic faggot’ Kris Kirk, born Christopher Pius Mary Kirk, became a pioneering music journalist in the 1980s. In this exhilarating waltz through his life, Kirk takes us from a working-class childhood in Carlisle to interviewing the stars of the 80s pop scene, accompanied by a marvellously eclectic soundtrack written especially for the film.

A Boy Called Mary was made for Channel 4’s landmark series Six of Hearts, exploring gay and lesbian lives in the 1980s through a mix of documentary interviews and re-enacted scenes. Kirk is a refreshingly candid guide through the gay scene of the 70s and 80s, not holding back on his loathing of Thatcher and his dislike of working at Gay News. In the years following the broadcast of A Boy Called Mary, Kirk continued to write, including the landmark essay A Descent into Darkness in 1992, about the blindness that resulted from his AIDS diagnosis. He died the following year.