June 1972. David Bowie appears on British T.V. singing "Starman" and ignites a fire in the heart of the watching teenager Steven Patrick Morrissey.
He is tormented in the playground for his difference, intimidated in the classroom by belligerent teachers and taunted by the local Catholic priest struggling in vain to keep the Church’s grip over its poorest families. Surrounded by “alpha” males with their rampant homophobic and racist views so typical of that decade, Steven wrestles with the complexities of his own sexuality supported by his love of David Bowie and Glam Rock. Emerging from the cocoon of his bedroom he seeks solace with his sister but finds his greatest ally to be that of his mother. He pins his hopes eventually on someone that he meets on a surprise visit to a party.
At the heart of “Thorn” lies the question “What does it take to be a real man”? A question that is as relevant today as it was in the turbulent 1970s.
*The photo is by Roger Mayne and copyright to the Mary Evans Picture* Library