A COWDENBEATH man is beating the bullies by promoting positive body image so everyone can be their true self and live a happier life.

Ross Kirkham grew up facing cruel taunts from all angles, being bullied for his sexuality, his lean figure and even against his family life. He says although it was a difficult time and something he will never forget, he wont let it define his future.

Now, Ross is one of Scotland’s hottest drag performers and is travelling all over the country to perform to crowds at major events.

Ross will be performing at Fife’s first all-inclusive club night ‘Fierce Fridays’ at Lorenzo’s nightclub in Dunfermline on Friday November 9.

He told us: “I was relentlessly bullied at primary school and then at high school, it was horrendous.

"I’ve always had problems gaining weight so I’m pretty skinny and tall which became a reason to target me. Then it was because I was gay. And then because I had two mums.

"Kids can be really cruel and those beatings and horrible words stuck with me for a long time, but I wont let those experiences ruin my life.”

He added: “I’ve always been a really creative person, going to dance classes since the age of 6, and having four big sisters meant I was always the one being dressed up for their fun!

"But when I was being bullied I felt this cloud come over me, like something was dampening my creativity and I felt really isolated. That was until one guidance teacher at high school sat me down and listened to what I was going through. Having that one person to listen really helped start to turn things around and I really want to be that person who gives others confidence to be themselves today.”

Ross performs as ‘April’ in drag shows around Scotland, lip-syncing and dancing to enthusiastic applause and wowing crowds with his performances. He headlined the main stage at Fife Pride in 2017 and 2018, and will soon host his first club night in Dunfermline.

“I always take time to speak to the crowds after each show and they often talk to me about their own difficulties so I’m able to draw on my experience to help give them some advice. It feels really good to give back and use a negative experience to show people that it does get better and that the bullies will never win,” said Ross.

Ross recently took part in a special photo shoot to promote body positivity and hopes the images will inspire other people to be their true self openly.

Stuart Duffy, Founder of Pink Saltire and a local equality campaigner, praised Ross for his positive work for the community, saying: “Ross is a really great example of a young person taking control of their life and not letting negative experiences affect their future.

"He is a fantastic performer and somehow channels that raw emotion from his past into being the best he can be, each and every time he goes on stage. He takes the time to listen and speak to people and that makes a big difference, showing empathy for the young people who still face bullying in their life today. It’s just fantastic to see such role models working away in the community here in Fife to make things better.”