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Never Too Late: Keris Stainton’s Story is Still Unwritten

Keris Stainton

Keris Stainton is an author of young adult and commercial fiction from The Wirral, UK. She came out as bisexual in her forties.

“It took me forever to work out I was bisexual,” explains Keris Stainton. “It’s baffling to me now but I remember wondering if I was a lesbian at quite a young age and thinking ‘no, I like boys.’ I read a magazine article that said not to worry if you fantasize about girls, it’s normal and doesn’t mean you’re not straight.” She smiles. “But also, maybe it does mean you’re not straight.”

Stainton had been married to a man for 20 years when she came out (they have since divorced) and thinks her life would have been entirely different had she realized her sexuality and come out earlier. “As it is, I now find myself starting from scratch in my early fifties, which is kind of terrifying. And, if I’m feeling positive, exciting, too.”

As an author, Stainton feels a responsibility to write characters of all sexualities into her work, believing if the books, TV, and film she consumed as a teen had more bisexual representation, she may have figured out her sexuality sooner. 

She is also currently writing a non-fiction book about Harry Styles, having recently traveled to Australia to see him live, an experience Stainton particularly treasures as the trip allowed her to spend time with the fandom friends who have been an intrinsic part of her recognizing, accepting, and enjoying her sexuality. Part of the appeal is how the former One Direction singer is vocal about welcoming everyone, which makes his shows feel safe and affirming. 

“Harry helps,” Stainton explains. “Seeing someone so open, living their best life and dancing like no one is watching is constantly inspiring to me. The whole experience brings me so much joy that I try not to give the fact I’m an older fan any headspace.”

Besides her fiction and non-fiction writing, Keris is the creator of The Ladybird Purse, a newsletter centered around women’s relationships with money. “I’ve spoken to queer women as well as straight women and the majority of interviewees seem to be struggling with the same thing: lack of financial security and fear about the future. One thing I have noticed is that a couple of women I’ve interviewed have been in a similar position to me – coming out later in life and leaving marriages. Some are addressing money issues for the first time in their adult lives because their husbands always dealt with it before.”

And what advice would Stainton give to younger queer women about aging? “I’m in no position to give anyone advice, I feel like I’m still working out how to be a person. But I wish I hadn’t worried so much about what people thought of me and that I’d trusted myself more, been more confident in my abilities. So maybe my advice is don’t rush and don’t settle. Value yourself and your time.”



Katey Lovell
Katey Lovell
Katey Lovell is a freelance writer and romantic novelist based in Sheffield, UK. She loves books, bands and musical theatre and spends far too much time on Twitter. Find her @katey_lovell.