Becoming Cherrie tells the story of actor and performer Matthew Cavan, also known as Belfast drag superstar Cherrie Ontop.
Diagnosed HIV-positive at 19, Matthew struggled to find acceptance in conservative Northern Ireland. Kicked out of his family’s church by the Minister, Matthew found himself alone while struggling to come to terms with his diagnosis.
To escape his everyday reality he created his sassy alter-ego and took to the stage, and a decade on has become Belfast’s best-loved drag artist. Even so, his openness about his sexuality and HIV status have made him a frequent target of homophobic threats and abuse.
Becoming Cherrie lets us witness the intimate transformation of Matthew into Cherrie, and offers a portrait of resilience and reinvention.