Tributes after cancer death of ‘gay icon’ Leeds grandmother

Rosie Fields (right) with friend Maggie Wilson (left) and drag queen Miss Orry (centre)
Rosie Fields (right) with friend Maggie Wilson (left) and drag queen Miss Orry (centre)
0
Have your say

A GRANDMOTHER described as the “life and soul” of the gay bar scene in Leeds for more than 20 years has lost her battle with cancer.

Long-term Leeds Pride supporter Rosie Fields, 51, of Bramley, died at St Gemma’s Hospice on Monday after losing a 13-month fight with lung cancer

200717  Coun James Lewis  and Coun Lucinda Yeadon Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council  at  the LGBT  Leeds Pride 2017 flower bed at Roundhay Park .

200717 Coun James Lewis and Coun Lucinda Yeadon Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council at the LGBT Leeds Pride 2017 flower bed at Roundhay Park .

Leeds drag queen Miss Orry led tributes to Mrs Fields while DJing at Queens Court on Lower Briggate on Monday night.

Miss Orry, who was headline act at the former Bird Cage club in Leeds, said: “She was a big character on the scene, everybody knew her.

“I played the Rose by Bette Midler and the whole pub cheered and clapped and cried, it was lovely.

“She was the life of the party. She always had a big smile on her face and people warmed to her.”

Rosie Fields, who worked as a mental health support worker for Leeds City Council, was a regular in The Viaduct, Fibre, Queens Court and the New Penny.

Daughter Jenny Fields, 32, of Bramley said: “She wasn’t gay, but she had a lot of gay friends.

“She loved all the glitter and the glam and the banter with the drag acts.

“She was the life and soul of the party. She was an absolue legend.

Jenny Fields added: “She was heavily involved in Leeds Pride from day one and never missed it.

“She also went to Pride in London and Manchester.

“She was very outgoing and loved wearing anything with leopard print and sequins.

“She was just so brave and carried on working up until four months ago. She was poorly but she was making herself go to work. The whole gay community in Leeds is devastated.”

Tracey Farrar, a former doorwoman at Queens Court, said: “She was like a real life drag queen in her leopard prints.

“She was absolutely fabulous. She was really outgoing and really bubbly. She never had a bad word for anyone.”

“Loads of straight people shy away from gay people, but she never did. She was like a gay icon.”

Mrs Fields’ best friend and work collague Maggie Wilson, 47, said: “She was a fabulous and glamorous lady who always had time for people.

“She is going to be sadly missed by so many people.” Mrs Fields was grandmother to two-year-old Jaxon and Madison, 10. She also leaves husband of 29-years Steven.

All are welcome at Mrs Fields’ funeral at 3pm on Thursday July 27 at Rawdon Crematorium followed by a celebration of her life at the Stone Trough pub in Rawdon.

Jenny Fields said: “I’m hoping to have a few people come to the funeral in the full glitz and glamour drag outfits. I want her to go out with a bang.”

LEEDS City Council chiefs have unveiled a dedicated LGBT+ flowerbed at Roundhay Park ahead of next month’s Leeds Pride.

Deputy council leader Coun Lucinda Yeadon and LGBT+ champion Coun James Lewis unveiled the new flowerbed, which recreates the Pride flag in flowers.

The flowerbed was unveiled yesterday to mark the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality for men in England and Wales and within three weeks of the 11th Pride event in Leeds.

This year’s Leeds Pride will be held on Saturday August 5 and Sunday 6.

trolley-dashed: The NGT New Generation Transport scheme was scrapped last year

Aisha Iqbal: Let’s all have our say on Leeds’s ‘son of trolleybus’ plans