so sorry for keeping you waiting so long for this Profile,but i am sure that it will be worth the wait.
Profile number 8 comes from from a truly original man with a great big heart. I give you Steve Kingaby.
My name is Steve and I was born at St Nicholas’s Hospital in Plumstead South
East London on the 14th of February 1959 ( two weeks early) according to my mum.
I weighed 6lb 1oz. I am the oldest of three children.
At the age of two and a half ( just after the birth of my brother) my parents
moved us from rented rooms and brought a three bedroomed house in welling, Kent.
(Above Steves Mum and Dad on their wedding day April 1958)
My Dad was a policeman and worked shifts, so most of the parenting was done by
My Mum said I always had a teddy or soft toy tucked under my arm, unlike my
brother who preferred to play with his toy cars.
I remember having a Popeye doll, who had a soft body but vinyl arms and legs who
was my constant companion. Over the years I have spent many an hour looking on
eBay for one just like him.
For some reason most of the kids on our street were girls who loved playing mums
and dads, so us boys were always brought into play. I spent many a happy hour
walking up and down our road pushing the girls Silver cross dolls prams, playing
jacks, skipping and playing elastic’s.
(Above a Popeye doll similar to the one Steve owned)
(Above a photo of young steve with his Mum.)
When I was about seven I remember staying the odd weekend with my Nanny Maud and
Granddad Bert ( my Dads parents). We used to take a bucket up to bed with us, as
their toilet was outside. It’s funny the things you remember.
My Nan was a knitter and sometimes she would get hold of old hard plastic
pedigree dolls and knit them clothes. I loved playing with the dolls and so my
Nan would give me the odd one to take home with me.
When we returned home my Dad would take the doll from me and put it straight in
the dustbin. So my Nan used to keep them at her house for me to play with along
with an old dolls pushchair so I could push them round her garden. My Dad wasn’t
at all happy with this and I can still hear him arguing with Nan and saying I
was not to play with the dolls or the pushchair when we stayed.
Of course once my dad had left us, my Nan would go and get the dolls and
pushchair for me to play with, she also taught me to sew and knit.
(Above a photo of Steve with his Nanny Maud)
When I was eight, my sister Lindsay was born and after her birth I don’t
remember staying at my Nan and Granddads anymore, although will still used to
visit. I am not sure what happened to my dolls or the pushchair, I think my Nan
must have given them away as I don’t remember ever playing with them again.
I was around nine or ten when I first saw my first Sasha doll. My brother Iain
and I were at our junior school summer fair and I can remember being mesmerised
by this redheaded doll that was a raffle prize. I had never seen anything like
her before. I asked the lady running the stall what kind of doll she was and she
told me she was a Sasha, I just couldn’t stop looking at her. I remember buying
raffle tickets but alas I never won her or saw another Sasha again during my
It was around this time that my Dad decided that my brother and I should have a
clear out of our bedroom and get rid of some of our toys. All our bears, soft
toys and my much loved Popeye where were put into bags and thrown into the
dustbin. I can remember my parents arguing over this but as usual my Dad got his
(Above My mum and I. I must have been around eight and if you look down my mum is
holding my doll.)
It was when I started secondary school I began to realise I was different to
most of the boys, I think I had always known but it was around this time it all
started to fall into place. I didn’t act on any of these feeling but suppressed
them and tried to get on with my life. I free wheeled through secondary school,
bunking off when ever I got the chance. I hated everything about school,
lessons, football, cricket or any kind of PE.
(Above Steves school photo and he is in the second row, eighth along from the left.)
During my last year at secondary school, my parents were called in, as I had
been kicked out of some of my CSE options as I hadn’t done enough course work.
My Dad went mad, our relationship went from bad to worse.
It was suggested by the school domestic science teacher ( to my parents) that I
had a flair for cooking, so it was decided that I should go to catering college
to train as a chef.
I loved college and after a two year course I left with five city in guilds, an
RSH in hygiene and a college diploma.
I started working at the Bank of England as a chef two weeks after leaving
college. I hated it. We catered from anything from 1000 to 1200 people
(Above a Photo of the Bank of England)
The good thing about having a job was you got paid at the end of the week.
Things at home were getting worse between my parents and I. During the later
teenage years my dad and I argued, he didn’t like my clothes, my hair my friends
and I am sure he sensed that I didn’t like him much either. The next few years
were hard, I finally plucked up the courage to tell my mum that I was gay when I
was nineteen and she was devastated. Our relationship has never been the same
again, she also made me swear not to tell my Dad as she knew I would be banished
from the family home. These were dark years, I slept on friends sofas and
partied hard, I only went home to change my cloths and to have a bath I barely
spoke to my parents. I went missing for days on end and thinking back now my
parents must have been worried sick.
(Above a photo of Steve aged about 18 years old)
When I was around twenty three, I left catering at the Bank of England and home.
I got a job working in a day centre with adults with physical disabilities.
Three yeas later I moved job again, this time as a support officer working with
adults with learning disabilities.
I loved my job and I was the happiest I had been in years.
I met James my partner, two years later after he joined our staff team and a
year later he moved in with me and we became a couple.
(Above a photo of Steve and James)
My Dad died on October the 17th 1999 after undergoing a triple bypass at St
Thomas’s hospital, ( he had two heart attacks a year or so before his opp) he
never came round from the anaesthetic. He was 63. I do regret we never got a
chance to reconcile our differences. I would like to think he would now be proud
of me and my family.
Over the next twenty five years James and I battled with local authorities and
adoption agencies to become parents to our three very special children. We
adopted our eldest daughter at the high court in London at the end of June 1992
after she had lived with us for nearly three years. Everyone was expecting a
back lash from the press, as we were later told by our social worker that we
were the first openly gay male couple to get to court. I adopted Jenny in court
and a few weeks later, James went back to court to become her legal guardian.
This has happened with all three of our children.
Whilst the kids were at school I started looking for and collecting old teddy
bears and old blue and white China, I still do.
Then in 2001 James and I thought it might be a good idea to buy a computer to
help me with my searching. It was during one of these searches on line that I
remembered the Sasha doll I had seen as a child and decided to start looking for
her. At first I was disappointed as I had typed in Sacha doll and hardly
anything came up. So I decided to try again by changing my spelling of Sacha to
Sasha. Suddenly all these Sasha’s started to appear on my screen and I fell in
love with her all over again.
It became very addictive all this Sasha buying on line. I didn’t have a clue
what I was buying back then, but gradually I began to see subtle differences in
some of the dolls eye paint.
Whilst buying on eBay, I had started to make a few friends to. I came across
Brenda Walton selling original cloths, Shelly and Marie Morgan who were both
(Above some of Steve’s doll collection)
Fast forward to now, I count myself very lucky to have lots of great Sasha
friends who I chat and email with. I have also attended many gatherings and I am
now able to put faces to names.
My collection of Sasha’s have evolved over the years and I am pleased to say I
now think I have a nice collection. My other half James has been a real support
over the years, although he says he still can’t understand the differences in
the eye styles. He still thinks they look like the children from film, (the
village of the dammed.) I still love collecting and still get a buzz when a new
Sasha or Gregor comes to join my ever growing family.
I was never able to track down that Sasha I had seen in my childhood, but I am
pleased to say, I now own three just like her.
(Above a photo One of my favourite Sasha’s. Single fringe tiny eyed girl)
( Above Another two favourites. Two NPs. The girl on the left, her eyes were painted by
Kristina ( the art student) and the girl on the right eyes Were painted by Sara
Thank you Steve for sharing your story with us.Once again please do not copy any of the photos on here without Steve’s permission.