Being a positive role model
I never felt like I could see people on TV like me when I was younger. It took me many years to accept that I was gay. It took many more to tell other people I was gay. That’s the main reason why it’s so important to me to be a positive role model for young people growing up today.
If you had told me at school that there would come a time I would stand on a stage in front of thousands of people wearing a rainbow pride T-shirt I would have broken down in complete panic. Being told you were gay was a favourite insult. The big kids would say it to bully me, when I was as little as seven or eight years old and didn’t know myself I was gay.
Now, I have no fear in saying it. But for many years that was not the case. It was only at university I would trust certain friends enough to tell them. It was only at the age of 36 I would tell me closest family. The years of fear melted away as I finally managed to squeeze out the words “I’m gay” to my mum and she simply replied, “So…!”
And I here I stood hosting part of Pride in Hull in front of a crowd, many younger than me, showing them that it’s OK to be proud of who you are.