There are so many echoes between Olly’s story and my own that it’s hard not to draw parallels. I cannot commend him enough for being brave enough to speak out about his journey towards accepting his sexuality, his battles with bullying and his struggles with his own mental health.
Had there been someone like Olly to whom I could have looked up when I was a young teenager, I can only wonder what might have been. Whether I may have been able to see that being LGBT is not the end of the world I once saw it as. Whether I may have been able to come to terms more quickly with my own sexuality. Whether I may have been able to deal more readily with my own depression, anxiety and other mental health problems.
Of course, well known faces like Olly (and others like Nigel Owens, Tom Daley and others) who talk openly and honestly about sexuality and mental health do so much to challenge stigma and create a happier, more tolerant society. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t all do our own bit.
Every single one of us who raises our hand, raises our voice, says “What about me!” We can all change the world in our own way. All we need to do is talk more, and more openly, about the issues that matter to us, and the things that we care about. Something I’ll be posting more about on Thursday.
Note: Post photo is Copyright © Oriol Salvador, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic License.