New Year, New Start

Wednesday, 13 January, 2016

New Year, new start! I have already set out my political priorities for the year and now I am setting out my personal one. Having taken one of the most important decisions of my life and resolved to come out publicly as gay in 2016, I just want to get on with it, and now, just like that, I have said it. How can it be both so easy and so hard to say a few short words?    

In the end, it took just a couple of  taps on a keyboard, yet at some points, in my mind, it was going to be harder than standing for election, speaking in the House of Commons or being cross-examined on television. I still cannot fully rationalise such feelings, but I know they are not uncommon, particularly in men of my age. Of course, everybody who gets to this point, has had their own journey. I have certainly been on mine - conflicting emotions, of doubts and fears, but ultimately positive and uplifting, with an unstoppable direction of travel. Over time, I came to understand that, for me, the only way to be truly happy on a personal level is to acknowledge in public as well as in private, who I am. 

I so admire the many people, young and old, who are doing this every day, uncertain of the reaction. I have been very fortunate and couldn’t have had more love and support from my family and friends. However, making this  public is something I have had to do myself. I don’t know what the wider reaction will be, but I know it’s the right thing for me to do. 

Other than the intensely personal and positive  difference it  makes to me, and the way I can live my life, my hope is that my coming out doesn’t change anything else about how I go about my work or how people treat me. Gender and sexuality should make no difference whether you are a Cabinet Minister or in any other walk of life and I hope that I can, in my own way, reinforce that message.     

 

David Mundell MP