Years & Years singer Olly Alexander has shared part of the speech he would have made at the Brit Awards, before he lost out.
The band had been nominated for the British Group, British Breakthrough Act, British Single of the Year and British Video awards – but were left empty handed by Coldplay, Adele, One Direction and Catfish and the Bottlemen.
The ‘King’ band’s lead singer Olly Alexander – who is loud and proud about his sexuality – took to Instagram to share the speech he had planned to make about gay rights had the band actually won an award.
He wrote: “This was part of the speech I was gonna make if we won at the Brits the other night…
“We didn’t win anything and that’s cool but I thought I would put this here anyway and celebrate the end of LGBT+ history month.”
In it, he remarks: “This month is LGBT+ history month, many of us, myself included, owe a huge amount to the people that have gone before us.
“We owe many of our freedoms to the people who fought for our rights, who struggled through so much in the ongoing fight for equality.
“Those people, along with my friends and family in the wider community today, they are my heroes, they inspire me every day, they make me proud to be part of a community that celebrates diversity and fights for equality for all.
“They make me proud to be gay.”
The singer added that he will donate a pride flag necklace that he wore to the ceremony to raise funds for rights charity Stonewall.
He wrote: “I’m giving this rad rainbow necklace I wore at the Brits to Stonewall, who are gonna do something nice with it. Not sure what yet but I’ll let you know.”
The singer has previously spoken about his ongoing mental health treatment – and how being in denial about his sexuality impacted him.
Speaking to the Guardian’s Owen Jones, he said: “I think [sexuality and mental health] are connected. Growing up in a straight world is difficult.
“Once you admit to yourself and the world that you’re gay, there’s an expectation that you put on yourself: you’re fine now, you’ve gone through the whole thing of being gay, and now you have to prove to yourself that you can live a happy life and be happy.
“That’s something I have struggled with – of course I’m still going to get depressed and have anxiety, but you tell yourself: you’ve struggled enough, you shouldn’t have those feelings!”
Of the stigma around mental health, he explained: “If you’re invited to a party, and you say ‘I’m sick, I can’t go’ – that’s totally accepted.
“But if you say ‘I’m having a depressive episode, I’ve got to stay in bed’ – that feels much harder to say!”
“The likelihood is that you or someone you know closely will suffer from a mental health condition in your lifetime.
“It’s like any other part of your body – your mental health gets sick, and it needs treatment.”
He added: “It’s part of who I am now – in a positive way. I look at it in a positive way.”