Tory MP reveals battle with denying his sexuality and his fight against homophobic bullying
A Tory MP has revealed his internal battle with accepting his sexuality and why his taking on a fight against discrimination and homophobic bullying in schools.
Nick Gibb, who came out as gay two years ago after keeping his 29-year relationship a secret, wrote about why he decided to stay silent for “decades” in an op-ed for the Mail on Sunday.
Gibbs’s decision to hide his relationship with his now husband, Michael Simmonds, stemmed from social attitudes, he explained.
“I met Michael in a different era, and one that was much harder than today.
“There was widespread intolerance, discrimination in the professions and a very hostile press – not least towards politicians.”
Gibb, who was recently appointed the Junior Minister for Equalities, said that their secret relationship meant they missed out on a lot of activities that couples usually share from family get together to having children.
“It was easier for us to have a relationship that wasn’t known about.
“This meant we missed out on things that most people take for granted.
“Having children was out of the question. We didn’t go to parties or attend family dinners as a couple. We spent every Christmas apart.”
However, Gibb stressed that this is a minuscule disadvantage in the grand scheme of things that affect LGBT people.
Because of this, Gibb is now set to work on fighting discrimination and he’s starting with his aim to wipe out homophobic bullying in schools.
“Many other LGBT people had a much more difficult and challenging time.
“Bullying at school is cruel, particularly as LGBT pupils are coming to terms with their sexuality or gender.
“I am determined that we stamp out the use of the word gay as a pejorative term.
“Having felt the need to be silent for decades about my sexuality, I am determined to make a positive difference,” he added.