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Best-selling children’s author Jacqueline Wilson publicly comes out as gay

Emma Powys Maurice April 4, 2020
Jacqueline Wilson

Dame Jacqueline Wilson poses for a picture at The V&A's Museum of Childhood in 2014 (Dan Kitwood/Getty)

The beloved children’s author Jacqueline Wilson has come out as gay at the age of 74, revealing that she’s been living “very happily” with her partner of 18 years.

The novelist has never spoken publicly about her sexuality before now, but chose to do so as she announced a new gay love story in the works.

Due to be published in August, ‘Love Frankie’ will be Wilson’s 111th book and tells the story of tomboy Frankie who falls for Sally, the prettiest girl in her class.

She told The Guardian that she had put her “heart and soul” into the story, and knew “perfectly well that it would shine a little light on my own private life.”

“I’ve never really been in any kind of closet,” Wilson said. “It would be such old news for anybody that has ever known anything much about me. Even the vaguest acquaintance knows perfectly well that we are a couple.”

The only person to be “appalled” at her relationship was her mother, but Wilson said: “That wasn’t too devastating for me because my mum cordially hated my ex-husband; she didn’t really approve of any of my friends.”

The former children’s laureate met her partner Trish at a party after her marriage broke down when she was in her early 50s.

She recalled a friend once telling her: “I don’t think you are a lesbian, I think you are a Trishian.” Wilson replied: “I think that really sums me up.”

Jacqueline Wilson at the National Book Awards at RIBA on November 20, 2018 in London. (Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty)

Jacqueline Wilson is author of some of the UK’s best-loved children’s books, including ‘The Story of Tracy Beaker’, ‘Hetty Feather’, ‘Girls in Love’ and ‘The Illustrated Mum’.

Her novels frequently deal with complex themes such as adoption, divorce and mental illness, which are described in terms that are relatable and manageable for younger readers.

Over the years she’s often been asked why she hasn’t written more about LGBT+ characters. She told The Guardian that this is because she was telling stories about children with problems, and she didn’t see “any problem whatsoever with being gay”.

She added that she doesn’t see herself as a mentor for young people struggling with their sexuality.

“I don’t think that girls would ever want a grey-haired, wrinkly writer as a role model if they were wanting to feel good about maybe being gay,” she said.

“I’m sure they could find much more glamorous examples.”

More: Children's laureate, Jacqueline Wilson, lesbian, Love Frankie, Tracy Beaker

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