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some battle scars cannot be seen

Former soldier Philip Riding fought the Taliban and Islamic State in Afghanistan, often escaping death by a whisker. But being gay meant he has had other conflicts to face — and they were equally as harrowing…

When ex-soldier Philip Riding walks into the room at Soho’s Phoenix Arts Club, his boy-next-door charm lights up the room. But he doesn’t want to be overheard as he talks about post-traumatic stress disorder. “PTSD is such a common diagnosis for a lot of people,” he says. “It’s when you can’t get over a certain experience and it comes in many different forms. A memory may come back through a sound, a smell, a sight or an action.”

Riding joined the army in 2007, aged 16. He was still closeted to his family and wasn’t sure what path to take in life. Having been bullied and labelled gay at school, the army offered him an opportunity to get out of his town, but also a chance to “prove” he wasn’t gay.

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About Attitude

Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award winning writer and creator of the exciting new TV series When We Rise, is on the cover of the latest issue of Attitude. Elsewhere in this issue: exclusive interview with the cast and creators of Moonlight, one of the most powerful gay films ever. Pop minx Bebe Rexha is ready to take over music. A special report on Kiev, Ukraine and whether it’s ready – and safe – for Eurovision. Travel issue special featuring New York, Ibiza, Paris, Fort Lauderdale, and more. PLUS: ‘Made in LA’, your FREE guide to Los Angeles.