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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 267 > Paris Lees

Paris Lees

IT TAKES MORE THAN ONE STEP OUT OF THE CLOSET TO COME OUT AS TRANS

At 76, Sir Ian McKellen has spent more than half his life in the closet. Though he was openly gay to his colleagues in the theatre, he hid his sexuality from close friends, family and the public until he was 49. That was how it was back then. Elton John was married to a woman in the 80s. Many gay men were. I came out as ‘gay’ as soon as I became sexually active at 14 and doubt I will ever truly appreciate the sort of pressure gay men of Sir Ian’s generation faced back then. Don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of homophobia around when I came out, and there still is, but not enough to force me into a life of hiding. I wonder how many people throughout history have lived, died or indeed killed themselves in the closet.

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About Attitude

The new issue of Attitude features Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy on the cover, with an exclusive interview in which he discusses life since coming out. Inside we have a Valentine’s special where we look at the broad spectrum of gay relationships, plus columns and advice on dating as transgender, HIV positive, masc, femme, and everything in between. There are also interviews with British actor Douglas Booth and Australian singer songwriter Josef Salvat. Our writer Matt Cain goes home to Bolton for the city’s first Pride, and we chat to our new columnist Juno Dawson about her transition. We also have a feature on the forgotten gay language, polari.