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Growing Up Gay

Since the publication of Olly Alexander's documentary Growing Up Gay in 2017, the group Years & Years, a British group created in 2010, broke up in 2021. But rest assured, the group survived, but never has since consisted solely of Olly Alexander. The 2 other musicians who were part of it, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Turkmen have decided to go their own way, even if Mikey will still accompany Olly on stage.


Let the fans be reassured, since this event the group's latest album: Night Call was released in stores and on digital platforms in January 2022!

Despite a childhood where he was harassed for 7 years at school, Olly Alexander managed to make an absolutely extraordinary artistic career, as a musician with the group Years & Years but also as an actor with the series “It's a Sin ”.

However, he wanted to return to an intimate part of his life.

Through a documentary called: Growing Up Gay,  he tells us about the time when he was persecuted and his current problems resulting from this abuse suffered at school.

School bullying is a real problem, in England, as in France, but alas certainly in other countries of the world!



Growing Up Gay: The Documentary

In the documentary Growing Up Gay directed by Vicki Cooper, Olly Alexander confides in his current difficulties as an adult. Indeed, he has suffered since adolescence from bouts of anxiety and depression. According to him, it is the consequence of years of persecution at school, where he was harassed by his classmates, as gay.

At that time, he never dared to tell his parents about it.

We also meet in this report, other gays who are in the same situation as him, and who, too, have to manage serious consequences in their daily life as adults.

For Olly Alexander, all these troubles would come from the fact of building himself, of growing up as gay in a hetero-normed world. But also, and above all, because he found no one to talk about it at that time, being convinced during his adolescence that he was not normal being gay!

For the singer of Years & Years, it's like a toxic pain that got inside him, and the consequences of which are disastrous for him today as an adult.

In the documentary Growing Up Gay, we also learn about staggering figures.

We learn that 40% of LGBTQIA + people are at risk of suffering from similar problems, namely depression, and anxiety attacks, while these mental disorders only affect 25% of the general population.

We also learn, according to a Stonewall study, that 2 out of 3 teenagers who are harassed mutilate themselves! And among them, 45% of transgender people will try to end their lives!

This harassment would explain, still according to Olly Alexander, the excesses of drugs in the gay world, which he describes as slamming.

This is how we learn, according to Imperial College, that this risk-taking with drugs among LGBT people kills one person every 12 days!

According to Olly Alexander, all this could be explained by a huge problem of self-esteem!

The only remedy for this problem: talk about it! And he recommends doing it by participating in discussion groups provided by certain LGBT associations.

Harassment, a toxic pain that does not only affect gays!

A few days before the filming of this show, I learned of a fact that deeply saddened me, namely the death of Jonathan Destin, at the age of 27.

This young man had also been harassed at school, as 12% of students still are today.

Just like Olly Alexander, he too had been harassed for six years at school, as in college, but for “grossophobia”!

Unlike Olly Alexander, Jonathan had tried to tell one of his teachers about it, even though he was getting beaten up regularly. He would then have replied that his comrades just wanted to “play” with him!

Unable to do so, on February 8, 2011, he tried to end his life by setting himself on fire, before throwing himself into a river.

After 2 and a half months in a coma, 72% burnt, and numerous operations, he became a figure in the fight against school bullying after writing his book: “Condemned to kill me”.

This book was adapted into a TV movie by TF1, the first French television channel, under the title: “The Day I Burned My Heart”.

Since then, he has regularly intervened in schools to raise students' awareness of bullying.

It would seem that his commitment has finally allowed an unprecedented awareness within the French National Education!

He died in his sleep on August 20, 2022, at the age of 27, his heart tired from all the operations he underwent following his immolation.

Whatever the discrimination one is the victim of or the problems one encounters, bullying at school therefore affects 12% of children for a wide variety of reasons: homophobia, transphobia, grossophobia, or racketeering...

Remember, as Olly Alexander says in Growing Up Gay, the only cure is to talk about it! It remains to find an attentive ear!

It is also for this purpose that the HappyGayTV team has created the Hot-Line for all LGBTQIA +. Even if its goal is not to replace associations which have set up emergency lines for people in distress, it is however possible to share their questions, problems, doubts, comments, but also its joys!

That's why I'm now waiting for your reaction on the Hot-Line! Share your experience with us, and don't forget that you have 2 minutes in all to express yourself, by sending either an audio message or a video message to our servers!

I am sure that this article and this video did not leave you indifferent!

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Thanks in advance and see you soon!


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