Scottish Secretary David Mundell: ‘Coming out as gay was difficult’

Scottish Secretary David Mundell arrives in Downing Street.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell reflected on how difficult it was to come out as gay as he prepared to celebrate LGBT History Month in Edinburgh.

Mundell came out in a blog post in January 2016, becoming the first openly gay Conservative politician to hold a government role. Justine Greening, who was Education Secretary at the time, followed his example, coming out in June that year.

Remembering his decision in occasion of LGBT History Month, Mundell said in a statement: “Coming out was one of the most difficult things I have done, but also one of the most important. I was overwhelmed by the support I received from friends, family and colleagues.”

The politician reflected on the importance of LGBT History Month: “Everyone should feel able to live their lives as they wish, in safety and confidence, without fear of judgement or discrimination. We have come a huge way in better rights for our LGBT+ communities, and LGBT History Month is a valuable reminder of those hard-won achievements.”

He added: “But we still have more to do to build a wholly inclusive and accepting society. This month I hope that, by reflecting on our collective history, we continue to pave the way for a fairer future.”

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell arrives at 10 Downing Street on November 13, 2018.

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell is hosting a reception to celebrate LGBT History Month in Edinburgh. (Leon Neal/Getty)

The Edinburgh reception, scheduled for February 21, will feature a pop up photographic exhibition created by Fife Contemporary, with images by young people from two Fife-based LGBT+ groups—Kirkcaldy’s Flavours of Fife and Madras College’s Madras Pride.

Guests will also include representatives from Pink Saltire and LGBT Youth Scotland, as well as education professionals from the University of Edinburgh and Fife Council.

Mundell said: “In Edinburgh this week I look forward to honouring some of Scotland’s most important LGBT+ organisations and diversity champions.  I am very pleased to be able to showcase the work of a very talented group of young LGBT+ photographers from Fife.”

David Mundell: ‘Coming out made a difference to my personal happiness’

Mundell had previously opened up about his coming out experience at the 2016 PinkNews Awards.

The Scottish secretary said: “There is no template for it and everybody must do what is right for them and their personal circumstances, but I have no regrets. I said at the time that I did it for myself and it really has made a difference to personal happiness by allowing me to be completely the person I am.

“However, I am acutely aware that many people don’t have the support I’ve had particularly from their families. That’s why it’s so important we continue to speak out to end prejudice and campaign until equality for everybody in the LGBT+ community is without question.”