Gay MP John Nicolson explains how he was ‘inned’ by The Sun

John Nicolson.

SNP MP John Nicolson recounted his LGBTQ+ journey at the PinkNews Awards 2022.

The  PinkNews Awards 2022 is supported by joint headline sponsors Lloyds Banking Group and United Airlines.

Nicolson, SNP MP and deputy chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Global LGBT+ Rights, won the PinkNews Award for Politician of the Year.

After being announced as winner by ITV’s Paul Brand, Nicolson reflected on his coming out journey.

He said: “I came out to my friends and my family when I was in my 20s, and I came out to my workplace whilst presenting the BBC Breakfast news in my 30s.

“The Sun had decided that I was having a torrid affair with my co presenter, Sophie Raworth. I wasn’t.

“I think I’m probably the only person who’s ever been ‘inned’ rather than outed by The Sun. I was elected as a politician, as an openly gay politician, in my 50s.”

Nicolson said while “we always assume that progress marches on”, progress is in fact now “under attack as it’s never been in our recent history”.

He explained: “Attacks on our community, outspoken hate against our trans siblings, to such a degree that the vulnerable minority of trans people became central to the Tory leadership race. Can you imagine such a disgraceful thing?

“That they would pick one of the most vulnerable minorities in the country, and they decide that they will war over who hates trans people more.”

Paul Brand and John Nicolson.

Paul Brand presented the award to John Nicolson. (PinkNews Awards 2022)

Nicolson, who recently gave evidence challenging the charity status of anti-trans lobby group LGB Alliance, said that because of his trans allyship, he has been “under attack” on social media.

But what is “always” on his mind is “how horrible it must be to be a young trans kid, imagining what it must be like to grow up in this hate-filled society”.

“We must stand with those trans kids,” he said.

Nicolson described Westminster as a “gothic pile” similar to “Hogwarts”, but said he was proud to be an SNP MP.

I’m proud of our record on LGBTQ+ rights. I’m very proud that we’re about to pass GRA reform, and very proud that I introduced the Turing bill in Westminster to pardon all gay men guilty of crimes no longer on the statute books,” he said.

“We haven’t voted Tory in Scotland since the 1950s,” he added.

“Since our government reconvened, Scotland has been transformed beyond all recognition. So instead of us waiting periodically to get a gay-friendly parliament and gay-friendly government selected, we want to elect a gay-friendly government at every election. And that’s our plan.”