Olympic champion Kelly Holmes says she’s ‘happy for the first time’ since coming out as gay

Dame Kelly Holmes wears a black top, black blazer and matching tie as she speaks to people off camera

British Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes has said she feels “happy for the first time” after coming out publicly as gay. 

During an appearance on Loose Women the 52-year-old, who came out as a lesbian in June last year, reflected on how her life has changed since coming.

On talk show she exlained: “Since doing my documentary, called Being Me, and announcing publicly that I was a gay woman, a few months ago, it’s changed everything about me

“I feel free, I’m happy for the first time in my life. I’ve met so many people too.”

Holmes explained how she was terrified of being open about her sexuality while serving in the army, due to the pre-2000 military ban on LGBTQ+ soldiers. 

“Some people still don’t know, but fear is a debilitating factor of life.

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“A lot of fear is irrational, but a lot of people have fear in their life and mine was worrying that I’d still be in trouble from the military because it was against the law to be be gay while I was serving in the military.”

Reflecting on hiding her sexuality for 30 years, Holmes said she had tried to “change the narrative in [her] head”.

Dame Kelly Holmes is gold medal Olympic winning running champion. (Getty)
Dame Kelly Holmes says she feels ‘free’ since coming out as gay. (Getty)

“It’s ok to have the conversations we have and to just talk normally,” she said.

“When you’re having to constantly check yourself, everything that you say and do on a day-to-day basis, because you can’t talk about a partner, you can’t talk about where you went on holiday…”

Holmes said coming out has helped her “become more free”. 

In June last year Holmes said a terrifying brush with COVID-19 made her realise that she wanted to show the world her “real self”. 

Holmes shared that she had secret relationships with other soldiers during her 10 years in the British Army, risking being “court-martialled” and being jailed if they were caught. She described an incident when the Royal Military Police searched her accommodation in what she believed was a check to root out LGBTQ+ soldiers. 

Until 2000, it was illegal for people serving in the British military to be openly part of the LGBTQ+ community. Several LGBTQ+ veterans who served under the military ban have shared they were discharged from the forces, stripped of their medals or convicted under the vile laws

The 52-year-old previously opened up on Loose Women about the her fear of being outed while in serious relationships. 

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