Kelly Holmes in tears as she describes coming out as gay
Dame Kelly Holmes lived in fear that her sexuality would be outed during her career.
The 53-year-old lived a secret life for decades and came out as gay last year.
Kelly, who has enjoyed an impressive athletic career, won a string of medals which included winning gold at the Summer Olympics in Athens in 2004.
In an interview with OK! magazine she recalled the momentous moment as being “fulfilling” and something she had dreamt of for over 20 years – but detailed how she also felt “fear”.
She was worried about being outed while speaking about her sexuality openly with a psychologist.
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She told the publication: “I’d always worried about opening up about sexuality to anyone outside my circle. I worried that a psychologist would out me, as well. It’s really irrational because they’re professionals, but when you’re caught up in your own fears, everything becomes a fear of the unknown.”
Kelly joined the army at 17 and served ten years in the military where she worked as an HGV driver and also as a physical training instructor.
In 1998 she was awarded an MBE in recognition of her services to the armed forces.
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Kelly lived in fear for a number of years and was worried that those closest to her, including psychologists and professionals, would turn.
In an interview with The Mirror, she said: “Sometimes I cry with relief. The moment this comes out, I’m essentially getting rid of that fear.
“I was convinced throughout my whole life that if I admitted to being gay in the army I’d still be in trouble.”
Only a select few people which included her family and close friends knew she was gay.
The sporting legend has a partner but has not disclosed publicly who that is.
Speaking about her spouse, she said: “It’s the first time I’ve had someone who I don’t introduce as a PA or friend.”
Addressing previous relationships, she said: “No disrespect to them, but the relationships have only been a small part of my life.”
“They haven’t been in this fearful world with me for 34 years.”
As her fame and popularity grew she said she found it harder to reveal the truth.
She says: “It was an era where the stigma of homosexuality was really bad because of the AIDS epidemic. I didn’t have any role models in anything like that.
“And back then, school sex education had nothing to do with being gay.”
Kelly came out publicly in 2022 in an interview with the Sunday Mirror, adding that she felt “finally free”.
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