I didn't come out to further my career, I did it because I had no choice – this is what really happened

Layla Moran@LaylaMoran
Monday 06 January 2020 08:45
Celebrities
Picture:(Aaron Chown/ PA)

As many of you will know, earlier this week I came out as pansexual in a tweet – something which has been broadly covered by most of the media in a positive way.

I really want to express my gratitude to all those who have overwhelmed Rosy and I with their support in the last few days. It’s meant a lot to me, as I’ve really taken a leap of faith in opening myself up in this way, especially as it was a relatively new feature in my life.

Many of you will know that although I am happy to have talked openly about my sexuality and had already told many friends and family, the timing of speaking publicly wasn’t on my own terms.

For the last few months, I had been hearing second hand that a few journalists had been attempting to make our relationship salacious or sensational. My understanding was that they had been calling around asking questions from as early as mid-October.

Then, last Saturday the Mail on Sunday contacted me directly to tell me they were publishing something with less than 24 hours notice. I pleaded with them to wait. I hadn’t yet told my 92-year-old Grandma who reads their paper “just for the crossword” and I couldn’t bear the idea she would see it before anything else.

After a series of phone calls over the course of the day, they agreed to not write it last week, but I still believed they would publish this Sunday with or without me. So I told my grandmother and decided to take back the control that I feared would be stolen from me.

In the past few days, I have learnt that reporters have been offering money and doorstepping houses of an ex-boyfriend and former neighbours looking for information about either of us. All because I had the prerogative and confidence to tell our story myself.

Today a follow-up story in the Mail on Sunday accuses me of trying to "weaponise" my sexuality. They have barely quoted anyone who met me, and many of the people quoted seem confused about what pansexuality actually is.

The story frames my actions, my telling of my story, as a calculated plan.

This couldn't be further from the truth. While I am proud of who I am, it was the media who I felt intimidated me into doing it at a time, not of my choosing.

It's possible that to some journalists and readers this is a jolly jape where they get one over me, but to me, this is my life.

However, now it’s done I’ve been made all the more aware of how important LGBT+ visibility is in society and I don’t regret a moment of it. You could say it’s lead to me having the confidence I wish I’d had all along.

In 2020, I believe that we as a society are better than that and that ordinary people can see what’s really happening here. It’s the 21st century and we should all respect an individual’s right to be who they are, and love who they love.

More: Lib Dem MP Layla Moran has come out as pansexual – here's what that means

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