Dame Kelly Holmes goes gay after 34 years

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Dame Kelly Holmes has come out publicly as gay.

The Olympic runner, 52, has opened up about her sexuality for the first time saying she ‘finally feels free’ after years of being ‘secret’.

The track and field star admitted she was ‘fully aware’ of rumors about her sexual orientation but is now happy to date ‘on her own terms’.

Speaking to the Mirror, she said: ‘There were a lot of dark moments where I wished I could scream I’m gay – but I couldn’t.

Speaking out: Dame Kelly Holmes has come out publicly as gay (pictured this year)

“I needed to do it now, for me. It was my decision. I’m nervous to say it. I feel like I’m going to explode with excitement. Sometimes I cry with relief. By the time this comes out, I basically get rid of that fear.

Dame Kelly confirmed she had a partner but wouldn’t give further details, admitting it was the first time she hadn’t introduced someone as a ‘friend or PA’.

She explained how her family and close friends had known for years that she was gay, but she feared getting in trouble for breaking retrospective rules in the Forces.

At the time, the forces had banned LGBT soldiers, which was not lifted until 2000. Kelly has had relationships with other women during his 10 years of service.

Kelly, who chose to come out during Pride month, has shared how she first realized she was gay when she kissed another female soldier when she was 17.

After the kiss, Kelly remembers writing to her stepfather, with whom she shares a close relationship, to explain what had happened.

Smiling again: The track and field star admitted she was

Smiling again: The track and field star admitted she was ‘fully aware’ of rumors about her sexual orientation, but is now happy to go out ‘on her own terms’

She was “confused and scared”, but Kelly revealed that her stepfather immediately accepted her before coming out to the rest of his family in 1997.

Addressing her past relationships with women, she said: ‘No disrespect to them, but relationships have only been a small part of my life.

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“They haven’t been in this scary world with me for 34 years.”

Kelly, who was named a Dame in 2005, said she dated a woman between the ages of 27 and 32 but broke off the relationship in 2002 so she could focus on the Olympics in Athens.

Being me!  The TV personality, who is currently working on a documentary called Being Me, admitted she had hidden her true identity for years and struggled to cope with bouts of self-harm (pictured in 2020 )

Being me! The TV personality, who is currently working on a documentary called Being Me, admitted she had hidden her true identity for years and struggled to cope with bouts of self-harm (pictured in 2020 )

And even her massive achievement of winning gold in the 800 and 1,500 meters in Athens was ruined due to her fears of being knocked out.

The TV personality, who is currently working on a documentary called Being Me, admitted she had hidden her true identity for years and struggled to deal with bouts of self-harm.

Kelly confessed that even as she celebrated her gold medal in the 800 and 1,500 meters at the Athens Olympics, she feared being knocked out as her fame soared to new heights.

Before the 2003 World Championship final, Kelly said she hit an all-time high and cut herself, recalling she had “no control” over herself.

Kelly didn’t ask for any support at the time for fear of being left out of the Olympic team.

In 2018, Kelly was made honorary colonel of the Royal Armored Corps Training Regiment, which she saw as another obstacle to her release.

After suffering depression in 2020, she called an LGBTQ+ leader to ask if she could still face repercussions for her relationship with the military.

When reassured that she would have no problem with the Forces, Kelly revealed that she felt like she could “breathe”.

Her documentary will see Kelly speak to LGBTQ+ soldiers and she said she was “astounded” to see how much the military has changed since she served.

She said she spoke to young people from the Forces for the documentary who weren’t even aware of the ban.

Army: Dame Kelly as Colonel in Trooping the Color

Army: Dame Kelly as Colonel in Trooping the Color

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