Olly Alexander's documentary brings him closer to mother
Olly Alexander's new documentary has helped him get closer to his mother.
The Years & Years frontman has opened up about turning to self-harm and bulimia as a result of the homophobic abuse he was subjected to in a powerful new documentary he has made for the BBC for the broadcaster's 'Gay Britannia' season - which marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of sexual acts between two men in England and Wales - and he admits exploring his own past helped him "understand" the impact it had on his loved ones.
Speaking to the new issue of Gay Times magazine, he said: "Mental health is such a massive topic to cover in just 55 minutes and there's only so much you can really do in that time.
"I've never spoken about some of the stuff on there before. I think especially for my mum, it was a really positive experience and it really helped me understand a bit better what it was like for her while I was going through all this s**t as a teenager. I never really asked what it was like for her, so to have a better perspective on that really helped our relationship."
The 28-year-old singer hopes more families will watch the documentary to understand what LGBT youth go through and to kick-start a wider conversation.
He said: "One of the reasons I wanted to make this documentary was the hope that families might watch it. If we'd had something about LGBT life on TV when we were growing up it would have made a huge difference. When I was growing up all we had was John Paul in 'Hollyoaks' and 'Queer as Folk'. I have a soft spot in my heart for John Paul, but there wasn't a lot around. "There still isn't really, but it's getting better. If anything, I'm hoping this will encourage more discussion in the public. Get people to say, 'This is my experience' or 'This is my story'. I'm hoping it will encourage that."
Olly's film 'Growing Up Gay' will be on BBC Three from July 18 and on BBC One later this month.