Russell T Davies OBE
Is it best to tell everyone you’re gay as early as possible?
It’s very hard to know who you are when you’re a teenager. Even for straight kids. I would never say, ‘you must come out!’ everyone’s different.
But if you’re going to do it, I suggest you start off small. Find a youth group or a friend you can be honest with. The problem is, there’s this myth that you will get thrown out of home by your parents if you tell them you’re gay. But it is just that, a myth. In reality it rarely happens. It’s not an inevitable consequence of coming out; 99% of the time it will be fine.
Saying that though, you have to consider your situation. I’m not suggesting that every closeted kid who reads this should run home and tell their Mum they’re gay. But growing up and keeping a secret is never good.
Being gay does make you different, but that’s not a bad thing. It certainly helped me become a writer. When I used to send my scripts in, being gay gave me an edge – it made me stand out from the thousands of other writers who were hoping that a TV channel would pick up on their screenplays. Being different will give you an advantage in most media careers.
But if someone does want to get into writing for TV, the best thing to do is write. Don’t just talk about it or do one page and then give up.
There’s an awful lot of opportunity out there – write for the local radio, theatre groups, YouTube. Conquer your fears and get going.
In 2007, The Independent on Sunday named Russell T. Davies the most influential gay person in Britain.
The BAFTA-winning scriptwriter has worked in TV for over twenty years, and is perhaps best known for his stereotype-smashing drama, Queer as Folk.
In 2005 he revitalised Doctor Who, returning it to success on the world stage before going on to develop spin-off’s Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. He was appointed an OBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours.
Davies is currently living in Los Angeles, California and is currently overseeing production of Torchwood: Miracle Day and series five of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Russell appears in our inspirational Aim High booklet, along with 19 other people at the top of their respective fields, showing sexuality should not get in the way of success.