Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander says he is 'horrified' at 'damage' Piers Morgan has on LGBTQ people

Singer stars in documentary Growing Up Gay as part of the BBC's Gay Britannia series

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Saturday 22 July 2017 08:57
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Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander talks of 'outrageous' LGBT mental health problems

Olly Alexander says people such as Piers Morgan do not realise the effect they are having when they speak disparagingly about the LGBTQ community.

The Years & Years frontman made a documentary for the BBC called Growing Up Gay, which sees him explore why the queer community is more vulnerable to mental health issues.

The documentary is part of the 'Gay Britannia' series, which was produced to mark the 50th anniversary of homosexuality being partially decriminalised in England and Wales.

Alexander said that, although legally "we can feel good about how far we’ve come", there is still much work to be done - particularly when it comes to protecting trans people.

"For trans people, it’s fallen short,” he said. “They’re not protected in many places, like the workplace, and that’s something we should all fight for. But it’s also about changing people’s attitudes, which is a tougher battle."

Morgan sparked a backlash in May this year after asking a trans couple if he could "identify as a black woman".

Claiming that he “supported and respected” transgender rights, the Good Morning Britain presenter said that he thought issues around gender neutrality were a “massive fad”.

Slamming Piers’ argument, Fox said: “It’s not about erasing gender. Nobody’s saying that people cannot be men or women, we’re saying that people can also be non-binary and gender needs to expand. Please stop fear-mongering as it doesn’t help. It’s not a fad.”

Speaking to NME, Alexander said: "I struggle to describe how horrified I feel about people like Piers Morgan and the damage they’re doing. They hide behind ‘It’s free speech, I can say what I like’. No, we have a responsibility to try to help people and encourage better forms of discussion.

“Young trans people are some of the most at-risk in our society and for Piers Morgan to say some of the things he does is wildly irresponsible. I don’t know how he sleeps at night.”

Growing Up Gay is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.

The Samaritans can be contacted free on 116 123. Call the LGBT Switchboard on 0300 330 0630

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