Sunday, 16 January 2022

French minister comes out as gay on anti-homophobia day

French

France’s digital minister Mounir Mahjoubi has come out as gay, saying it was important to speak up on the International Day Against Homophobia as a public figure who has himself suffered prejudice in the past.

Mahjoubi, at 34 one of the youngest members of President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist government, tweeted late Thursday that homophobia “sometimes forces us to adapt ourselves and lie just to avoid hate and to survive”.

“Homophobia is an ill that eats away at society, invades high schools, and poisons families and lost friends,” the former tech entrepreneur posted.

Thursday marked the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, and Mahjoubi said on Friday that while he did not want to “make a big deal” of coming out publicly, “if that might help to fight homophobia, I’ll do it”.

“I think it’s important to offer visibility to gay people, but I think everyone should take this step only when they’re ready for it,” he told the Franceinfo news website.

French gay rights group SOS Homophobie hailed his “strong and courageous decision”.

“He is contributing to the visibility of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people in society and is a positive example for all young gay, bi and trans people in his country,” the group tweeted. “Congratulations.”

Mahjoubi has been in a civil partnership with his partner since 2015 and had posted on Instagram a photo of the couple on the day of the ceremony, before he became a public figure.

“It’s 2018, I live my life – even in public – in peace,” the minister said.

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