supports HTML5 videoDame Kelly Holmes has spoken out how scared she was to come out as gay after previously having her room ransacked while serving in the army, saying she carried a ‘fear of going to jail’ with her even years afterwards.At the age of 18, Dame Kelly – who recently joined Loose Women as a new panelist – enlisted in the British Army.Serving from 1988 to 1997, the two-time Olympic gold medal winner recalled how her room was ‘ransacked’ and she was ‘interrogated’ over the possibility of being gay, as prior to 2000, the armed forces had a ban in place against homosexuality, before the archaic law was changed.Speaking on Monday’s Loose Women, the 52-year-old – who came out as gay in June this year – explained that the fear she had of going to jail continued to impact her when she continued keeping her true identity hidden from the public.‘I was scared witless.
When I came out in June this year publicly, I had to resolve these issues that had been in my life,’ she said.‘I was scared that if I ever came out and admitted being gay while I served, that I could still go to jail.
That was how my head had created this wall and barrier.’As fellow Loose Women presenter Janet Street-Porter shook her head in disbelief, Dame Kelly outlined how people’s relatives who served in the army might still be affected by similar worries.‘That’s so many people – your grandparents, your parents, your aunties, uncles, sisters, brothers… they could have suffered this.
You might still not know, because they still might not be out. It could be your colleagues, your friends,’ she said.‘People that have served have lived with this in their DNA for so long.