olly alexander to release documentary on gay mental health

The film will be part of the BBC’s “Gay Britannia” lineup.

by André-Naquian Wheeler
24 April 2017, 11:28pm

Instagram via @ollyyears

Frontman of Years & Years Olly Alexander has frequently used his platform to inspire his large LGBT following to be their gayest, happiest selves. Now, the singer is advancing his mission with the upcoming documentary Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay, set to air on BBC 3.

As a result of stigma, bullying, and internalized self-hate, LGBT teens are more likely to experience mental health struggles than their straight counterparts. Only 37% of LGBT youth report being happy and they are twice as likely to be teased, verbally harassed, and/or physically assaulted, Mental Health America reports. But there is hope — MHA also discovered that 87% percent of LGBT teens believe they will "eventually" achieve happiness.

During his adolescence, Alexander struggled to receive adequate mental-health counseling, beyond the six free sessions offered by the British National Health Service. "They were really difficult to get," Alexander told The Guardian last year. "Really hard to get hold of. They took a really long time and because I was not very proactive in getting them - because the initial stage was phone conversations, and I would not pick up the phone, I didn't really want to go, and I didn't know if I really wanted to talk to someone about it."

No further details about the documentary (including when we'll be blessed with it) have yet been announced. But the film comes as part of BBC's "Gay Britannia,"a set of programming on LGBT topics and characters that the network announced today in honor of the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in Britain 50 years ago. Other programs in the mix include Gluck, which focuses on the under-explored history of female homosexuality, and the feature-length drama Against the Law, in which a journalist in 50s England is tried and prosecuted for being gay.


Text André-Naquian Wheeler

mental health
years and years
Olly Alexander
growing up gay