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In The South

Proud gay twins come out as survivors of sexual abuse

Gary Hart November 12, 2015

Founders of a Devon-based social enterprise that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans (LGBT+) people in rural areas, share news of the sexual abuse they both encountered as teenagers, during their TedxTotnes talk.

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During the honest talk, Mat said: “When we were both 13, we were sexually abused by strangers. A lot of people think we’ve gone through life supporting each other and being there for each other, which is largely true, but we didn’t know about each other’s abuse for 15 years…so we were isolated and alone in that experience.”

The talk, which was chosen by Tedx to be promoted to their 3 million YouTube subscribers, also sees the brothers reflect on their experiences of growing up gay in a rural area, the bullying they faced and what inspired them to set up Proud2Be over four years ago.

Jon and Mat left the audience with a final message, saying: “No matter who you are, or how you identify, or what you have been told before, or however isolated, ashamed and invisible you feel, you too can be proud to be.”

Proud2Be Project, recently named as the UK’s top 100 ‘Awesome Networks’, was launched in June 2011, when the brothers recorded a short video where they explained how they are both “proud to be gay”.

Since then a number of high profile LGBT+ figures have contributed to the Proud2Be campaign including Stephen Fry who in his own words “is happy to be counted as a proud supporter of Proud2Be at every turn”. Stephen has also shown his support ‘tweeting’ about the project on several occasions to his 11.6 million twitter followers.

Along with endorsements from many leading LGBT+ public figures Proud2Be have also named award-winning human rights activist Aderonke Apata, international bestselling author Andrew Solomon, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and retired political trans activist Christine Burns MBE, as its patrons.

To view the video, click here:

For more information about Proud2Be, click here:

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