Lib Dem Vauxhall PPC Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett's interview with Buzzfeed
Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett, former Chair of LGBT+ Lib Dems and Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Vauxhall, has taken part in a candid interview on Buzzfeed as the UK's first openly HIV-positive Parliamentary candidate.
In response to the piece Dave Page, the current LGBT+ Lib Dems Chair, said:
"On Saturday night, celebrating Adrian's wedding to his husband, I felt joy and love at his happiness. The depth of that emotion is matched only by admiration towards him for his brave decision to share his story publically. In the years I have worked with Adrian, I was not aware of every detail he has chosen now to share. The knowledge only enhances the respect I have for the grace, wisdom and dedication with which he has pursued LGBT+ equality.
"Adrian's story is his alone, but the themes of isolation, of persecution and of self-destruction are all too common. They are not LGBT+ specific, but we know that problems with bullying, mental and physical health, and substance abuse are more common among LGBT+ people, and more acute the further along the acronym you look. Nor are they party political; it is notable that many of the speakers on mental health policy at the recent Lib Dem conference were also members of LGBT+ Lib Dems, the organisation which I chair and which Adrian used to, but these issues must cross party lines if we are to tackle them effectively.
"By choosing to be open, Adrian has put himself in the firing line of the slings and arrows of those who would seek to further hateful agendas. He cannot be only Parliamentary candidate who has been through something like this. But he is the first to speak so openly, and for that he deserves great credit. I hope that as a result we can talk about these issues more openly, and more personally, and lessen the stigma and intolerance which surround them.
"I am proud to call Adrian a friend and colleague. I am proud of him for sharing his story. And I am proud that the LGBT+ Lib Dems executive have agreed to endorse him as a Vice President of our organisation. He is an ambassador for us in his work within the LGBT+ communities, particularly the sterling work he continues to do around representation and against phobia in sport. He is also now an ambassador for his own story, and goes forward with my admiration, my support and my respect."