Kezia Dugdale: Scottish Labour Leader wildly praised for coming out over the weekend

Kezia Dugdale: Scottish Labour Leader praised for coming out over the weekend

Kezia Dugdale as she gave her keynote speech to party activists in February

Monday, April 4, 2016

Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Kezia Dugdale, came out in an interview last weekend. 

She has drawn a host of praise for her admission, which makes Scotland a country where the majority of the mainstream leaders are not heterosexual. 

To understand more, Paul Ross spoke to Lawrence Barton, who is the director for Birmingham Pride. 

On the impact of the admission: "I think it's an indication that sexuality still matters to people. It's still, in other words, not considered a normality in truth. We need more people to come out and say, 'look, I am gay, but my sexuality doesnt define me, and I'm just carrying out a professional role'. So I think it's very positive."

On public perception of homosexual people: "I think there's still a perception and a reality that society has a stigma attached to people who are homosexual. The interesting thing for me and my colleagues is that from day to day my sexuality is irrelevant, I just come in to do my job. It's only when I get called to comment on on things like this that I see that it isn't normal, it's still extraordinary. It's interesting, but it is unfortunate in 2016."

On the pressures people can face: "I think role models and leaders, somebody with a profile that reaches a huge audience, they are so terrified of coming out because they could be ridiculed. If you can look up to these role models and leaders and see that their sexuality isn't defining them and not holding them back, I think that can only be a positive thing."