Olympic gold medallist reveals fears of court martial in army and toll on her mental health as she lifts 34-year public silence

Gay rights campaigners have welcomed Dame Kelly Holmes’ decision to come out at the age of 52, in a move that sparked questions about how many older people remain afraid to be open about their sexuality after growing up in more homophobic times.

The double Olympic gold medallist lifted a painful 34-year public silence on her sexuality on Sunday, saying that she felt as if she was going to “explode with excitement” by finally coming out after years in which she felt depressed, anxious and even suicidal, keeping her secret from all but close family and friends.

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