MNEK has penned an emotional open letter about race and sexuality to mark National Coming Out Day.

The ‘Paradise’ singer, who has written and produced tracks for the likes of Beyoncé, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, opened up about his own journey towards self-acceptance on Instagram on Wednesday (October 11).

The 22-year-old wrote: “Happy national coming out day, guys.  It feels impossible to do but we did it. I came out as gay when I was 18. A year before, I went to my first gay club… and decided amongst all the naked men and free alcohol that it was the perfect time to let the good sis know ‘I’m bi, i like boys and girls’ she goes ‘cool, i knew but i love you all the same bb’.

“The one foot in one foot out thing wasn’t fruitful. A trip to Malia with “some of the lads” in 2013 helped me realise girls just weren’t for me lol. I remember at the time I was just feeling v scared, and unsure – and so I’d try and drop it in conversation to normalise it with varying results.

“I also think being black and realising you’re gay can be v daunting. You dk what to do or who to talk to, you’re dealing with being a dual-minority in a world where being ONE kinda minority is bad enough. ‘There’s also things like homophobia WITHIN the black community (see: chichi man, batty boy being regularly used in school)/religion (that video of the priest chatting bout licking the poo poo like sis relax)/ but… NT-way.”

He continued: “I told my parents separately, my mum in a letter, my dad in person (although my dad kinda found out but DETAILS!). Now at 22, about to turn 23, single, working, on music, myself, enjoying living my truth with so much less to hide – the scared young boy who was so afraid of who he was, so concerned with what people thought about him, so mindful of even coming across even a lil effeminate, who’d deepen his voice around straight men, feels like a LIFE away, what with my the shellac and extensions.

(issa read but i’m having a moment so allow me.) happy national coming out day, guys. 🏳️‍🌈 it feels impossible to do but we did it. I came out as gay when I was 18. A year before, i went to my first gay club (Room Service, obvi) with @amedigital, and decided amongst all the naked men and free alcohol that it was the perfect time to let the good sis know “I’m bi, i like boys and girls” she goes “cool, i knew but i love you all the same bb”. the one foot in one foot out thing wasn’t fruitful. a trip to Malia with “some of the lads” in 2013 helped me realise girls just weren’t for me lol. I remember at the time I was just feeling v scared, and unsure – and so i’d try and drop it in conversation to normalise it with varying results. i also think being black and realising you’re gay can be v daunting. you dk what to do or who to talk to, you’re dealing with being a dual-minority in a world where being ONE kinda minority is bad enough. there’s also things like homophobia WITHIN the black community (see: chichi man, batty boy being regularly used in school)/religion (that video of the priest chatting bout licking the poo poo like sis relax)/ but… NT-way. I told my parents separately, my mum in a letter, my dad in person (although my dad kinda found out but DETAILS!). now at 22, about to turn 23, single, working, on music, myself, enjoying living my truth with so much less to hide – the scared young boy who was so afraid of who he was, so concerned with what people thought about him, so mindful of even coming across even a lil effeminate, who’d deepen his voice around straight men, feels like a LIFE away, what with my the shellac and extensions. if you’ve realised ur LGBTQ, come out in your own time. at your own pace. in your own way. it’s not easy but it’s easier than you think. trust and believe me. we can take back the strength of “coming out”. and being gay beyond the realisation of your attraction to the same sex – it’s also really a test of unconditional love. there’s people who aren’t in my life anymore, and i’m pretty sure the condition was my homosexuality but oh welp i’ve made better friends who love me 4 who i am and you will too! i ♥️ you 💕💕

A post shared by MNEK (@mnek) on

“If you’ve realised ur LGBTQ, come out in your own time. at your own pace. In your own way. It’s not easy but it’s easier than you think. Trust and believe me. We can take back the strength of ‘coming out’.

“And being gay beyond the realisation of your attraction to the same sex – it’s also really a test of unconditional love. There’s people who aren’t in my life anymore, and I’m pretty sure the condition was my homosexuality but oh welp i’ve made better friends who love me 4 who i am and you will too! I [heart emoji] you.”

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