French minister Mounir Mahjoubi has come out as gay to help fight homophobia.
The 34-year-old politician, who serves as Secretary of State for the Digital Sector, came out in a tweet on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia on Wednesday (May 17).
He wrote: “Homophobia is an ill that eats away at society, invades high schools, and poisons families and lost friends.
“Worse, it haunts the minds of gay people, and sometimes forces us to hide and lie to avoid hatred, to live.”
Following the tweet, Mahjoubi was sent support from fellow politicians as well as LGBT fans and followers. He then spoke about his decision to come out in an interview with Franceinfo radio.
Mahjoubi, who is of Moroccan descent, said he came out to "help to fight against homophobia" and send a positive message to LGBT youth.
"Yesterday was the International Day Against Homophobia. It was important to explain the consequences of homophobia in everyday life... and the consequences it had for me."
"I think it's important to give visibility to homosexuals, but I also think that everyone should do this when they're ready to do it. Everyone has their history, their culture, their family... We do not have to impose transparency on anyone. Everyone manages his life as he wishes."
He added: "We are in 2018, I live my life, even public, in a quiet way. But if, on that day, I could pass the message [to younger people] by reinforcing it by my personal experience, I think it had to be done."
According to reports, the number of attacks based on someone's sexuality in France has increased 15% from 2016 to 2017.