Years and Years' Olly Alexander is getting personal about his struggles with depression and bulimia in the documentary Olly Alexander: Growing up Gay. Out today, the film also examines the factors that contribute to LGBTQ people being susceptible to mental health conditions.
In the documentary, Alexander reflects on the struggles of growing up gay in the British school system, and how his sexuality made him a target for bullies. The continual abuse by his peers led him to self-harm and purge his food. "It was so hard at that time," Alexander told the Evening Standard. "I felt like I was going mad. I wasn't talking to anybody about what I was feeling. I was writing it all down. Everything felt hopeless."
Alexander hopes this film will help other young LGBTQ people struggling with their mental health. "What I want to get across is that there is hope--you don't have to feel like that, if you have the right access to support, friends or family," Alexander said.
Olly Alexander: Growing up Gay is part of the BBC's Gay Britannia series: TV dramas and documentaries that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which legalized homosexual acts between men over the age of 21.
U.S. viewers can watch Olly Alexander: Growing up Gay on BBC's iPlayer.