Michael Gunning has admitted he’s a “sucker for a love story” and a fan of a happy ending (of the literary kind!) as part of a series for Attitude’s Pride at Home, in association with Klarna (17-27 June).
Taking part in Attitude's series Speaking of Pride empowered by Bentley, the British-Jamaican swimmer, 27, reads one of his favourite passages from André Aciman’s gay romance novel, Call Me by Your Name (CMBYN).
The passage in question is one we’re sure is familiar to fans - where Elio and his father discuss Elio’s relationship with Oliver.
Without spoiling it too much for anyone who has yet to read the book or see the film, CMBYN doesn’t exactly have the happiest of endings, but Michael draws a connection with his own coming out story.
“When I think about my coming out journey, and my coming out story I feel so lucky and blessed to have so much support and encouragement. I also know that many people don’t get that.
“So, if this is your first Pride, if it’s the first time of your self-discovery please remember there is always people that you can go to open up to, to get that support from, because that support is so, so important.”
He goes on to say that “in every journey, in every story, in every book, there is always positives to be taken.”
After reading the passage Michael says, “That pulls on my heartstrings because I think everyone deserves that coming out moment with your loved one, with your friends.
“So, this Pride, celebrate, be proud of who you are and just make sure that you’re surrounded with people that love you”
Also taking part in Speaking of Pride is the trans-author and journalist Juno Dawson, the co-founder of UK Black Pride Lady Phyll Opoku-Gyimah and comedians Tom Allen and Rosie Jones.
Speaking of Pride, empowered by Bentley, is part of Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, that runs from 17-27 June at attitude.co.uk, youtube.com/attitudemag and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (@attitudemag).
Attitude Pride at Home, in association with Klarna, is to benefit the Attitude Magazine Foundation for LGBT causes – this year supporting ten amazing organisations including AKT, Black Trans Foundation, Curly’s Legacy, Elton John AIDS Foundation, The Food Chain, Kaleidoscope Trust, LGBT Youth Scotland, Mermaids, Stonewall UK and Switchboard LGBT.
Each will receive at least £1000 courtesy of our sponsors Klarna, Bentley, Clifford Chance, Slingsby, Swatch and Taimi and individual supporters.