Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones has opened up about his 15-year-old transgender son, Colby.
Speaking to Fearne Cotton on her Happy Place podcast, the Welsh rocker, whose band have prodcued seven UK number one albums, spoke about Colby’s gender identity publicly for the first time – and about how he has become much more confident since coming out.
Describing Colby’s journey as “an ongoing process”, Jones said that after initially coming out as gay, Colby “worked out it’s not just the sexuality thing, it’s the gender thing, and now it’s become more and more about transitioning”.
He adds that Colby now goes by male pronouns and is at an all-girls school – who he says have been “amazing, supporting the whole thing”.
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Brand new @happyplaceofficial the podcast with my old mate Kelly from @stereophonicsofficial who chats about his life growing up in Wales, the highs and lows of his career and his family life. I am beyond grateful for Kelly’s honesty and willingness to talk about the trickier parts of life. A lot had happened in Kelly’s personal life since I spoke to him last on Radio 2 before Christmas so I was at times processing information as the chat unfurled. It’s a very interesting listen. Enjoy. Find it where ever you get your podcasts. 🎧
Speaking of Colby’s gender identity, Jones says, “It’s almost like you take off one jacket and feel much more confident about who your are as yourself.”
While he’s obviously a champion of Colby’s transition, Jones says it wasn’t easy at first.
“For me, I had no clue or understanding about any of that stuff, and as a family, it’s been playing catch up.
“I remember getting upset one night, and I sounded like an animal, because I couldn’t work out what was going on.
“You actually go through a grieving process because you feel like you’ve lost a daughter and gained a son.
“Then you’re responsible for the siblings, and how they’re going to deal with it, and the grandparents.”
Jones says that he’s now come to accept Colby as his son, and the whole family is “fully supportive”, but comments that initially it can be tough to overcome prejudices, “be it from films or the derogatory terms you heard as a kid”.
“All that comes into your head the moment you hear the word ‘trans’ or ‘transgender’,” he says.
Citing non-binary star Sam Smith as someone who helped him understand more about Colby’s gender, Jones says that his eyes are now more attuned to the prejudices that trans and non-binary people face daily, and that he’s “definitely growing and learning from [the experience]."
Listen to the podcast below.