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Olly Alexander wears Siyue XuPhotography Maxwell Clements, fashion Coline Bach

Olly Alexander will explore gay mental health in BBC film

‘Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay’ will examine why the gay community is more vulnerable to mental health issues

“I’ve been taking medication for depression and anxiety ever since I was a teenager and I’ve had treatment for both,” Years & Years’ frontman Olly Alexander told us last year about his ongoing struggles with mental health.

“When I was in school I suffered from eating disorders, bulimia, self-harm, which are all part of the mental health umbrella. It’s not only something that affects me but also affects my family and some of the people closest to me too, which I’m sure many people can relate to.”

The singer has been disarmingly open about his past, and will continue that thread with a new documentary for BBC Three titled Olly Alexander: Growing Up Gay. It is part of Gay Brittania, a series of LGBTQ programming the BBC has announced today to mark the 50th anniversary of The Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially decriminalised homosexual acts in private amongst over-21s.

Alexander’s doc plans to explore “why the gay community is more vulnerable to mental health issues, as he opens up about his own long-term battles with depression.”

No further details have been shared about the documentary, but it will likely deal with Alexander’s own story, how mental health can be impacted by music, and perhaps we’ll hear from some other voices – like LGBTQ activist and journalist Paris Lees, whom Alexander shared a bubble bath with on The Paris Lees Sex Show last year.

Other programmes as part of Gay Brittania include a found footage documentary titled Is It Safe To Be Gay in The UK?, which will examine the spike in LGBTQ-targeted attacks in recent years. Another show, Gluck, will put female homosexuality in front of the lens.