Nicola Adams: 'Be your true self in a world telling you to be something else'

I am so thrilled to be part of Metro.co.uk’s Pride Takeover. Pride means so much to me – it is a time to celebrate and embrace who you are and to enjoy being proud of who you are.

My role in this campaign is to help get across how important it is to try and be your true self in a world that is always telling you to be something else. It is all about being inclusive and the Metro Pride Takeover is a really great concept, that I was very eager to be a part of to support the LGBTQ+ community.

It is so important for people to share their own stories and experiences. I came out when I was a teenager to my mum. I was really nervous at first, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know whether she would be angry or upset or whether she would be fine with it.

I got the courage up to tell her. Mum was in the kitchen and in the end, she wasn’t even bothered at all, which was awesome. She told me she already knew and told me to stick the kettle on! I had been stressing so much over what her reaction would be for weeks. Thankfully, it was completely fine.

But what was more important for me was that I could finally be myself. I could be happy with who I am.

When you are carrying such a big secret, it is a heavy weight on your shoulders. So to be free of that and be able to be true to myself, it was a very nice feeling.

I think one of the main goals for this Pride Takeover is to help people who find themselves in that situation, where they don’t know how people around them are going to react. That is what it is all about.

I am hoping one day that people won’t have to come out anymore. That it will be like it is with heterosexual couples in society. It will be seen enough out there that it isn’t a question of ‘coming out’, you just love who you love.

I think things are definitely improving, but we have a long way to go. 

Nicola Adams sporting achievements

  • In 2001 became the first female boxer to represent England, becoming English amateur champion two years later.
  • Became the first English female boxer to win a medal at a major boxing tournament with silver at the 2007 European Championships.
    Won World Championship silver in 2008 and 2010 before claiming European gold in 2011.
  • Represented Team GB at London 2012, beating world no1 Ren Cancan to claim the gold medal – becoming the first woman to ever win gold in the sport.
  • Won gold in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
  • Returned to the Olympics to defend her title in Rio 2016 with a win over Sarah Ourahmoune of France.
  • Turned professional 2017 with Frank Warren, becoming the first woman to join the British promoter’s stable of fighters.
  • After three wins, beat former world champion Isabel Millan for the WBO interim title in 2018.
  • Was elevated to full WBO champion in 2019 before defending her title against Maria Salinas in the first female fight to be held at the Royal Albert Hall.
  • Announced her retirement from boxing in 2019 after suffering eye damage against Salinas

It is very fulfilling, to give back and help people who are in a situation I was once in. Not even that long ago, there wouldn’t have been anyone to talk to about these things, there wouldn’t have been any support there at all.

Now, with social media and things becoming a lot more inclusive, people are able to ask those questions and get hold of the information they desperately need.

When I was younger, when I came out, that information wasn’t anywhere. It wasn’t taught in schools, I had to find out for myself any way that I could. When I look back now, it was just so wrong.

It is definitely moving in the right direction but there is still so much more work to be done. Through campaigns like the Metro Pride Takeover and the open communication it encourages, we can get there together.

Help us raise £10k for Kyiv Pride and a UK LGBT+ charity

To celebrate 50 years of Pride, Metro.co.uk has teamed up with Kyiv Pride to raise money for their important work in Ukraine.

Despite war raging around them, Kyiv Pride continue to help LGBTQ+ people, offering those in need shelter, food and psychological support.

We will be splitting the cash with a grassroots charity closer to home.

You can donate here

Metro.co.uk celebrates 50 years of Pride

This year marks 50 years of Pride, so it seems only fitting that Metro.co.uk goes above and beyond in our ongoing LGBTQ+ support, through a wealth of content that not only celebrates all things Pride, but also share stories, take time to reflect and raises awareness for the community this Pride Month.

MORE: Find all of Metro.co.uk’s Pride coverage right here

And we’ve got some great names on board to help us, too. From a list of famous guest editors taking over the site for a week that includes Rob Rinder, Nicola Adams, Peter Tatchell, Kimberly Hart-Simpson, John Whaite, Anna Richardson and Dr Ranj, we’ll also have the likes Sir Ian McKellen and Drag Race stars The Vivienne, Lawrence Chaney and Tia Kofi offering their insights. 

During Pride Month, which runs from 1 – 30 June, Metro.co.uk will also be supporting Kyiv Pride, a Ukrainian charity forced to work harder than ever to protect the rights of the LGBTQ+ community during times of conflict. To find out more about their work, and what you can do to support them, click here.

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