In summer 2016, I stood on the stage of the Cadogan Hall in London and gave a little speech. It was during a performance by The London Gay Men’s Chorus. It was an emotional moment for me, because my son was in the audience. When you read the text, you’ll see why that’s significant.

Here it is.

“Hello, my name’s David Dawson and I’ve been with the chorus for just over four years, and I sing Bass. I’ve been asked to tell you why I’m here.

It’s very simple, my mum sent me. You see I came out rather late in life – when I was aged 52. But when you meet a man and you fall head over heels in love with him – you’ve got to tell everyone.

And you’ve got to tell your mum.

Who was eighty-eight at the time. So when I told her, there was some initial shock. But, after she met him they got on well. All was fine.

Actually, one day, she and I were sat on the sofa together, and she suddenly says, “So now you’re gay David, I suppose you’re going to join that London Gay Men’s Chorus?”

I have to confess, at the time I’d never heard of the Chorus.

So she says, “Well, you like singing, and you’ve always sung in choirs. And they were on the TV the other night singing with Dolly Parton and they seemed like lovely boys. So why don’t you join them?”

So I did. And they’ve been my lifeline over these past years. And I can confirm, they are lovely boys – all of them.

Actually, before telling my mum, there was someone I had to tell first.

My son.

He’d just started at University. So, I went off to tell him in person.

And I was terrified.

All I had to say were three small words: “I am gay”.

But I couldn’t. Actually, the conversation went something like this:

“I’ve met someone. And it’s a man.”

He looks at me. And says, “You mean, you’re gay?”

And, I still couldn’t say those three small words, so I sort of nodded.

He pauses, and says: “Do you love him?”

And I said: “Yes.”

So he says, “That’s OK then.”

And it was all fine.

Just before I was leaving, he turns to me and says:

“Love you dad.”

Three small words. They mean so much.”