I was recently asked if there was anything I would want to tell my younger self. I said ‘don’t worry about the gay sounding voice.’

When I was growing up, my gayness stood out like Beyoncé in Destiny’s Child. And it was my voice that was the biggest give away.

I could dress, act and behave like a straight person, but the high-pitched twang was a dead giveaway that I was different.

For years I tried to speak deeper and sound more ‘masculine’, but there wasn’t much I could do to stop the ‘yaaaasss’ flying out of my mouth.

People used to say, ‘I thought you were straight until you opened your mouth.’

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 As I became more comfortable in my sexuality, I stopped caring about the pitch of my voice and realised I could make people laugh. Over time, my voice became my biggest asset. I could read someone to filth if they came for me. I could win most debates. It actually became hard to shut me up.

However, as I started my professional career and attended meetings with CEOs, business leaders and people with a lot more knowledge and experience than me, I lost my voice again. In meetings I would go blank. I would stumble and couldn’t articulate my thoughts.

After months of trying to figure out why I was failing, I came to a realisation that I was worried they wouldn’t take me seriously because I was gay, my voice being the dead giveaway.

I had thought that they would see the negative qualities I had attributed with being gay: frivolous, ridiculous, less than.

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 Self-loathing, and being called ‘gay’ as an insult most of my life had a huge subconscious impact.

I started some self-loving exercises and broke down all the incredible qualities that are attributed to being my gay self like; passionate, fearless, and fabulous.

The next meeting I had, I was more confident in myself and totally owned it. I was able to create a better relationship with the client and they trusted my new strategy.

I wish I could tell my younger self to stop caring about your gay sounding voice. Your gay voice is the best thing about you.

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