CHILDLINE ADVICE: We know that coming out can be a challenging thing to do
Jake, who plays for Championship side Blackpool, is 17 years old and said he has been overwhelmed by the messages of support he has received from the public and fellow sports stars.
Even Prince William said he hoped Jake’s decision to speak openly would give others the confidence to do the same.
It is a basic human right for young people to be able to be their whole selves and not have to hide due to fear of repercussions, which is why Jake Daniels coming out publicly is such an important moment.
At Childline, we know coming out can be a challenging thing to do as homophobia is still present in society.
This is especially true of the footballing world, so Jake’s bravery will inspire, encourage, and give hope to many young people.
“Sex, relationships and puberty” was one of the top five main concerns for children and young people contacting Childline in 2020/2021, and we know that boys in particular can find it difficult to discuss any issues worrying them.
This is often due to the pressures they feel around not showing emotion or appearing strong due to toxic stereotypes, something we tried to break down with the recent We All Feel It campaign.
The campaign encouraged boys and young men to speak out about any concerns they had as early as possible, rather than bottle them up because that’s what they thought they should do.
During the first three days of the campaign, around 20% of all visits to the Childline website were from young people who wanted to find out more about it, and the pages offering advice on mental health were visited by over 20,000 people.
We hope that having a public figure such as Jake take a step like this will help break down this stigma and encourage boys across the north east and the rest of the country to open up about any of these issues before it affects their mental health.
Childline is here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through.
You can talk about anything. Whether it’s something big or small, our trained counsellors are here to support you.