“If people don’t accept you, don’t change. If you’re being bullied, stay strong. If someone tries to beat you up, pick up a brick.”
Beth Ditto fronts rock band The Gossip, who shot to fame in the UK with the hit single Standing in the Way of Control – a song about the US Government’s attempt to block the right to gay marriage.
Rock music publication NME labelled Ditto the coolest person of 2006 and has since nominated her as 2007’s Sexiest Woman. In 2008 she was voted International Artist of the year by Glamour magazine. In 2009, she was featured in London as the cover model for the premiere of Love magazine, with prominent public advertising.
Her recent fashion collection for the UK retailer Evans was sold online in select stores across the UK, and her most recent modeling work consisted of opening the Jean Paul Gaultier spring 2011 fashion show during Paris Fashion Week.
“Being different is good; I’m different. Just because you’re different it doesn’t mean you can’t be what you want to be. Look at me; I’m fat but I’m sexy.
Whatever you are, no matter how different you are, you can achieve things if you believe in yourself – because then others will believe in you too. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay. In fact I love being gay; I say out loud to myself, at least once a week, ‘Thank God I’m gay!’
That’s why you shouldn’t worry about coming out. I remember being very scared about doing it but it turned out to be a very nice experience. It always felt that hell was right beneath my feet and that I could slip and fall down at any time, but I didn’t.
I carefully chose the right people to tell, people who I knew wouldn’t judge me. My mum was one of these. Then I used my gaydar to hunt down other queers so that I had friends I felt at ease with.
Just by doing this and being myself I changed my family’s views about gay people. Particularly my relatives in Arkansas – my aunts and uncles have really come around about it. Surprisingly, it’s sometimes the older people that are more open”.