Jacqueline Wilson has publicly come out as gay at the age of 74.
The bestselling and Iconic children’s author made the announcement in an interview with The Guardian and said she decided to go public ahead of releasing Love Frankie, her new gay love story.
The English writer also opened up on her 18-year relationship with her partner Trish, who she met at a party after the dissolution of her marriage to police officer William Millar Wilson. Jacqueline and William were married from 1965 to 2004.
Speaking to the publication, she said: ‘I’ve never really been in any kind of closet. It would be such old news for anybody that has ever known anything much about me. Even the vaguest acquaintance knows perfectly well that we are a couple’.
Explaining that her mother was ‘appalled’ at her relationship, she said: ‘That wasn’t too devastating for me because my mum cordially hated my ex-husband; she didn’t really approve of any of my friends.’
Her new book, Love Frankie which is set to be published, features a love story between two girls, as well as tackling issues including separation, bullying, and sibling rivalry.
Wilson says she wanted to write: “a truthful, honest book about a girl falling in love with another girl. It’s certainly not aimed at young gay teenagers, it’s aimed at all teenagers who have ever worried because they haven’t fallen in love, or they have fallen in love.”
Wilson added that she doesn’t see herself as a mentor for teens struggling to come to terms with their sexuality. “I don’t think that girls would ever want a grey-haired, wrinkly writer as a role model if they were wanting to feel good about maybe being gay,” she said. “I’m sure they could find much more glamorous examples.”
Jacqueline Wilson is best known for her popular children’s books, including The Story Of Tracey Beaker, Double Act, and The Illustrated Mum. Back in 2014, she was honoured with the Hans Christian Andersen Award for her lifetime contribution as a children’s writer.