Jacqueline Wilson is Gay: Beloved Author and Former Children’s Laureate Comes Out at 74

On Saturday, in an interview with The Guardian, the best-loved author Jacqueline Wilson publicly revealed she’d been living happily with her partner, Trish, for 18 years.

The bestselling author has written over 100 books from The Illustrated Mum to Tracy Beaker, The Bed and Breakfast Star, to Girls in Love. Many of these books tackle complex themes like adoption, divorce and mental illness — written in ways young adults can relate to. Whilst Wilson is often asked why she hasn’t written more LGBT characters or about LGBT characters, she told The Guardian she wrote stories about children with problems, and she didn’t see “any problem whatsoever with being gay.”

This year, Wilson addresses the theme of sexuality in her 111th book, Love Frankie. According to Wilson, Frankie is a “truthful, honest book about a girl falling in love with another girl.” She told The Guardian she had put her “heart and soul” into Love Frankie and knew the book would “shine a little light on my own private life.”

The 2005 Children’s Laureate met her partner, Trish, at a party in her early 50s, after the break down of her marriage. “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,” Wilson said in the interview. “Even the vaguest acquaintance knows perfectly well that we are a couple.”

A friend of Wilson had told her “I don’t think you are a lesbian, I think you are a Trishian,” to which she replied “I think that really sums me up.”

Wilson, who’s 74, spoke briefly about seeing herself as a mentor for young people coming 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 added “I’m sure they could find much more glamorous examples.”

Bailey is a non-binary UK-based dabbler in activism, media and policy change. Love languages include quality time, physical touch, rollercoasters, karaoke and pineapple on pizza. They are often found doing too many things at once and avoiding the indecisive traits listed in their birth chart.

Bailey has written 11 articles for us.

13 Comments

  1. She sounds like my parents. “Being gay is so NOT A PROBLEM that we I have NOTHING to say about it. It’s SO NORMAL there’s NO POINT talking about it.”

    No room for being bitter when someone’s coming out though, so congrats JW! Legend.

    • All she writes about is social problems. But problems happen to PEOPLE, so why not have gay characters experience these problems? Maybe homophobia, maybe things which anyone can go through but the character just happens to be gay.
      Yes being gay isn’t a problem but gay people have problems too, just like anyone else, and need rep.

  2. Also, re: this: “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” – JACQUELINE, PLEASE.

    This is about to be an immensely British comment, but baby gay me used to tune in to the National Lottery drawing on BBC1 every Saturday night just to catch a 5-minute glimpse of Dale Winton, the middle-aged male host, because I knew he was gay and I just wanted a couple of minutes of connection with someone “like me” per week. If I’d known then that the already grey-haired, albeit less wrinkly, then-50-something-year-old writer of some of my fave books on my bookshelf was gay… that would’ve changed EVERYTHING. It still kind of does change everything. I’m 31 and I feel validated as fuck. So anyway! I’m gonna go cry about this now lmfao.

  3. Unfortunately Jacqueline Wilson is also very ignorant about trans matters. As someone who was a huge fan of her books as a kid and teenager I found these misinformed statements to be very disappointing:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/women/jacqueline-wilson-transgender-children-gender-hormones-author-a8882186.html

    https://metro.co.uk/2019/04/24/dame-jacqueline-wilson-worried-trans-children-undergoing-gender-reassignment-9295504/

  4. Idk this made me kinda sad, thinking about all the kids whose lives could’ve been easier if she did this a tiny bit sooner. I know people have to come out in their own time but the ‘I’ve never been IN’ comment is a little disingenuous when you’re now publicly coming out.

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