Lots Holloway: Lockdown helped me come out as transgender

Lots Holloway is a British singer/songwriter who is helping to carve out a path for the LGBTQIA+ community in the music industry. Recently, he worked alongside his friend April Kelley to put out a documentary called A Summer on Ice, that explores everything that people have lost and gained during lockdown. This article is about his experience.

Illustration shows Lots Holloway holding a guitar

When you were young, what helped you feel like you had more control over who you were?

Fashion played a huge role in helping me understand my own identity and continues to do so today. As a transguy, I was uncomfortable with lots of aspects of my body growing up, but I constructed a wardrobe which helped me conceal parts of my body that gave me dysphoria and accentuate the parts of myself I liked. When someone asked, “why are you wearing that?” I always replied, “because I like it”.

What is one thing you are happy that you did during lockdown?

How to come out as trans was a question I pondered quite a lot, but eventually I just decided to rip the plaster off. I spoke openly with my parents about how I felt about my gender identity. Lockdown gave me the opportunity to settle into a safe space where I was able to chat with them. I’m proud of myself for that. Don’t get me wrong, it was a tough conversation but it was one that needed to happen. It allowed me to accept myself on a personal level as well as actively start helping my community on a public stage.

Was there any support that you received that really helped during lockdown?

Fortunately, I didn’t need to ask for help. But I knew there were spaces available to find and feel safe in, like The Mix. Another source of support that I got came as a result of being known as Lots Holloway, so it’s not really the case for everyone. After I came out as trans to my fans, a bunch of people from the trans community reached out as well. They let me know  that if I needed anything I could come to them, which was super nice.

I think everyone should do that as much as possible – if you can be there for someone else, make sure they know you’re there.

You mentioned that you stayed with your parents during lockdown. How were you able to create space where you felt comfortable to express and be yourself?

My parents and I have a great relationship, I’d say it’s now more like a friendship – I’m very lucky because I know not all people have such a good relationship with their family members. I just made sure I was being authentic and that everything I was doing was for me, not others. Prioritising my mental health and happiness was the greatest decision I made during that time. 

You are the most important person in your life. Being your true and authentic self (both kindly and gently) is the best way to create a comfortable and genuine space.

Did you ever get angry/frustrated? If so, what helped you deal with this?

Yup! It was a frustrating time for all of us. It’s not easy having the life you know swept away overnight. To cope I made sure I stayed connected to nature as much as possible, either getting my one hour walk in, or an hour bike ride, or even just doing my workout in the fresh air.

The world is beautiful and during the lockdown the earth and other animals weren’t worried. That gave me great comfort – a kind of ‘everything happens for a reason’ feeling.

What’s one thing you lost during lockdown? How has that impacted you?

I lost pretty much all of my income, and all of the pending gigs and festival slots I had lined up for the year; that was hard to deal with. It made me question the stability of my career and being self-employed.

I also lost a summer in London, which is my favourite time of year … hence the song ‘Summer On Ice’ which I wrote about longing for that again and reflecting on how strange the lost one was.

What advice would current Lots Holloway give to your 13-year old self?

Stop worrying about the future. It’ll come at you whether you like it or not, yes you can make some wise decisions, but most things you can’t control. Easier said than done, I know, but if you get there it can bring you a lot of peace.

Find joy and silver linings in as much as you can. Put things in perspective. The things you worry about today probably won’t matter in one year. Life is very short, and we are lucky to be living it. 

What’s one message you hope for young members of the LGBTQIA+ community to keep in mind as they cope with lockdown?

Own who you are, regardless of what others say. You are different and unique, you’re the one and only you – and that’s exciting. Stay safe, and push for the changes you want to make in your life. Stand up for other people and be kind, always. Also, just know that there is no ‘How to come out as trans’ guide because every person’s journey is distinct and beautiful. 

If you need support with your gender identity during lockdown

Get in touch with our team, who are there to talk about anything and everything. You can also read our expert advice on how to cope with lockdown as a young LGBTQIA+ person here.

For further support visit Mermaids, a support group for trans people aged 19 and under. Call the information line on 0344 334 0550, open Monday to Saturday from 3pm – 7pm. Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline offers a range of help services for the LGBT community, including message boards and a helpline. 0300 330 0630. Global Queer Youth Network gives you the opportunity to meet and chat with other LGBT young people online. You can also chat about sexuality and how to come out as trans on our Discussion Boards.

Next Steps

  • Mermaids is a support group for trans people aged 19 and under. Call the information line on 0344 334 0550, open Monday to Saturday from 3pm - 7pm.
  • Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline offers a range of help services for the LGBT community, including message boards and a helpline. 0300 330 0630
  • Queer Youth Network gives you the opportunity to meet and chat with other LGBT young people online.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

By Simran Atwal

Updated on 06-Nov-2021