Dear Nigell,

The saying that’ll get you through when times are tough is- ‘this too, shall pass’.

Your childhood will be one of uncertainty and, at times, loneliness, yet still full of positivity, adventure and curiosity. There’ll be strong females in the family that will give you lifelong lessons of respect, love, sacrifice, compassion and generosity, which will be the foundations of your character, and build resilience as you navigate life’s many twists and turns.

Having parents from different cultural backgrounds may make you question your own, but the strong Black and West Indian influences will shape your cultural identity. Growing up, you’ll already know and feel that you’re different, but it’s a difference that you can’t explain and, for this reason, you feel can’t talk to anyone about.

Mom and Dad will work tirelessly and provide the opportunity for you to have a good education and you’ll make one of the biggest and boldest decisions of your life in applying to universities in the UK. The decision won’t be taken lightly, however your explorer’s spirit takes you to Brighton.

You’ll miss your family, especially being a part of your younger sister’s early years. You’ll meet many others in the same situation as you and will feel a sense of belonging. A year will pass at university and that unexplained difference will suddenly become clearer. Your newfound exposure to a gay community, culture and role models will help you come to terms with your own sexuality. You will find your tribe in Brighton and meet the most supportive group of lifelong friends.

You’ll question when and how to come out, however, when you’re ready to tell your family and closest friends, everyone will be super supportive. Ireland will be in your future, but you’ll never expect to make it your home. It’s here that you’ll meet your lifelong partner. He will be your rock and your families will be your biggest supporters.

You’ll continue your adventure in a role at Fidelity International. You may find it challenging to identify with anyone like you in the workplace, and you will continue to struggle with how to come out in a professional setting, but you find support through close allies. You’ll focus on further developing your skills and stretching yourself with new opportunities, and will be successful in progressing.

Some of your proudest achievements will be for the recognition of passion and impact you continue to make in your community and workplace. Through your own experiences, you will be a visible and active role model, so those who may struggle with a sense of identity or belonging may also know ‘This too, shall pass’.

With love and pride,

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