A big birthday cake in the background with candles spelling out the word HAPPY and three cupcakes in the foreground with candles inserting into them spelling out the word BIRTHDAY

Statement on my 20th birthday

Today is my birthday. However, it is a day on which our world needs your love more than I ever could.

I must start by saying that the kindness I have seen, even as I begin to proofread and edit this at 8am Monday morning (the one Monday morning of the year I really should be staying in bed for), means so much to me. More than I could ever explain.

This morning alone, I have received cards, gifts and money, all of which make me incredibly happy, because I am an adult and adults need money more than ever. Trust me. More importantly, however, I have received love, kindness and generosity on a level to which I am not used.

However, everything that I am receiving are also making me incredibly reflective. My life can be bloody tough at times—my historic trauma, in particular, has challenged me this year—but I have a roof over my head, food on the table and live in a society where I can, for all intents and purposes, be who I want to be.

I say that from a position of great privilege—I am a white man, quite frankly one of the luckiest demographics on Earth. I don't get catcalled as I walk home from work, I don't get persecuted by the state for which religious figurehead I believe in, and I don't get attacked by those who disapprove of who I love.

Today, I ask that in lieu of making us both spew with awful drunken photos of me, you pay forward the kindness I so desperately try to show to everybody who's paths I cross. I don't always do a great job—I've broken hearts, made mistakes and hurt people I so dearly care for—but I'm trying, and that's all that matters.

Whatever you do, please share it with me using the hashtag #CGCOUKBirthday. I'd like to see our world become slightly more tolerant, slightly more kind and much more loving, even if it's just for one day. That, if you ask me, would be the beginning of adulthood well-spent, doing what we should all aim to do—be kind.

I'd like to end by also paying tribute to our Armed Forces, who we today remember. Men and women, many younger than me, gave all they had—their families, their children and even their lives—to give me the opportunity to sit here today celebrating.

Not only on this day, but every day, I vow to remember the sacrifices that they made—and continue to make—for all of us. Many may be gone, hopefully to a better place, but we will never forget the balls of steel that they all had to perform the acts of great bravery, courage and humility that they did. We remember them because, if we don't, we'll be right back where they were.