In 1984 Chris Smith became the UK's first male openly gay MP and later, the first gay cabinet minister in 2005.
After announcing that he was gay, he received a five-minute standing ovation. His actions and the positive reaction he received has undoubtedly helped pave the way for many other MPs to be open about their sexuality as well.
There have since been lots of other gay cabinet members. There are currently 54 LGBT MPs in the House of Commons, and in 2015 it was declared the gayest parliament in the world due to its proportion of LGBT members.
In 2003, Smith was contacted by a reporter from The Sunday Times asking for a comment on his health but declined, citing the Press Complaints Code. However, two years later, in 2005, he contacted the paper's editor and revealed in a story, titled "Why This is the Time to Break my HIV Silence", he had been diagnosed as HIV-positive as long ago as 1987. He stated he had decided to go public following Nelson Mandela's announcement of his son's death from AIDS. He was the first MP to acknowledge having HIV.