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Martin is an 86-year-old gay man from the U.K. — who came out at age 85.

For all those years, he hid a big part of who he truly was. "It's tough being an outsider," he explained, sitting alone in his dimly lit apartment.

Now, he deeply regrets waiting so long to come out. "I missed the boat in regards to finding a lovely partner — a soulmate that I could love, live with."


GIF via 5 Gum/YouTube.

In a tear-jerking new ad video for 5 Gum, Martin encouraged young LGBTQ people to live out and proud now — not later.

"Go ahead, do it," he advised softly. "You've got it. You owe it to yourself."

But, as you'll see in the video, a few young LGBTQ people had surprise messages for Martin too (story continues below):

"Your story inspired me to be true to myself and to be proud of who I am," one young person explained to Martin in a video message.

"[Martin's story] made me very happy to be in the place that I am now," another young person, sitting alongside their partner, explained. "It made me realize how lucky we both are to be where we are right now."

GIF via 5 Gum/YouTube.

One young man inspired by Martin even came out to his father, recorded the interaction, and sent it to the 86-year-old.

"It must have taken a lot of courage," Martin explains in an email to Upworthy. "Now he can be a much happier guy!"

Martin's story and the video responses from young LGBTQ people were completely genuine and did not involve actors, 5 Gum confirmed to Upworthy.

While Martin may wish he had come out sooner, he's now living freer than he's ever been. And that's worth celebrating.

He recently went to his first Pride parade, for instance and says it was "a marvelous experience."

GIF via 5 Gum/YouTube.

"I danced all along waving my little flag and connected to thank all our supporters who got up early," Martin says. "Lots of hugs and kisses all the way to thank them."

Happy Pride, Martin. 🌈

Just to note: Upworthy and 5 Gum do not have a business partnership. We just love cute, important videos. That's all.

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