Jackie Collins says she includes gay characters in her novels in honor of her “first gay crush.”

In an interview with gay glossy Out, Collins said she has always included gay characters in her novels.

“Before AIDS, before gay men were even talked about in books, unless it was a gay book,” Collins said. “Before women talked about sex.”

“I've written 29 books, and I've always had gay characters, right from the very beginning.”

Collins said she included gay characters in memory of Peter, a gay teen she knew who killed himself over his sexuality.

“When I was 15 and thrown out of school, I went to a drama school, a preparatory academy in England, and there was this lovely guy there called Peter. He was my first gay crush, really, and we got along like a house on fire – and one day he committed suicide.”

“I'll never forget Peter. … He just couldn't come out, and then he killed himself.”

“That made me think really deeply about the problems that some poor guys go through when they want to come out,” she added.