Watch: Brit Pop Star Will Young Confronts Gay Shame

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday September 2, 2020

Will Young on Newsnight
Will Young on Newsnight  (Source:BBC Newsnight / YouTube)

Will Young, British pop singer and 2002 winner of BBC's reality show "Pop Idol" (from 2001-2003), recently discussed his experiences with gay shaming, the Mirror reports.

In an interview with Newsnight, the singer was promoting his new autobiographically-based book "To Be a Gay Man," which is centered on the idea of eradicating gay shaming in society. During the course of the interview, Young discusses the experience of coming out at age 23, only a few months after winning the first run of Pop Idol, having contended with internalized homophobia beforehand and learning to accept himself.

Young also recounts an interview experience on Radio 1, when on-air personality DJ Chris Moyles made fun of the singer's sexuality with a parody recording of Young's UK number one hit "Leave Right Now," replacing the original track with homophobic lyrics. In Young's book, he recalls, "BBC Radio 1 breakfast show DJ Chris Moyles decided to embark on a rampage of homophobia against me — on my birthday no less. It was something that left me aghast, especially as he and I were on friendly terms."


"To Be a Gay Man" will be released September 3.

Described on the BBC Newsnight website as "One of the UK's most successful pop stars, Will Young has sold more than 10 million records and has won two Brit awards. He's also a leading voice in mental health awareness, particularly in the LGBTQ community."

He joined Kirsty Wark for his first broadcast interview ahead of the release of his latest book, "To Be a Gay Man.":


Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

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