United Kingdom

Will Young reveals homophobic thugs threatened to stab him for holding hands with his boyfriend

Will Young has revealed that homophobic thugs had once threatened to stab him for holding hands with a now ex-boyfriend.

The singer, 41, who publicly came out as gay in 2002 after winning the first ever series of Pop Idol, recalled the event which happened 'about 14 years ago' while out in the East End with then partner Julian. 

Explaining his ordeal to The Times, he said: 'I was wandering through the East End about 14 years ago, holding hands with my then boyfriend, Julian, and we had people shouting at us. Someone actually threatened to stab us.'

Shock: Will Young has revealed that homophobic thugs had once threatened to stab him for holding hands with a boyfriend

At the time of the alleged threat, Will had already been publicly known as gay for three years, having revealed his sexuality aged 23 following his success on the singing show. 

The Leave Right Now hitmaker went on to say that even now he still has 'to think about where I feel I belong, and where I might feel unwelcome or even unsafe.' 

Will said I've had people threatening to stab me and I once had someone shouting "queer" and "f****t" at me from a Vauxhall Nova outside a pub in Hampstead.

Horrible: The singer, 41, who publicly came out as gay in 2002 after winning Pop Idol, recalled the event which happened 'about 14 years ago' while out with then partner Julian

'Although on that occasion, I just shouted "f****t" back at them, so they got confused and drove off looking rather dejected. Someone also once rang my hotel room late at night to homophobically abuse me.'

Will has gone on to write a book, To Be A Gay Man, in which he discusses gay shame, the impact its had on his own life and his struggles and experiences with his sexuality. 

Speaking about his reasoning behind the book, he said he thinks it is needed because 'there is a lot of shame that hasn’t been worked through by gay people' and believes gay men aren't 'given room to work it out.' 

Last year, Will admitted he was 'ashamed' to be openly gay during his early music career and that he never thought he would have the choice to get married. 

Candidly discussing his sexuality during an interview with Gay Times Magazine, Will said the shame he felt at the start of his career was caused by other people 'repressing' him.

Ordeal: Explaining his ordeal, he said: 'I was wandering through the East End about 14 years ago, holding hands with my then boyfriend, Julian, and we had people shouting at us'

Speaking to the publication, he said on having a music career and being openly gay: 'I think I was really ashamed of it to be honest.

'I’d say that 75% of that was my own stuff, and then getting older and being more confident, that’s naturally just going to come out in anything that I do creatively.

'I would also say that if I look back on how it was – even 10 years ago – there was no nurturing for it. Some of that shame was also people repressing me. If someone would ask about a boyfriend, the PR would step in and be like, "No!"

Impact: The Leave Right Now hitmaker went on to say that even now he still has 'to think about where I feel I belong, and where I might feel unwelcome or even unsafe'

'I was very angry about that for a few years. I dealt with it and actually met up with an old person who used to do my press and was like, "I need to tell you this because this is what was going on and I’m quite angry about it now to look back on it."

'She took it really well. It wasn’t easy at all. It was the change in laws that started to make me think, as an employee in a sense, you can’t stop me doing that anymore. The compost has changed.'

New book: 'I genuinely do think it’s a book that’s needed because there is a lot of shame that hasn’t been worked through by gay people', Will sai

Will went on to reveal that he never thought that he would have the choice to get married and have children until the legislation of same-sex marriage in England and Wales in 2013, which came into force in 2014.

He continued: 'Of course there’s that idealism that you marry and have kids, I think, just because one is gay, you’ve still grown up in that environment so when it came to the fact we could get married – and even that sounds so archaic now – it was great.

'I never thought I would get married or have kids from the age of six. I had shut it off, so when the door came open again it’s like, "Oh wow, maybe I can do that." 

'Ashamed': Last year Will admitted he was 'ashamed' to be openly gay during his early music career and that he never thought he would have the choice to get married (pictured in 2002)

Will was recently left devastated after his twin brother Rupert died after years of battling mental health issues. 

Rupert, 41, previously spoke about his struggles with alcohol and depression, while also admitting his sibling's Pop Idol win in 2002 had impacted their relationship.

He was diagnosed with dysthymia – a depressive mood disorder – in 2005.

His family, including brother Will who was born 10 minutes before Rupert, are said to have been left wracked by grief.

A friend said: 'Will's relationship with Rupert had been tough over the years at times, and they had both spoken about the mental health problems which had made it challenging.

'But there were hopes he had turned a corner and they are a very loving family - and utterly devastated by his passing.'

Heartbreaking: Will was recently left devastated after his twin brother Rupert died after years of battling mental health issues 

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