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Will Young: I was ashamed of being gay and was addicted to porn

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  1. I totally know where will is coming from as I am currently in and have been in his situation for a long time. I also think this has had a seriously negative affect on my life. It still does as I am not confident and feel even less so in a Gay environment. My relationships never last long and I am addicted to porn. The fantasy always seems better than the reality. Hopefully soon I will get to a place, with the help of counselling and support groups, where I am happy with who I am and confident enough to start a proper relationship.

    1. Hey Michael. Hang in there. Counselling will help and yeah, look for support from a group, or friends. I took many years to realise I was gay. But am in a very happy place right now, at my ripe “old” age of 60. I have actually just published my coming out story, available here. http://amzn.to/R8gTjU. I reckon you too, will one day have a great and positive story to tell. And don’t worry about the porn. All guys love porn, and us gay boys just happen to like it a little bit more. I still watch porn. Be safe and stay happy :-) Stuart.

    2. Michael – counseling can help, but it’s not guaranteed. Find a counsellor or supporr group who you like. Don’t worry about methods or models too much (though check the therapist’s qualifications and membership of a professional body because therapists aren’t regulated).

      It’s the relationship (between therapist/client/group) that matters.

      Sorry I don’t have a book to publicise…

  2. Great story, and good on Will for telling and sharing. I work with a number of young guys who are in a similar position. I have a different personal story and was married with 3 daughters when I came out. I have written my story and you can find it here. http://amzn.to/R8gTjU

  3. I get how he feels. When i was 13, i realised i was gay, and spent the next 3 years repressing it, even going so far as to sleep with a guy. I’ve always felt like thats part of the reason i’ve never even kissed a girl, because now i’ve accepted being gay, i’m back to thinking anyone would be crazy to want me (i’m not exactly the prettiest girl in the world) so its kind of… whats the word… comforting to know i’m not the only one who’s gone through/going through it. Kinda gives me hope that, when i finally get out of this butt crack of a town, and go to uni, i can start to build the confidence to have the stuff i’ve wanted since i was 16. I think this story might have actually given me a bit of hope xx

  4. And these comments by Will Young prove that young Gay people should be supported in finding their sexuality, although attitudes may have changed considerably, although with more schools being funded privately may abide by christian ethos. It was very different for me at school being laughed at, being put down for everything I did, not able to participate in sport which I wanted to do, and when able to, having to change in a different area than the other boys, no wonder when I finally left school I could be what I wanted to be without scrutiny from anybody else.

  5. Hi can I just say that the article in The Metro is just a small section lifted from a longer interview in The Sunday Times Style magazine, which is to promote his upcoming autobiography Funny Peculiar,and is essentially about his long term depression, which again, I dare say, is just another chapter of his memoir. The interview actually ends on a much happier note.
    Quote:
    “He’s doing better. A few months ago he scarcely left the house and nearly didn’t make it to rehearsals for Cabaret, for which he’s getting great buzz. He’s still on antidepressants and in weekly therapy but, for now at least,things are moving in the right direction. “Without wishing to sound dramatic, I think it kept me going”, he says of writing his sweet, funny book.”

    I hope this helps to put the lifted, and unacknowledged source,Metro comments into perspective.His book comes out the 11th of this month, and I suspect it will be full of Will’s quirky and humerous anecdotes.

  6. So sad that society’s negative atttitude towards LGBT people, even if very subtle, seeps into young people’s heads and has such a lasting effect. It’s very isolating.

    Will’s not alone in how he feels. People will still grow up feeling isolated and unsure until society as a whole accepts people for who they are.

  7. ...Paddyswurds 8 Oct 2012, 12:00pm

    I sure do “get” where Will is coming from. Been there done that and have several T-shirts to prove it.
    I was almost forty before i became completely at ease with my homosexuality and the real catalyst was meeting my partner at that time. I became confident and healthy for the first time in my life. I hope Wills story is published in places like the D Mail and Telegraph so bigots like Williams, Carey and O’Brien et al, from the religious cults and religious crazies in general can see the harm they are doing to hundreds of thousands of young Gay men. I really don’t hold out any real hope they will take any notice but at least they should Know the great harm they are doing. Love Will Young and his music from the very first time i heard him and if i was 30 years younger I would be his boyfriend in a thrice….

    1. The Daily Wail and the Torygraph will only say it proves their point about depraved homosexuals.

  8. Porn is great – perfectly healthy. As long as it’s not accessed in public places or in the work place. It’s there to be enjoyed I say.

  9. I sympathise. I’m a few years younger than Will at 29, but I know exactly where he’s coming from. I have given the matter a lot of thought over the last ten years.

    It seems to me that the problem stems from not being able to reconcile one’s sexuality with the other aspects of one’s life and character. The cultural environment of the 1990s in the UK was not conducive to this, which is when both Will and I had our formative years and began to feel sexual feelings for the first time. There was still a sense that gay people were a suspicious, sordid other. The terrifying AIDS ads of the 80s were probably the first introduction we had to the concept of gay sex, and without many ordinary gay people in the media, we didn’t have the tools to recognise and come to terms with what we were feeling in the same way our straight peers did. When they felt uncertain and anxious about their newly-discovered sexual selves, they had a huge variety of reaffirming, reassuring cultural material to help…

    1. … virtually every TV show, film, book and family in the neighbourhood proclaimed the normality and unremarkableness of heterosexual feelings. We had virtually nothing. There was Julian Clary and Elton John, and we got Queer as Folk in 1999, which made being gay seem like one long round of sordid clubbing and promiscuity. It was a landmark in getting us visibility, but the message it gave was not a welcoming and reassuring one. We still had Section 28 until 2003, and hence nobody in my age cohort got any advice at school about our burgeoning sexuality – and we really needed something just to let us know we were normal, and accepted by society. All we got were STD warnings. Gay life was all about diseases.

      The fortunate thing is that I think we are the last generation to suffer so. I teach A-level students now, and the transformation in the culture they have is remarkable. It is no longer hidden or problematised or stigmatised, it’s open and tolerant and accepted.

      1. VP You make a very valid point when you say ” All we got were STD warnings. Gay life was all about diseases.” Things like this can have a very damaging effects on the way gay men perceive themselves and their sexual relationships. I think this can feed into taking risks with their sexual health – some I am sure just feel there is an inevitability picking up an infection. I have previously suggested that the targeting of sexual health messages aimed specifically at gay men sometimes has the opposite effect – they do not engage because they feel they do not believe they fit into the “at risk” category or that they feel so worthless that they really are not overly concerned about contracting infections such as HIV & Hep C.

        The more people that are able to be open about the difficulties Will and yourself have described the better. Sometimes gay men themselves can be overly critical of each other and this results in the internalised stigma, shame & lack of confidence in everyday life.

  10. Until society stops looking at us as less than human we are going to feel isolated, and inadequate. So many people I talk to can pinpoint their happiness to finding a partner.

    For some of us that is unlikely to happen. When are we going to feel validated as a worthwhile human being, if we aren’t given that validation from our society?

  11. It’s probably worse for gay kids now than it was in Will Young’s time. Have been horrified to discover just how much homophobic hate is posted to social network sites such as Twitter.

  12. Christopher in Canada 8 Oct 2012, 1:20pm

    Gay porn has the unexpected effect of making many feel inadequate and not desirable – whether cartoons like Tom of Finland or real-life porn performers, they are in steroid-built bodies that are hard and time-consuming to duplicate. By the time you feel equal, your youth is gone! Women must experience the same thing with airbrushed Playboy Bunny images and models… how is the average guy to cope? Character may win, but it takes its time in winning!

    1. I agree Christopher. I think this is where my confidence dwindles. I have gone to a support group where all the leaflets etc that they provide you with are covered in muscle bound men with good looks. It doesn’t instill much confidence when even in a supporting environment we are bombarded with these images. Gay lifestyle magazines tend to be the same. I grew up with these images and so when I didn’t fit this image I began to believe there was something wrong with me. I wear glasses and one night while in a Gay bar one guy said I was so brave for wearing them out…… I began to look around and thought I can’t be the only one here. Thankfully I wasn’t but it just showed me how shallow we Gays can be. Maybe if there was more Gay couples on TV and in magazines like Cameron and Mitch in modern family then we wouldn’t be so hung up on looking like a Greek God. Just a thought.

  13. Suddenly Last Bummer 8 Oct 2012, 3:08pm

    He is so wet.

    1. ...Paddyswurds 8 Oct 2012, 9:21pm

      Better wet than be a dried up, bitter old queen like you, and of course his success and riches help make you even more bitter and jealous. What have you done with your life that makes you so much better, eh?

  14. I’m so glad Will has shared his truth with us. I’m now 42 and still battling with chronic low self esteem and low confidence. It affects my work, friendships and intimate relationships.After years of therapy it all relates back to not feeling worthy and good enough because I’m gay. My current therapist thinks I’m the biggest homophobe to myself. After years of being made fun of by the way I talk etc, I’ve developed Social Anxiety and I’m paranoid that people are going to suss I’m gay.. I’m looking for the answer to rid me of all this, but haven’t yet got an answer. At least Will now knows material things DON’T bring lasting happiness and fulfillment.

  15. Thank you, Mr Young, for sharing this.

    The comments on the board bear witness to how important these kinds of testimonies are.

    They also show that whilst we’ve made lots of progress on changing attitudes and laws, the fundamental traumas young gay people must go through haven’t changed at least since I came out 35 years ago.

  16. I simply don’t see why celebrities have to air their dirty laundry in public like this.

    1. Many, if not most, people today don’t see admitting to weakness or discontent as “dirty laundry.”

    2. Samuel B. 8 Oct 2012, 9:58pm

      One man’s dirty laundry, Joe, is another man’s hope and aspiration as we can all learn from sharing our own despair and that of others and, in turn, dismantling the triggers and symptoms that lead to a form of paralysing mental anguish and depression that is so common among fellow gay people.

      How do we evolve and grow as individuals and as a society by keeping all of our life experiences and growing pains bottled up like a pressure cooker, ready to explode?

      By admitting to the shame and unhappiness we have felt about who we are we are able to confront it head on and accept guidance and help from others, in turn exorcising those demons that torment and traumatise us.

      Suffering in silence is the worst thing you should do, so well done for Will for sharing his experiences.

  17. Samuel B. 8 Oct 2012, 6:46pm

    Well Done to Will for sharing.

    Totally get where he is coming from.

    For many, after growing unaccepted by society, imagine how crushing it can then be not to be accepted by other gay people because your face doesn’t fit or you don’t belong to a particular tribe, be it bear, tranny or muscle boy.

    We more than any other social group know how it feels to be shunned and despised, yet we can be each other’s most harshest and judgemental of critics, as many who frequent the gay scene know only too well.

    Accepting each other for who we are as individuals, not where we stand in the perceived pecking order of gay society, and embracing each other as equals would encourage the next generation of confused and isolated youngsters to find solace and safety among other gay people and a freedom to be able to express themselves without fear of disapproving looks and whispers.

  18. Very well done to Will on this story – I think the more people in the spotlight that are able to be open & honest about how they have struggled to come to terms with their sexuality the better really.

    Young men need to know they are not alone when they are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality.

    Rates of depression are high amongst gay men, and this is often “self managed” in many ways, often using alcohol, drugs & sex (porn), which in turn feeds into other difficulties.

    I have great respect for Will Young in sharing his feelings and experiences.

  19. BruceWillisFan 8 Oct 2012, 8:02pm

    I think its very sad that Will Young: felt ashamed of being gay. but hell yeah adleast he was honest about watching gay porn. :-D

  20. Well done and all the best to Will for these revelations. I too empathise as, though, i’m a fair bit older, in my day there was NOTHING. growing up gay , in ruritania Britain wasn’t ‘fun’ at all. I can relate to the feelings of depression aswell as using money to ‘fill a hole’ so to speak. Councelling can help, but it’s never a long term solution; as you can become dependent on it aswell. Feeling at peace with yourself by accepting yourself is,the or an, answer, though not easy to achieve; especially in such a high profile public profession like show biz.
    However, if Will’s admission helps others to accept themselves and move on; and that it’s ok to say they’re feeling ‘down’, then all the better.
    There is a prob still in many schools and that needs addressing urgently. There is good work being done- a recent LGBTQ event near me run by Metro Centre for teenagers (attended by both gay and straight etc from youth centres…)went so well it’s hoped it’ll be a regular annual even

    1. Jan Bridget 10 Oct 2012, 8:21am

      The article is ok but many of the comments are horrendous.

      1. I agree Jan 100%. The comments below the article just show the ignorance of our straight Brothers and Sisters. To think that what we have to endure almost everyday of our lives even comes close to comparison with Catholic upbringing seems misguided to me. Once they are married (which we are not even allowed to do) they can pretty much live as they want. We aren’t even allowed to do that without people putting us down or attacking us.

  21. Jan Bridget 10 Oct 2012, 8:43am

    Thanks, Will. Sadly many LGBT youth still suffer homophobic abuse in the home and at school. In many ways, due to visibility, the situation for young people is far worse now than when Will was young or indeed when I was young (1960’s).
    If we can give our youth the support they need we can help reduce mental health problems in our community. See http://www.galyic.org.uk/support/mental.html
    The new Suicide Prevention Strategy includes LGBTs for the first time (with any significance). In the medium term we can challenge local mental health services to respond to the Strategy and develop services which meet our needs.
    I will be giving a presentation on this topic at an event organised by Rochdale Mind to coincide with national Coming Out Day (October 11th) and World Mental Health week (this week). The event is on Wednesday 17th October 1.00pm to 3.30pm
    at St Andrews Church Smith Street Rochdale OL16 1HE.

  22. I totally identify with Will. I’ve had severe addiction issues with porn and sex in the past…I eventually took a hammer to my pc and put it in the skip, the sex addiction ended up with me in hospital. Most people think that having lots of sex is great, makes you a man, is all part of having an adventurous Gay life style etc. I’ve been monogamous now for almost 8 years, for the first time in my life. As for holding hands in public, or kissing your lover goodbye in the street without feeling guarded and afraid….for me this is as important an issue as Marriage. What real ‘Pride’ or equality can there be if I can get married but still be afraid to hold hands with my Husband in public.

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