A star member of an all boys’ choir has spoken out for the first time about the homophobic cyber bullying he was subjected to for years.
This news follows the publication of a YouGov survey commissioned by the Princes Trust which said that one in five people aged between 16 and 18 had been victims of cyber bullying, reports ITV.com.
Morgan Westcott, 14, a member of Only Boys Aloud choir, which placed third in last year’s Britain’s Got Talent Competition, said that he would receive messages through social media criticising his singing, and commenting on the fact that they thought he was gay.
He said: “I’ve always had people calling me gay because I sing and didn’t want to play football or rugby. The bullies send me messages on facebook saying – ‘you’re gay, you can’t even sing.’ it just made me feel really down and sad.
“I’d have a great day out with my friends and then I’d come home to see these nasty messages on twitter and facebook and it would just change the way I felt. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I felt alone and upset.”
He said that Twitter page Ask FM, which allows users to ask questions anonymously had been a channel for some of the bullying. He said: “People can post anything anonymously on the page and it’s horrible. Me and my friends have had nasty things said about us, I really think they should get rid of it.”
Morgan, from Treorchy, Wales, said he hoped to inspire others to speak out about their experiences of bullying.
He said “being a part of the Welsh Factor and Only Boys Aloud has helped my confidence a lot. I’ve been able to talk to people who have the same interests as me but even then it’s hard to just forget the messages i’ve read.”
The 14-year-old broke down in November 2012, and told his parents about the bullying. He said he thought it was important for people to be open about bullying.
“I think It’s so important to speak out because then people can help you. If you just keep quiet then no-one can help. I’m so glad I did because positives have come from it,” he said.
Anna Marie Thomas, the Chief Executive Officer of the Welsh Factor, set up a new anti-bullying campaign, ‘Stop Bullying Wales’, after realising how many of the contestants were being bullied.
She said: “Having experienced bullying when I was younger I started the Welsh Factor because I wanted to give young people the opportunity to showcase their talents.
“I realised during this time that a lot of the contestants were being badly bullied. I’m now working with the police on the Stop Bullying Wales campaign to raise awareness of the issue.”