Will Young appeals to Sadiq Khan for help after being targeted with homophobic abuse by London bus driver
Pop star Will Young has reached out to London Mayor Sadiq Khan after he was targeted with homophobic abuse by a London bus driver.
The star took to Twitter to share his shock after a Transport for London bus driver reportedly called him a “poofter”.
Young wrote online: “Homosphobic [sic] abuse from a tfl bus driver calling me a poofter.
“Reported it ten minutes after it happened and TfL been amazing.
“However bus companies on route say video footage gone as too late – quite how someone complains and actually GETS footage I am unsure.
“TfL doing everything they can but I am appealing to @TfL @SadiqKhan to help me find the drive to ensure he doesn’t abuse others. PLEASE DM me,” he added.
Young was addressed by a TfL employee within minutes.
They wrote that they were “so sorry to see this” and ensured him that action would be taken “straight away”.
“The behaviour you described is unacceptable. I am just going to send you a PM to get a few more details from you. Speak to you shortly, Andy.”
Young has had to deal with fraught homophobia since he found fame on the inaugural series of the ITV contest Pop Idol in 2002.
The 38-year-old explained last year that in the past he has been victim to anti-gay language, as well as gang violence and threats with weapons.
He said: “I’ve had to run away from knife threats, hide in shops. I’ve also taken people on.”
Recounting a time that a gang of men in Oxford hurled abuse at him, Young said that the other people on the street fought back against the homophobes.
“The whole of the street turned against them and I think that was a palpable sign of how it’s simply not tolerated now.”
The star believes that part of increasing tolerance is to continue the fight for acceptance with education.
“People [who bully] just need to be educated, they don’t need to be punished,” he explained.
The star also opened up about the pressure he encountered within the industry as a gay man.
He was asked to kiss George Michael as part of a media stunt by top record label bosses.
They wanted him to recreate a famous moment when Madonna and Britney Spears shared a kiss at the 2003 MTV awards.
However he rejected the request – saying it made him “angry”.
He said: “You know what I was really conscious of? People taking me as a gay man and bringing it just back to sex.
“Someone at the record company, to try to get me on the Brits, suggested, ‘Why don’t you do a duet with George Michael and then, like Britney and Madonna and Christina Aguilera and Madonna, you kiss at the end and we get our moment?’
“God that makes me angry.”
The star revealed late last year that he battles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which often leaves him housebound.
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Young, who came out as gay in 2002, told The Telegraph: “With PTSD, sometimes it could be difficult for me to go to the coffee shop, or visit the bank — but I now know when to expect it.
“It’s just something I’ve learned to live with the best I can, and listen to my body.
“I’ve got really good at looking after my nervous system — it’s been the making of me. Self-care is what everyone should aspire to.”
He added: “I’m a very content person. People think that PTSD must be depressing. That’s not the case.”