All Together Now judge Jay Kamiraz has revealed he was the victim of a brutal homophobic attack, and was disowned by his parents for being gay.
Jay Kamiraz appears on BBC singing contest All Together Now as part of the show’s 100-strong judging panel, known as ‘Mr Fabulous’ for his glitzy outfits.
However, the gay and genderqueer TV star has revealed the painful personal history behind his flamboyant on-screen personality.
All Together Now star reveals he faced homophobic violence
In a video, he explained: “Being gay in an Asian community, but also a Muslim community, is just a big big no-no.”
“When my parents found out I was gay I was disowned. I had no choice, I had to leave.”
— Jay Kamiraz
He added: “I was 17 an one night I was coming home and en route seven guys cornered me.
“I was brutally attacked and I ended up in hospital fighting for me life.”
He added: “When my parents found out I was gay I was disowned. I had no choice, I had to leave.
“After my attack, I lost trust in anybody. I had no confidence. I was so flamboyant, and every ounce of personality I had was diminished.”
Jay Kamiraz went from sleeping on a park bench to performing for royalty
After being disowned by his parents, Kamiraz revealed that he started sleeping on a park bench in North London.
He said: “This was my bed for a while. This is where I found comfort.
“But I decided to get back on my feet, go out there and rebuild my worth, ’cause the one thing I was not going to allow was the bullies and the haters to bring me down. Never.”
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Kamiraz is now a well-known gospel choir director and describes himself as the “gender fabulous version of Oprah.”
He even performed with his choir at Buckingham Palace, describing it as “one of my greatest achievements.”
This is so inspiring ✨🌈❤ @JayKamiraz aka Mr Fabulous on how he went from homelessness and a homophobic attack to using music to help others.
— All Together Now (@alltogethernow) March 9, 2019
Outside of his musical career, he also now runs workshops for LGBT+ people, explaining: “I choose to empower people and encourage people because I never had that growing up.
“The little I can do to make a difference, I will.”
The first season of All Together Now, which aired in 2018, was won by Michael Rice, who is set to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest in May.