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Sadiq Khan admits he used to enjoy getting chatted up by gay men at a cruising spot: ‘It’s nice for the ego’

Emma Powys Maurice July 10, 2020

London mayor Sadiq Khan (Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Brent London Borough of Culture)

Sadiq Khan isn’t immune to a little flirting it seems, as he admitted that he enjoyed having his ego stroked by gay men on Clapham Common.

The mayor of London revealed that he’d been occasionally mistaken for a gay man as he walked across the south London common, a well-known cruising spot for men who have sex with men.

When visiting a close friend who lived in the area he was often approached by someone looking for a good time, he said — and he didn’t hate it.

“Often, I’m not embarrassed to admit, I was chatted up. It’s quite nice for your ego,” he joked on an episode of the Homo Sapiens podcast.

On a more serious note, he remembered the danger of thugs on “gay-bashing” missions, and empathised as someone who is also a member of a minority group.

“The ‘gay bashing’ was a serious threat on Clapham Common and so I experienced both what it was like in terms of great nightlife for people from the LGBT+ community for gay young men in south London, where I grew up, and the dangers of people being beaten up because of who they were,” he said.

“And I could relate to that because of the colour of my skin because I’d been called the P-word.”

Khan has remained an LGBT+ ally throughout his time as mayor of London.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan at Pride in London 2019. (Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Pride in London)

Earlier this year he delivered a firm statement in support of trans rights, making his stance clear after the Labour leadership candidates faced attacks in the media for their pro-trans views.

“Trans women are women. Trans men are men. Non-binary people are non-binary. All gender identities are valid,” he tweeted.

TELI, the Trans Equality Legal Initiative, wrote in response: “Thank you for your support, it means a lot to the trans and non-binary community at a time when we face so much hate.

“Knowing you would get abuse for this you still did it, [which is] what being an ally is about. We wish others were as strongly outspoken, hopefully this will inspire them.”

 

More: clapham common, cruising, London, Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan

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