Homophobic thugs threatened to stab Will Young and his boyfriend – all for the simple crime of holding hands in public
Will Young has opened up about the terrifying moment a group of homophobic thugs threatened to stab him and his boyfriend – all because they dared to hold hands in public.
The Pop Idol winner, 41, told The Sunday Times about the horrific incident, which occurred 14 years ago.
“I was wandering through the East End about 14 years ago, holding hands with my then boyfriend, Julian, and we had people shouting at us. Someone actually threatened to stab us,” Young revealed.
Today, Young still has to “think about where I feel I belong, and where I might feel unwelcome or even unsafe”.
“I’ve had people threatening to stab me and I once had someone shouting ‘queer’ and ‘f****t’ at me from a Vauxhall Nova outside a pub in Hampstead,” he continued.
“Although on that occasion, I just shouted ‘f****t’ back at them, so they got confused and drove off looking rather dejected.
“Someone also once rang my hotel room late at night to homophobically abuse me.”
Young made the revelation as he gears up to release his book To Be a Gay Man next month.
The “Leave Right Now” singer said he wrote the book because “there is a lot of shame that hasn’t been worked through by gay people” and said gay men are not “given room to work it out”.
Will Young has previously opened up about the homophobia he has faced throughout his career.
Young famously came out as gay following his 2002 win on Pop Idol. Speaking last year to Gay Times, he said he was once “really ashamed” of his sexuality.
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“I’d say that 75 per cent of that was my own stuff, and then getting older and being more confident, that’s naturally just going to come out in anything that I do creatively,” he said at the time.
“I would also say that if I look back on how it was – even 10 years ago – there was no nurturing for it. Some of that shame was also people repressing me.
“If someone asked about a boyfriend, the PR would step in and be like, ‘No!’ I was very angry about that for a few years.”
He revealed that he later arranged to meet one of his past publicists to explain why her behaviour was wrong.
“She took it really well. It wasn’t easy at all.”
Young’s latest interview comes just weeks after the pop star confirmed the tragic death of his twin brother Rupert, who died aged 41