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Will Young ‘threatened with stabbing’ in terrifying homophobic street attack

Maggie Baska May 25, 2021
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Will Young

Will Young performs on stage during Day 2 of Kew The Music at Kew Gardens on 13 July 2016 in London, England. (Photo by C Brandon/Redferns)

Will Young was threatened with stabbing by three men who hurled homophobic abuse after he came to the aid of a busker in Oxford.

The Pop Idol winner told The Sun that he “felt sorry for” the street performer, who was being targeted by the group of men.

Young said he tried to deflect attention away from the busker, but was then targeted by the group because of what he was wearing.

“I was probably wearing some sort of floaty number and saw this harpist,” Young said. “These three lads were going to cause trouble so I stepped in and defected it away from him.”

He continued: “Then they turned on me, ‘You’re gay‘, started abusing me.”

Will Young explained that he “felt like things could change” in the dangerous situation so he deployed a tactic he “wanted to do for ages”.

“I shouted at the top of my voice: ‘These boys are threatening me, they were threatening to stab me, they were threatening to’ – in fact, I won’t use the language because it might offend some people,” Young said,

The singer said the incident made him realise he has “so many allies” because bystanders responded to his cries for help and came to his aide.

Young also revealed to The Sun that he didn’t think he would live past the age of 20 because of homophobia. He said he grew up thinking he “was sinful” and that he was “doomed to die”.

Will Young told PinkNews in 2020 that he was five years old when he first felt shame for being gay. He said he had a “sense” that he was different, which “very much came from gender stereotyping”. The singer said he was “sensitive” and “quick to cry”, with an interest in “what my mum was wearing”.

Young believed that working through shame is about “giving it back to the people that put it on you” because “we’re not born with shame”. He explained that “shame is internalised particularly” when people are young, and it becomes a “real debilitating thing the older we get”.

“So you’ve got to externalise it again and almost excommunicate it,” Young said.

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