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Drag queen who inspired ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ recalls homophobic bullying – WATCH

Jamie Campbell is sharing his story as part of The Diana Award's #Back2School campaign.

By Will Stroude

The drag star whose incredible story served as the inspiration for hit West End musical Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has opened up about the homophobic bullying he experienced at school.

Jamie Campbell, who now performs as drag queen Fifi, has revealed how anti-gay abuse in the classroom left him with “severe, severe anixiety” as a child growing up in northern England.

In a six-and-a-half minute video released as part of The Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Campaign, Jamie recalls how taunts from other children and even adults left him isolated as an adolescent.

“It was just constant verbal [abuse]” he says. “I couldn’t walk down the corridor without getting abuse shouted at me.”

The 22-year-old, whose journey to becoming a drag queen during his teenage years was documented in 2011 BBC Three documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16, goes on: “When I was with my friends and stuff, I used to get embarassed because I’d get abuse shouted at me from everybody and I’d feel bad for them being with me.

“Somtimes I used to just segregate myself away from my friends because I didn’t want them to go through what I was going through as well.”

He adds: “Bullying has such a horrendous impact on people and I know just from my own experience.”

As 10 million children head back to school this week for the start of term, the Diana Award’s Anti-Bullying Campaign is encouraging people to share pictures of themself from their school days with advice for others using the hashtag #Back2School. 


Jamie’s time at school eventually had a happy ending, when many of his classmates stood alongside him when he as refused entry to his school prom for coming in drag.

The incident inspired an acclaimed musical stage show which opened in London’s West End in 2017, and is currently being turned into a feature flm set for release in October 2020.

“I found from being brave and standing up and doing that that other people in my year saw that, the other kids came out and said ‘If you don’t let Jamie in, we’re not going in’,” Jamie recalls.

“And this is even people that had bullied me in the past, because they saw me doing something and standing up for myself and they were like ‘Yeah, he’s got balls’.”