Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Sexuality

Zander Hodgson reveals he was bullied for being too feminine while at primary school

The British model came out as gay this April but recalls when he knew he was 'different'

By Steve Brown

Zander Hodgson opens up about homophobia in the fashion industry in Attitude’s new August issue.

The British model came out this April and has become the ulitmate couple with boyfriend Troy Pes and judging by their Instagram accounts, they look well and truly loved up.

But in an exclusive interview with Attitude, Zander – who is covering one of the two August issues which also features Dominic Cooper – opens up about being bullied because he was “too feminine” when growing up.

He says: “I was bullied a lot at school about coming across too feminine or gay, and my voice was one of the give-aways.

“After leaving school and going to acting classes, I started to accept and embrace myself more but there were still battles with my inner voice.

“When I was told by managers to see a dialect coach and that I might not book a job if I didn’t, you can imagine how I felt: to have a professional in the industry confirm my own doubts.”

The model and actor also recalls how he knew he was “different” but it was only when he started being bullied at primary school did he realise there was a word for what he was.

“I would dress up however I wanted, often in girls’ clothes or feminine, flamboyant costumes. I would run around the house singing to Dirty Dancing,” he adds.

“I loved music by Cher and Britney, all the gay icons. I wanted to play kiss-chase with the boys and all of that kind of thing.

“I knew I was different. It was only when I started being bullied at primary school that I thought, ‘Oh, there is a word for this and maybe that’s what I am.’”

Read Zander’s full interview in Attitude’s August issue out now with Mamma Mia star Dominic Cooper on the second cover. 

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: 3 issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.