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Will Young was ‘persecuted as a gay man’ in the early days of his career

The 'Pop Idol' winner says inclusivity should start at the youngest age possible

By Steve Brown

Will Young revealed he was ‘persecuted as a gay man’ in the early days of his career.

The openly gay singer came out after winning Pop Idol back in 2002 and has had a successful music and theatre career.

But while speaking to HELLO! Magazine, the singer revealed he never realised how persecuted he was because of his sexuality.

He said: “Things have changed a lot since I won Pop Idol and I didn’t even realise in the past how persecuted I was as gay man.

“At times I felt scared and I didn’t want to rock the boat for my career.

“But now, that feels archaic. We’re in a different age and I’m more confident in myself and I also have legal backing that didn’t have before.

“Civil partnerships, gay marriage, gay adoption, being able to feel secure in your relationships – all these things have made me, as a gay man, feel more secure.”

Young – who co-hosts the podcast Homo Sapiens with Chris Sweeney – also suggested that inclusivity should start at ‘the youngest age possible’.

He continued: “Inclusivity must start at the youngest age possible – why would it not? It’s really important because every child is different. We’re all unique.

“It’s not just about the people you want to love or are attracted to when you grow up but what you want to eat, what you look like, where you live, what your parents are like.

“Difference should be celebrated from the youngest age. No matter what makes them different, children are equal and they should never be made to feel abnormal.

“The problem, I think, is that adults, because they’ve had more years of social conditioning and prejudice and shame put on them, get scared about talking about these issues.

“But kids aren’t born with prejudice and they haven’t been conditioned and it’s very normal to them.”