British singer Will Young opened up about shocking past experiences of homophobia, including knife threats.
The 38-year-old songwriter also said he’s confronted homophobic people head-on.
He told i News: ‘I’ve had to run away from knife threats, hide in shops. I’ve also taken people on.’
Young recounted the story of a time he called out three men being homophobic in Oxford. This was partly to shame them, but partly for his own safety.
He said: ‘The whole of the street turned against them and I think that was a palpable sign of how it’s simply not tolerated now.’
Young also explained he never experienced homophobia in school, but says it’s a huge problem for youth today.
The use of the word ‘gay’ as a put-down is one major thing he’d like to see changed. He said: ‘Anyone that’s girly or seen as bad is called gay. [It was] the worst kind of insult.
‘People just need to be educated, they don’t need to be punished.
‘If you’re bullied for, let’s say, religion or race or even gender, then hopefully there might be some sanctuary at home.
‘That’s not true for LGBTI people because quite often there’s a shame of coming out at home,’ he said.
Will Young launches new LGBTI podcast
Young also recently launched a new podcast called Homo Sapiens.
In the style of the BBC’s Woman’s Hour, the podcast features interviews with a wide range of personalities discussing queer issues.
Young teamed up with openly gay filmmaker Chris Sweeney, to produce the podcast that’s ‘sort of about queer role models.’
Guests include out-journalist Owen Jones, Nigerian gay rights activist Bisi Alimi and TV screenwriter and producer Russell T Davies.
Young revealed in the first episode producers asked him to kiss George Michael on stage of a show.
You can listen to the first episode.