British singer George Shelley is out and proud, and opening up to Gay Times as one of its November 2018 cover subects ...
Shelley tells interviewer Sir Ian McKellen he knew he was gay early on:
I remember there was another boy at school in year six and we had a kiss behind the shedon the lips. I've lost contact with him. We used to go to swimming club together, and
everyone use to take the mickey. You would get kids being like “gay” and it's a form of abuse really. They don't really understand what the word means. But because they've heard their parents saying it and they hear it in media, what gay meant to kids back then, it was a scary word. I think that's kind of been quashed a little bit now.
He also talks about being closeted while he was becoming famous as a member of the boy band Union J (which he left in 2016):
People knew, and then I started going out, Jaymi would take me to these clubs, and people would see me with these guys. I'd be kissing these guys on nights out like any other 20-year-old would do when you're experimenting, and that's absolutely okay. But because of the situation I was in — in the public eye selling records aimed at young girls — I feel like I was made to believe, and made to think, because of the things I was being told and the way I was conditioned, that it would've jeopardized the band's career. And in turn jeopardize my own career.
More in Gay Times — available for pre-order.