Young: I felt like an outsider
Will Young has revealed that singing has been his salvation in life.
The former Pop Idol winner has enjoyed chart success but has also battled depression and suffered from feelings of shame about his sexuality for many years.
"I'm a psychotherapist's smorgasbord," said the 33-year-old, having gone through years of therapy.
"If it wasn't for my singing, I'm not sure I would even be around today. Singing has been the one place where I have found my true, powerful self."
Will, whose autobiography Funny Peculiar is out now, revealed he carried the fact that he was gay like a weight around his neck through most of his school days.
He explained: "I knew I was gay from the age of eight and that was a big thing. I felt like an outsider and carried that for 20 years. Some people come out and they're fine but others find it harder. I spent a lot of years thinking there was something wrong with me because I'm not like most other boys. There is still a stigma, particularly in schools, where the term 'that's so gay' really needs to be changed."
The star came out to friends and family while at university and finally found a sense of freedom.
"It was a build-up of years of living a lie really and it was one of the most important moments of my life," he said.
Will then moved to London, where he pursued a musical theatre degree, putting his studies on hold to go in for Pop Idol. After winning, he came out publicly but kept it low key. "I didn't want my sexuality to overtake who I was," he said. "My point at the time was that sexuality made no difference. I was still the same person, with the same voice."
:: Will Young stars in Cabaret at The Savoy Theatre, London until January 19, 2013. Visit www.atgtickets.com/savoy.