Stephen Fry has said he felt like an “undesirable person” when he arrived on the gay scene in London in the 1980s and that he struggled with loneliness.
The actor, who has been married to husband Elliott Spencer since 2015, said it was only when he started examining his mind that he realised how unhappy he was.
Speaking to hosts Chris Sweeney and Alan Cumming on the first Queer Icons episode of the Homo Sapiens podcast, Fry said: “I always hated what was called ‘the scene’ when I arrived in London – I arrived in London at a bad time for any gay person, in 1981 during the HIV virus.
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📣Dearest Listeners, Season 4 has landed! 📣 We are delighted to chat to ICON @stephenfryactually about fighting for LGBTQ+ rights since day dot, being a pioneer of demystifying mental health, and a ton of funny stories that aren’t very repeatable here. All we’re gonna say is 🎧 head to: Link in Bio & Stories - it’s a hoot! Next week we shall be discussing your emails about the episode, and taking questions from you, so please do slide into our DM’s or email us. - Chris & Alan x #HomoSapiens #StephenFry . . H O M O . . S A P I E N S . . #Podcast #LGBT #LGBTQ #queer #AlanCumming #ChrisSweeney #podcastlife #lbgtiq #loveislove #LGBTIQicon #LGBTcommunity
“I remember hearing about GRID – gay related immune deficiency and all kinds of other strange words… we’d go to Heaven and various other gay clubs and a sweet gay bar in Chelsea, The Queen’s Head.
“And I didn’t mind the little old pub but the look up and down sweeping eyes as you walk into a club and, in my case, the look up and down and the quick turn away. I’m such an undesirable person. I’m as far from cute as it’s possible to be.
“Not that I particularly wanted to be… also I just don’t like dance places, I like talking.”
He added: “It wasn’t until I had the awful experience in the mid-90s when I was in a play and I walked out, this was when I had to start examining my mind and what was going on with me and why I was unhappy when I was at the top of the game that I had set myself.
“I had achieved things I never dreamed of – everything should’ve been wonderful, every light was green and yet I was in such a state of total misery and distress.
“Weirdly it was almost the exact same time that I was cast in the film to play Oscar Wilde that I met my first boyfriend since Cambridge. I think (during that time) I realised one of the things I was unhappy about was that I was lonely, I really was.”
Episode one of Homo Sapiens – Queer Icons is out now