Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Duncan James says Blue’s mainly female fanbase made it harder to come out

Duncan James (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Duncan James (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Blue star Duncan James has said being in a boy band with a predominantly female fanbase made it hard for him to find the “courage” to come out as gay.

The 43-year-old singer said the existence of TV series such as It’s A Sin, the hit Channel 4 drama about the Aids crisis, and RuPaul’s Drag Race helped young LGBT people be honest about their sexuality.

James announced he was bisexual in a newspaper interview in 2009, after nearly a decade in the spotlight, but would later describe himself as gay.

Capital 95.8 Summertime Ball 2009 – London
Blue members Lee Ryan, Duncan James, Anthony Costa and Simon Webbe (Yui Mok/PA)

Appearing on Rylan Clark’s Ry-Union podcast, he recalled his struggle before coming out to the public.

He said: “I think being in such a public boy band, with majority of fans being female, it was really hard for me to actually have the courage to come out because I was scared on so many different levels on so many different things.

“And, to be honest, I didn’t quite understand too much about my own sexuality at that time, I was just really confused.

“So I was kind of just like all over the place and, what with the height of the fame and everything, it was just one of those things where I kind of buried it inside me and I didn’t want to accept it and want to think about it.

“And we didn’t have any kind of television programmes that embraced the LGBT+ community back then, you know – there was no RuPaul’s Drag Race, there was no TV shows like It’s A Sin.

“You know, I think the closest thing we got to anybody being a gay icon was Nadia (Almada) from Big Brother. She was the original in many ways.

“And it wasn’t until, I guess, people were being visible on our screens that it gave me the kind of strength and the courage to actually think ‘Right, I need to be visible too’.”

James described coming out in 2009 as the “best thing” he ever did.

“I just wanted to run away and hide because I didn’t know if I was going to be queer-bashed in the streets. I didn’t know what was going to happen. And I was petrified,” he said.

“But, to be fair, it was the best thing I ever did. And I think, when you’re living with one of those secrets inside you, and you’re frightened to come out, I think everything is magnified on a great big level.

“And I was really, really, really scared that everything was gonna… my world was gonna come crashing down.

“But actually, in hindsight, it was never as bad as I thought it was going to be. And it wasn’t a big deal.

“And when I came out, it was obviously like, a huge weight had been lifted. And I was just really grateful that I wasn’t beaten up in the streets.”

– Ry-Union is available on all podcast platforms.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]