since march 26, 1999
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|Boyzone-Sänger Stephen Gately
"Caught in the Act"-Sänger ist sein Lover
Boyzone-Star Stephen Gately (23) bricht seinen weiblichen Fans mit einem Geständnis das
Herz. Er offenbarte: "Ich bin schwul und habe einen Freund."
In einem Interview mit der englischen Tageszeitung "The Sun" enthüllte der
Popstar: "Mein Freund ist der ehemalige 'Caught in the Act' Sänger Eloy de
Jong." Der Ire Gately hat den Holländer schon vor vier Jahren in London
kennengelernt, die beiden sind aber erst seit letztem November ein Paar. Mit seinem
Geständnis wollte der Sänger Gerüchten zuvor kommen, die besagten, daß ein ehemaliger
Mitarbeiter von Boyzone (Nummer-Eins-Hit: Words) über ihn auspacken wolle.
Der Sänger beichtete: "Dieses Geständnis ist das Schlimmste, was ich je im Leben
hinter mich bringen mußte. Aber ich schulde es unseren Fans und mir selber, endlich
ehrlich zu sein." Seit der Gründung der Band vor sechs Jahren hat er nie richtig
abschalten und einfach er selbst sein können, weil er sein Geheimnis nicht verraten
wollte: "Ich hatte viele schlaflose Nächte, in denen ich mich gefragt habe, was am
nächsten Tag in der Zeitung steht. Es entstanden so viele Gerüchte über mein
Privatleben." Besonders schwierig war es in den letzten 12 Monaten: "Weil alle
anderen Bandmitglieder jetzt eine feste Beziehung haben, wurden die Fragen nach meinem
Privatleben immer eindringlicher." Es gab Gerüchte darüber, daß er die irische
Sängerin Kerri-Ann (23) heiraten wollte.
'Caught in the Act' Sänger und Stephen Gately-Lover Eloy de Jong
Seitdem er 15 ist weiß Stephen, daß er schwul ist. Aber mit seiner Familie hat er zum
ersten Mal darüber gesprochen, als er 18 Jahre alt wurde. Sein Vater Martin meinte:
"Mach Dir keine Sorgen, mein Sohn. Es gibt nichts, wovor Du Angst haben mußt. Deine
Familie liebt Dich."
Nicht nur seine Familie, sondern auch die anderen Boyzone-Mitglieder stehen voll hinter
ihm. Ronan Keating (22), Shane Lynch (22), Keith Duffy (24) und Mikey Graham (26)
akzeptieren ihn und seinen Freund Eloy. Graham sagte: "Auch alle Fans sollten Stephen
unterstützen. Er hat ihnen immerhin in den letzten sechs Jahren viel Musik und Glück
geschenkt. Ich freue mich einfach, daß er glücklich ist. Lebt und laßt leben."
Stephen hofft sehr, daß seine Fans ihn auch weiterhin akzeptieren werden: "Ich war
für Euch stark, ich habe Euch Autogramme gegeben, Eure Briefe beantwortet und bin auf den
Bühnen aufgetreten. Jetzt brauche ich Euch, damit Ihr für mich da seid. Ich weiß, daß
ihr mich nicht hängen laßt."
Eloy und Steve lieben sich!
"Ich bin schwul und ich bin verliebt! Mein Partner ist der Holländer Eloy de
Jong!" Mit diesen Worten hat sich Stephen Gately (23), Leadsänger und
Mädchenschwarm der irischen Gruppe Boyzone am 16. Juni in den englischen Tageszeitungen
geoutet. Daß sein Partner ausgerechnet Eloy de Jong (26), Ex-Caught-in-the-Act-Sänger
ist, ist doppelt brisant für die Fans beider Gruppen.
Dieses verblüffende und mutige Bekenntnis sorgte nicht nur in England für viel Wirbel.
Auch bei uns schlug die Nachricht wie eine Bombe ein und löste eine heftige Diskussion
über Homosexualität aus. Die vielen weiblichen Fans der beiden Sonnyboys waren
geschockt, verwirrt und wollten die Meldung zunächst kaum glauben. Eloy zu BRAVO:
"Ja, Steve und ich lieben uns. Ich werde immer für Stephen dasein. Ich weiß, wir
können es schaffen!"
Stephen und Eloy trafen sich zum ersten Mal 1995, als Boyzone noch am Anfang ihrer
Karriere waren, in London, wo Caught in the Act im April ihr Video zur Single "My
Arms keep missing you" drehten. Ein Jahr später, bei der BRAVO SUPERSHOW im März
1996 in der Stuttgarter Schleyerhalle, sahen sie sich wieder. Aber erst am 31.10.1998, als
Boyzone zu einem Auftritt nach Köln flogen, funkte es richtig zwischen den beiden. Eloy
moderierte die Show, bei der Boyzone auftraten. In Köln wurde beiden klar, daß sie mehr
als nur gute Freunde sein wollten. Seitdem verbrachten sie so viel Zeit wie möglich
zusammen und teilen sich Stephens Luxusvilla bei Dublin.
Monatelang hielten die beiden ihre Beziehung geheim. Steve: "Es war schrecklich! Wir
konnten nie zusammen weggehen, mußten uns immer verstecken! Das war ein enormer
Druck." Die Angst, entdeckt und an den Pranger gestellt zu werden, war für Stephen,
der aus dem prüden, katholischen Dublin kommt, zum Schluß unerträglich. Steve:
"Ich wollte nicht die Karriere von Boyzone ruinierten!" In England und Irland
sind Boyzone ihr neues Greatest-Hits-Album "By Request" stürmte dort mit
Rekordverkäufen auf Platz eins der Charts so erfolgreich wie BSB.
Doch Boyzone, die zur Zeit auf Deutschlandtour sind, gehen im Herbst getrennte Wege. Ronan
Keating startet als Solosänger und Steve wird "Bright Eyes", den Titeltrack zum
neuen Zeichentrickfilm "Watership Down", solo singen. Das war der richtige
Zeitpunkt für das Outing. "Ich wollte nicht mehr länger lügen", sagt Stephen.
"Ich will mich nicht mehr verstecken, die Fans sollen die Wahrheit wissen. Ich will
mich zu meinem Partner bekennen Eloy ist meine große Liebe!"
|Boyzone star announces: I'm gay
Boyzone star Stephen Gately has broken many a teenage heart today by announcing he is gay.
The 23 year old singer says he has been forced to come out after a someone close to the
band tried to sell the story to the papers.
Ronan and the boys say they're backing him all the way, and are delighted he has found
love with a former member of a Dutch boy band.
In an interview with the Sun Gately said: "I'm gay and I have had gay romances, but
now -for the first time in my life - I am in a relationship with someone I love."
He told the newspaper that he met Eloy de Jong, 26, a former member of Dutch boy band
Caught In The Act, four years ago but their relationship only began in November last year.
Gately, a singer with five-strong Irish boy band, took the decision to go public after
hearing that he might be "outed" by someone who worked with the group in the
A statement released by the group's press office, the Outside Organisation, said:
"Boyzone's Stephen Gately today confirmed that he is gay.
"Stephen recently discovered that someone was trying to sell this story to
"He made a decision to tell the fans himself and has chosen to do so in the Sun
The statement said the pop star hoped the interview would "explain all to the fans
and bring an end to the matter."
Gately, 23, said: "This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do but I owe it to
our fans - as well as to myself - to be completely honest.
"I know this may come as a bombshell to our followers. Many of them may be upset. I
only hope they understand how important it is for me to reveal I am gay."
He said that he realised he was gay when he was 15 but decided against admitting it when
he was handpicked by club owner and manager Louis Walsh with the other band members from
300 hopefuls to form Boyzone in 1993, for fear be might lose his chance for fame.
A year after joining the band he told his family, whom he said have been very
understanding and supportive.
His partner, Eloy de Jong, told the newspaper: "I will always be there for Stephen.
We will get through this."
Gately stressed his announcement would not affect the future of Boyzone and
vowed: "We'll be around for years to come."
He also addressed the band's millions of fans and said: "I've been strong for you,
I've signed your autographs, answered your letters, and given the performances you deserve
"Now I need you to be there for me."
Boyzone, which also includes Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Shane Lynch and Mikey Graham,
have enjoyed massive chart success.
They have had a string of Number 1 songs including Words, All That I Need and No Matter
What and achieved the best ever start to a UK singles career with 13 consecutive Top 5
Last year, Shane Lynch married Eternal's Easther Bennett and Ronan Keating and his wife
Yvonne now have an eight-week-old son, Jack.
|SMASH HITS INTERVIEW WITH STEPHEN GATELY
DURING THE HARDEST THREE MONTHS OF HIS LIFE OF HIS LIFE, STEPHEN GATELY STAYED SILENT, BUT
WHEN HE DECIDED TO TELL THE FULL STORY, SMASH HITS' JORDAN PARAMOR WAS THERE TO LISTEN. .
It's a bright, sunny day in London and Stephen Gately's skin is glowing. Swamped in baggy
black Gucci trousers, designer T-shirt and chunky boots, Stephen's face breaks into his
huge trademark smile as he strides into the studio. The smile gets wider still when
Stephen spots the huge box of letters from Smash Hits readers. He dives in and starts
reading them, looking more and more pleased with each envelope he rips open.
Watching Stephen happily read your letters of support it's easy to forget the past few
months have been, in his own words, "a very
emotional time". After discovering that someone was trying to sell a story about his
sexuality, Stephen took the huge step of telling the world he was gay. To this day Stephen
doesn't know who had the story to tell, and he doesn't want to know. But there was one
thing Stephen did know, if people were going to find out, he wanted to be the one to tell
them, and so he agreed to an interview with The Sun newspaper.
A DAY IN THE SUN
SH: You've done the interview. How did you feel the night before The Sun story came out?
(He takes a deep breath) Eloy (Stephen's boyfriend) and I were in Milan, and obviously I
knew that the story would be out the next day, but we didn't know how big a thing it was
going to be. So we were watching Sky News and it said, "Now here are tomorrow's
newspapers", and it was on the front pages of four newspapers! I didn't know whether
to laugh or cry, so I laughed. I said to Eloy, (raises his hands helplessly) "Well,
this is it. Let's hope people's reactions are good". Thankfully all the papers were
SH: How did it feel to wake up knowing that the whole world knew?
It felt very. . . weird. Terrifying, I suppose. I was in Amsterdam (where Eloy lives) the
actual day the story broke, and I got tons of
calls from people saying, "Fair play to ya, congratulations". Victoria from the
Spice Girls called a press agency to say, "Tell Stephen not to worry, everything will
be fine". I got a message from the Backstreet Boys, (his eyes widen) Sinead O'Connor
left a message saying she thought it was great. Not one person let me down. I got flowers
from Elton John and his boyfriend David, a phone call from George Michael. Graham Norton
sent me a lovely letter, Lily Savage called and Boy George said some really nice things.
It made me feel really supported. And the fans have been just amazing. .
SH: In what way?
(Looking over at the letters) I keep getting big packets of letters from them, and I'm
trying to read all of them, or at least most of them. I'm reading them wherever I can and
going around smiling to myself because they've been so incredible. So uplifting. They're
from fans, parents of fans, young kids. . . you name it. I couldn't have asked for a
SH: Were you scared when it was all happening?
(Wrinkles his brows and nods) I was sooo scared. It's a big, big thing. My family and my
close friends knew, but it was a shock for the fans. I'm so glad they heard it from me and
not someone else, I had to be upfront. It was a very emotional time, lots of ups and
downs. I'd laugh, then I would cry, and I'd constantly question what was happening. But
Eloy and I decided we had to be really, really strong and be there for each other.
SH: And were you?
Totally. It was a big thing for Eloy as well, especally in places like Germany where his
band (Caught In The Act) is big. We decided it was better to come out at the same time,
then for the next few days we were very down 'cos we were scared how everyone would react.
But we said we'd get through it, and we have.
SH: What did the rest of Boyzone think when they found out the story was breaking?
I told them I was gay five years ago and they said, "So what?" And they were the
same about this. They've been absolutely wonderful. Wonderful!
Stephen knew that he was gay from his early teens. He describes it as an incredibly hard
time, and realises there are a lot of other teenagers going through similar things. He
looks heartbroken as he reads a letter from a girl whose friend committed suicide because
he was gay and couldn't stand the bullying he endured. "It's shocking," he says,
looking away. "Terrible." With this kind of prejudice it's no wonder Stephen, or
anybody, takes their time before 'coming out'.
A LIFE OF FEAR
SH: What stopped you from admitting you were gay before now?
(Thinks) I was at an age where I wanted to be successful, and unfortunately, if people
know you're gay they think twice about you. I
was determined to be famous and I didn't want people judging me. Plus, I was still finding
out who I was, I genuinely don't think I could've handled this before.
SH: Was The Sun story inevitable?
I think the newspaper articles happened at a time when something was going to happen
anyway. The rest of Boyzone were getting married and having kids and I was still single.
It was lonely, and I was thinking, "What am I going to do? People are going to
talk". It was building up and I felt it was going to break at any time.
SH: Did you always fear someone else would 'out' you?
Yep. Every day. Some nights I'd go to bed and (takes a deep breath) I'd be nervous about
the next day, about what the papers would say. That's no way to live. I read a lot of
spiritual books which made me stronger. I pray to God, and get on with things. I'm the
exact same person I always was. My personality hasn't changed, or the way I look, I just
feel good in myself. (Smiles) I don't have to worry anymore. You can't imagine how
relieved I feel not having it all hanging over my head.
SH: But if there hadn't been the threat of exposure, would you have waited to tell
(Pauses) I don't know. I probably would have waited until the very last minute I could.
But looking at things now I wouldn't change a thng.
Smiling once again, it appears Stephen's not just happy, but happier than ever. Could it
be love? Just as he's about to reply to our probing question, Stephen's 'saved by the
bell.' Someone is buzzing his mini-mobile and the huge grin across Stephen's face, tells
us who it is.
... Eloy. "Yep, I'm doing the interview," he tells his concerned boyfriend,
"don't worry, it's going really well." The couple go on to discuss how their
dog's been swimming again, and Steve signs off by promising to take a pic of the shoot
home for Eloy to see. When the conversation's over, Steve laughs when Smash Hits points
out the ear-to-ear grin he had on his face the whole time. "Did I?" he says
coyly, blushing slightly. Next he takes out a photo of his boyfriend to show us and looks
on proudly as Smash Hits peruses Eloy's perfect features. Our question is answered.
Stephen's in love.
A BOY IN LOVE
SH: Where did you meet Eloy?
At a party, but we'd met in the business before, travelling, y'know- we'd seen each other
around! We've known each other for a long time, and we've been together for a year now.
SH: You seem very settled. . .
I am. We've just bought a dog. He's a black and white shih-tzu called Joey. we took him
for a walk yesterday and we were just sitting down together chatting, getting away from it
all. It's wonderful.
SH: It must seem funny looking back at you old 'lurve' interviews now...
It is because. . . (laughs) I always dreaded interviews because i knew that people would
say, "So Stephen, why aren't you going out with a girl?".
SH: But you never said you hadn't met the right girl, you always said the right person.
Yes, I didn't want to lie, so I chose my words carefully!
SH: Has 'coming out' affected your relationship with Eloy?
Yeah, I can walk down the street with him now. I don't have to be careful about
everything. (Rolls his eyes) What a relief!
Interview over, Stephen plays us his upcoming solo single, the classic Bright Eyes taken
from the new Watership Down cartoon in which Steve will voice one of the bunnies. Everyone
in the studio is stunned when a mature, rich voice blasts out of the stereo: "I
always sing in high keys in Boyzone," explains Stephen, "but with this I've been
able to try out different voice styles, whcih is really exciting." The single sounds
great, but after all he's been through Stephen wasn't really worried about the small
matter of a solo career. . . was he? "Oh yeah, I'm very nervous," he blushes,
"I don't know what to expect from Bright Eyes. If it just gets into the charts I'll
be happy!" He pauses. "If people knock me, they kncok me, at least I know that
I've tried." So you do feel stronger now? "I know one thing, I'm more ready for
all this," he says, throwing his hands out wide, "than I ever was." And
with that final flourish, Stephen collects his post, says his goodbyes, and walks out the
door. Head held high.
|THE MIRROR 17.6.99
MY SON WAS BULLIED INTO ADMITTING HE IS GAY
Mum blast The Sun over 'blackmail'
THE angry mother of Boyzone star Stephen Gately has claimed he was bullied into confessing
he is gay.
Cleaning lady Margaret Gately hit out at what she called "blackmail" by The Sun
- who persuaded Stephen to admit his secret sexuality by saying a member of the band's
roadcrew had approached them to sell the story. Margaret, who has one other son and three
daughters, says Stephen did NOT want to go public, but realised he had no other option.
In an emotional outburst, Margaret, 50, told The Mirror:
"Stephen wasn't ashamed about his sexuality - but he never wanted people to know
"Because it was always his own business, and that is the way it should be. I think
what has happened is blackmail. I always thought my children should never be pressurised.
"But Stephen has been bullied into doing this."
Margaret learned of the "deal" between her son and The Sun last week - and says
the news broke her heart.
"We have been going through hell since we were told that this
was going to be published," she said. "I haven't slept for a week. "The
effect it will have on the whole family will be phenomenal."Everyone has been so
worried. I have problems with my lungs and I'm afraid that the stress of this will affect
my illness."Margaret added: "The Sun has destroyed so many lives. There was
Lenny Henry and there was Sophie Rhys-Jones. Now it's my son - and us."All of us are
involved in this. I have to go out and do my day's work with the whole place looking at
me."Stephen's younger brother Tony said that he would be lying low after the fuss
generated. "I have no notion of sticking around for this one," he said.
"I'm going to my girlfriend's to stay for a while until it all dies down.
"I can't believe that anyone would want to do this to Stephen.
It's going to affect the whole family. But at The Sun, they don't care whose lives they
ruin. Tony added: "This will have a huge impact on us. Since we were told The Sun was
going to print it, we have literally been waiting for the worst to come."
The Sun claimed in an editorial yesterday that Stephen had
approached them to ask for their help in coming out. But it is now established that the
paper approached Stephen to tell him his gay secret was going to be revealed by a roadie.
They suggested to him that the best way to deal with this was to go public in an exclusive
interview. Boyzone's PR agency last night denied The Sun had threatened to "out"
Stephen if he did not co-operate. But a source close to the band told The Mirror:
"Stephen knew The Sun had him over a barrel. They made it clear that if he didn't go
public, the information would come out somehow anyway."The paper's behaviour flies in
the face of a pledge earlier this year never to out gays.In a hypocritical declaration of
intent, the paper announced: "From now on The Sun will not reveal the sexuality of
gays - men or women - unless we believe it can be defended on the grounds of overwhelming
"If gays choose to come out, we will report it if we feel it is newsworthy or
relevant. Otherwise, we will not invade the privacy of gay people. Why are we doing this?
Because we recognise that public attitudes are changing." In fact, The Sun published
its statement because the day before it had caused widespread revulsion by suggesting on
the front page that Britain was being run by what it described as a "Gay Mafia".
In yesterday's Sun, Gately told all about the homosexuality he had kept a secret
throughout the six astonishingly successful years he has been with Boyzone.
He even told how he has fallen in love with a Dutch singer called Eloy de Jong, who he has
been dating for the past eight months.
After dodging the issue for so long, Stephen's candour was - to say the least -
A GAY TV presenter told last night of his
heartbreak at losing his partner to Boyzone star Stephen Gately.
Dutch telly host Carlo Boszhard warned
Stephen: "He broke my heart - don't let him break yours."
Carlo had pleaded with boy band singer Eloy
de Jong not to leave him after five years together.
But two weeks ago, the £300,000-a-year presenter realised he'd lost him for good when the
handsome blond revealed he was seeing Stephen. Carlo, 29, who hosts the House Party-style
show Monte Carlo on Dutch TV, was shattered. He said: "I still love Eloy and I think
it is a shame that we are no longer together and won't grow old together as we once hoped.
"I had always hoped we would kiss and make up because we have unfinished business
together and a special love.But when Eloy told me two weeks ago he was in love with
Steve I finally realised there was no chance."
Eloy, a member of Caught in the Act, shared Carlo's luxury home in the village of
Nieuwendam outside Amsterdam. He met Dubliner Stephen, 23, four years ago, but only began
dating him last November.Carlo and Eloy had a major bust-up last year when Eloy announced
he was going back on tour and wouldn't see him for months.
I told him I couldn't live with that any more," he added. "We had a long
and emotional talk during which we both cried. I decided we didn't have a future any
But, when the tour ended Caught in the Act, who enjoyed 15 No. 1 hits n Germany and sold
20 million records, broke up.
Carlo began seeing Eloy once again but he admitted: "We stayed best of friends but we
couldn't revive our love.To be honest even up until a couple of weeks ago, I hoped
we'd start all over again but when he told me about Stephen and their affair I knew there
was no chance any more."
Eloy, who is reputedly worth £8 million, called Carlo to tell him that he was seeing
Stephen and planned to let the world know about their affair."I was very, very
surprised, to say the least, given the fact that he'd been so reluctant to reveal his love
for me for so long."I found it hard to understand how he could love Stephen because I
thought after being with me he would rather have an unknown boyfriend with whom he could
I suppose, even though I caused the first rift, Eloy has ended up breaking my heart.
I just hope he is truly happy with Stephen and doesn't end up breaking his heart too.
"I have met Steve many times, even when I was with Eloy, but never could I have
expected he would be my lover's new love. I didn't even know he was gay.
"I haven't spoken to Steve since but I
spoke to Eloy today. I think it is brave what they are doing because the whole world is
watching, especially because Eloy is starting a new career as a TV presenter in
Germany."Eloy was a star on his own but from now on he will be seen as the gay lover
of Steve from Boyzone. I wonder if that's easy to live with."Stephen gave Eloy a
sporty Audi convertible as a present a few weeks ago and they have been spotted driving
around Amsterdam together.
The couple are due to visit Holland this
weekend so Stephen can meet Eloy's family and they are expected to visit Amsterdam's gay
disco It Eloy and Carlo were both regulars at the club, where Spice Girl Mel G's hubby
Jimmy Gulzar was a dancer.But Eloy, mindful of his image and effect on his lucrative
career, was reluctant to be seen as gay and went to extraordinary lengths to keep his
affair with Carlo secret."I had to leave his home in the early hours to prevent fans
from seeing me," said Carlo."I had more and more troubles with that because I
felt I was lying to the public and eventually I came out as gay. That felt very
|Zoned Out 17.06.99
READERS who thought Boyzone was a Hamburg nightclub will be
surprised to hear that it's the name of an Irish boy band. They may be less astonished to
learn, from the Sun, that one of its members swings the other way. Hot on the heels of the
stunning revelations that former Take That front man Gary Barlow was a pill-popping,
groupie-boffing hetero, comes news that Boyzone's Stephen Gately is gay and in love. The
Sun would usually expect the nation's screaming girls to plaster its front-page photo of
the outed one on their bedroom walls. However, today's news has meant that it is not the
fans but Stephen who has been left screaming. As girls rush upstairs to redecorate their
rooms, while some of their brothers salvage pics of Stephen from the bin, the boy himself
makes his "courageous announcement". The paper that once warned of a gay mafia
running the country is no longer worried about a pink menace and shows commendable
understanding towards the star. The rag of the nation's clean of thought and deed reveals
Stephen and his lover, the pornographically named Eloy de Jong, on its totty-loving Page
Three. "The time is right to tell the world who I really am and who I really
love," announces the headline to the "most moving showbiz interview you will
ever read". After years of dodging questions about his lack of female companionship,
Stephen was sick of answering questions with the phrase "I'll settle down when the
right person comes along". Well, roaming Eloy came, saw and conquered Stephen.
However, there is one woman who has got close to him. The Mirror misses the main feature,
so hunts down the old B-movie that is the Stephen's mum Margaret. She may well love her
boy "whatever he is" but his kindergarten of fans may not be so understanding.
His secret may "break so many hearts" but it seems that, although Stephen's
future is in jeopardy, the rest of the band will survive. After all, they're all married.
Mind you, so was Elton John once.
Boyzone-Star Stephen: "Ich bin schwul"
Boyzone-Star Stephen Gately
exp London - Boyzone. Eine der erfolgreichsten Boygroups unserer Zeit. Ihre Lieder
("Words") stürmen die Charts. Ihre Poster zieren die Zimmer von vielen tausend
junger Mädchen in der ganzen Welt. Und jetzt das. Stephen Gately läßt die Bombe
platzen. "Ich bin schwul", gesteht der schöne Ire dem englischen Massenblatt
"Sun", "und ich bin sehr verliebt."
Das Selbst-Outing, erklärt Gately weiter, sei das "härteste, das ich jemals tun
mußte. Aber ich schulde es meinen Fans und mir selber, endlich ganz ehrlich zu
Seit vergangenen November ist Stephen fest mit Eloy De Jong (26) zusammen, der war früher
bei der inzwischen aufgelösten niederländischen Boygroup "Caught in the Act".
"Ich denke, die Zeit ist reif, der Welt zu sagen, wer ich wirklich bin", so
So ganz freiwillig gewählt aber ist der Zeitpunkt nicht. Ein ehemaliger Mitarbeiter der
Band plante offenbar, Stephens Geheimnis gewinnbringend zu veröffentlichen. Da entschloß
sich Stephen, in Absprache mit dem Rest der Gruppe, dem Verräter zuvorzukommen.
"Ich wollte, daß unsere Fans es von mir erfahren und nicht irgendeine verdrehte
Wahrheit vorgesetzt bekommen", erklärt Stephen . Und ist spürbar erleichtert:
"Der Druck, jemand zu sein, der ich gar nicht bin, wurde immer schlimmer. Stets hatte
ich Angst, erwischt zu werden."
Seine größte Bitte: "Ich hoffe, die Fans halten zu uns."
Wie kann es ein Mädchen verkraften, wenn sein
Idol nur Jungen liebt?
Er ist Schwarm von
Millionen Mädchen, sie himmeln sein Poster über ihren Betten an. Sie träumen von ihm,
wenn sie seine Musik hören.
Wie kann es ein Mädchen
verkraften, wenn sein Idol nur Jungen liebt?
Vielleicht einfacher, als wenn
er eine Frau heiratet. Denn da müßte das Fan-Mädchen in Konkurrenz zu seiner Traumfrau
treten. Als Homosexueller aber scheint er ihr nicht ganz verloren.
Von KARIN SCHLAUTMANN
Sie kreischen, werfen Teddys, schreiben Liebesbriefe: Mädchen himmeln ihre Boygroup
an. Fast alle sind verknallt in die süßen Jungs auf der Bühne.
Stephen Gatly (23) von der irischen Boygroup Boyzone (No matter
what) bekennt: Ich bin schwul.
Norbert Lalla (37), stellv. Chefredakteur vom Teenie-Fachblatt Bravo:
Die Mädchen in diesem Alter setzen sich ja gerade erst mit dem anderen Geschlecht
auseinander. Für sie ist Homosexualität noch etwas sehr Ungewöhnliches. Als Nick von
den Backstreet Boys sagte, er habe eine Freundin, war die Hysterie viel größer.
Stephen über sein Outing:
Diese Sache, das ist das Schwierigste, was ich je tun mußte. Aber ich schulde
unseren Fans und mir selber, voll aufrichtig zu sein.
Die anderen Bandmitglieder
wußten nichts von Stephens Männerliebe: Ich weiß schon seit meinem 15.
Lebensjahr, daß ich schwul bin. Als ich dann 1993 unter 300 Bewerbern für die Band
ausgewählt wurde, habe ich es aber verschwiegen.
Jetzt liebt er einen anderen
Teenie-Star: Eloy de Jong (26) von Caught in the act (Ende 98
aufgelöst). Eloy: Ich werde immer für Stephen da sein. Wir werden da
Wie können Eltern verzweifelten
Töchtern jetzt helfen?
Lalla von Bravo:
Vor allem reden. Die Eltern müssen erkennen, welche Bedeutung der Star im Leben der
Tochter hat, dann erklären, was passiert ist. Aber so dramatisch wird es hoffentlich
nicht: Selbstmorddrohungen sind bei uns noch nicht eingegangen.
Mit 15 schwul - ist das nur eine pupertäre Phase, oder ist man für immer
Gateley (23) Millionen Mädchen lieben ihn.
Und Sie fragen sich: Ist er nach
seinem Schwulen-Outing für immer für sie verloren? Wird er jetzt nur noch Männer
Psychologe Arndt Stein:
Nein! Es kann durchaus sein, daß sich ein Mann dieses Alters noch mal umorientiert.
Allerdings liegt das an vielen Faktoren.
Es könnte sein, daß Stephen
sich als Kind sehr an seiner Mutter orientiert hat, den Vater als schwach empfand. In der
Pubertät machen sehr viele Mädchen und Jungen dann eine homoerotische Phase durch.
Stephen war 15, als er wußte:
Ich bin schwul.
Stein: Ob Stephen sich
noch einmal für Frauen interessieren wird, liegt auch daran, wie glücklich er in seinem
jetzigen Leben mit einem Mann ist. Wenn er sich für andere Eindrücke öffnet, ist alles
möglich. Auch daß er nochmal die richtige Frau findet.
|Stephen Gately - Das erste
Interview nach seinem Outing
"Elton John schickte mir Blumen"
von Alexander Rösch
"Ich bin schwul, und ich bin verliebt", verkündete Boyzone-Sänger Stephen
Gately am 16. Juni 1999 auf der Titelseite des englischen Boulevardblatts "The
Sun". Das Objekt seiner Begierde:
Caught-in-the-Act-Mitglied Eloy de Jong. Die ganze britische Nation hielt sprichwörtlich
den Atem an. Würde Stephen für seinGeständnis von den überwiegend weiblichen Fans im
Teenager-Alter verstoßen? Oder würde die Öffentlichkeit den Umstand kurz nach dem
Rummel um George Michael schulterzuckend akzeptieren?
Mit dem, was passierte, hatte wohl auch der optimischste Beobachter nicht gerechnet.
Weltweit griffen die Tageszeitungen die Geschichte auf, die "Sun" ertrank in
Leserbriefen. Selbst achtjährige Kinder, denen man wohl erst einmal erklären mußte, was
"gay" denn überhaupt bedeutet, bekundeten ihre Solidarität und verkündeten,
sie hätten Stephen "nach wie vor sehr lieb". Die Verkäufe der Boyzone-Platten
schnellten in die Höhe, beim ersten
öffentlichen Auftritt nach dem Artikel, dem Wohltätigkeitskonzert "Party in the
Park" wurde der Frisch-Geoutete mit Transparenten und Zurufen aus dem Publikum
Jetzt stand Stephen dem britischen Gay-Magazin "Attitude" für ein
ausführliches Interview Rede und Antwort. Wie er sagt, habe das Outing eine riesige Last
von seinen Schultern genommen. "Ich muss nicht mehr verstecken, wer ich bin. Auch
Eloy muss ich nicht mehr verstecken. Dadurch bin ich wesentlich glücklicher geworden. Das
haben auch viele Leute aus meinem Umfeld bemerkt." Fast schon amüsiert hat ihn die
Reaktion vieler Boyzone-Anhänger. "Sie fragen mich ständig nach Bildern von Eloy,
und seine Fans tun umgekehrt genau das gleiche."
Gemütliche Abende mit Eloy
Kennengelernt haben sich Eloy und Stephen übrigens auf einer Promo-Tour in Deutschland.
"Wir liefen uns dort über den Weg, als er mit seiner Band unterwegs war. Er wusste
nichts über mich, ich wusste nichts über ihn. Ich dachte nur, dass er ein richtig netter
Kerl ist. Wir
haben uns dann alle sechs Monate oder so wiedergesehen und sind richtig dicke Freunde
geworden." Seit längerem leben sie jetzt gemeinsam in einem Haus am Rande von
Amsterdam. Die Abende verbringen sie ganz harmonisch zuhause. "Wir gehen nicht in
Clubs aus. Ich hasse Clubs und gehe nie tanzen. Wir sind eher mal zusammen im Kino oder
schauen uns zuhause ein Video an. Letzte Nacht haben wir zum Beispiel bei einer Flasche
Wein "Patch Adams" geschaut. Wir gehen zusammen mit unserem Hund, einem kleinen
Schit-zhu namens Joey, Gassi und machen auch sonst ganz normale Sachen."
Stephen sieht sich selbst auch nicht als typischer Neunziger-Mensch. "Ich bin
ziemlich altmodisch, wenn es um gewisse Sachen geht. Aber so bin ich nun mal. Ich geniesse
das. Ausserdem ist mein Leben so schon hektisch genug - ständig gibt man Interviews,
fliegt in der Gegend herum oder probt. Ich habe morgen einen Tag frei. Wahrscheinlich
stehe ich auf,
zieh mir einen Trainingsanzug und einen Mantel an, und dann fahren wir runter zum Strand,
toben mit Joey herum, essen was und beschäftigen uns mit netten, einfachen Dingen. Wir
holen aus jedem Moment, in dem wir zusammen sind, das Maximale heraus. Wir sind niemals
getrennt voneinander, egal, wo ich bin. Es sei denn während der Arbeit."
"Die Jungs haben es immer schon gewusst"
Bei den anderen Jungs von Boyzone hat sich Stephen relativ früh geoutet. Nicht sofort,
weil er anfangs noch befürchtete, dass sie ihn aus der Band schmeissen würden.
Inzwischen weiss er es besser: "Die Jungs haben es wohl irgendwie immer schon gewusst
und sind sehr locker damit umgegangen. Wir haben sogar Witze darüber gerissen."
Geoutet hat er sich einige Monate nach der Gründung der Band ganz klassisch: "Ich
habe mich einfach mit ihnen zusammengesetzt und gesagt: 'Wisst Ihr, Jungs, da ist etwas,
was ich Euch sagen muss', und sie haben das ganz locker gesehen. Zumal Boyzone ja auch in
anderen Bereichen Tabus gebrochen haben: drei von ihnen haben Kinder, sind verheiratet -
Dinge, die bei einer Boyband normalerweise absolut tabu sind.
Das Outing bei seinen Eltern einige Monate später schien da zunächst schwieriger:
"Ich war einer von denen, die glauben, sie würden nicht akzeptiert. Du wächst auf
und denkst Dir 'Oh, das ist das schlimmste, was jemals passieren kann. Was tu ich nur?'
Aber sie haben das sehr
gut aufgenommen. Sie sagten 'Wir lieben Dich, Du bist unser Sohn', und ich glaube, sie
haben verstanden, dass es nichts Schlechtes ist." Beinahe noch mehr hat ihn
allerdings die Reaktion der Öffentlichkeit nach dem "Sun"-Artikel erstaunt:
"Ich habe Briefe von allen möglichen Menschen bekommen - Müttern, Vätern, Kindern,
Männern, Frauen. Ich habe ein großes Buch mit über tausend Nachrichten, die Leute im
Internet dazu geschrieben haben. Und natürlich Anrufe von so ziemlich jedem: George
Michael hat bei meinem Manager angerufen, ich hab Blumen von Elton John und David
bekommen, Lily Savage. Das alles bedeutet mir so viel."
"Und da war ich nun. Auf vier Titelseiten"
Gut erinnert er sich auch noch an den Abend, bevor die Story in die Öffentlichkeit
gelangte. Er saß mit Eloy im Hotelzimmer, sie sahen Sky News und beschlossen, einen Blick
auf die Schlagzeilen der Zeitungen vom nächsten Morgen zu werfen. "Und da war ich
nun. Auf vier Titelseiten, was... ehm... ein ziemlicher Schock war. Ich bin nur ein
normaler Kerl aus Dublin. Warum beschäftigt das nur die ganze Welt. Es stand sogar in der
'New York Post'. Es gibt Kriege, Menschen sterben und furchtbare Dinge passieren überall
in der Welt. Warum tut man nicht etwas dagegen und beschäftigt sich mit diesen Themen.
Diese Sachen sind wirklich wichtiger als die Sexualität von jemandem."
Silvester wird Stephen mit einem netten Abendessen zuhause in Amsterdam verbringen. Seine
Familie und die von Eloy werden ebenfalls dort sein. "Meine kommen rübergeflogen.
Eloy ist ein hervorragender Koch. Lesen ist mein Ding, Kochen ist seins. Passt prima
zusammen." Wie er "Attitude" anvertraut, ist er unheimlich glücklich über
die Unterstützung in den letzten Monaten. Er freut sich bereits auf das neue Jahr.
"Ich werde wirklich sehr beschäftigt und hoffentlich auch erfolgreich sein."
Die Chancen dafür stehen gut: der Art-Garfunkel-Song "Bright Eyes", den er für
eine Neuauflage des Zeichentrick-Films "Watership Down" als erstes
Soloprojekt eingesungen hat, wird bereits als heißer Chart-Kandidat gehandelt...
NO MATTER WHAT - Saint Stephen
They were every schoolgirl's teen dream, and a fair few mums' too. Then one of them came
out - and nothing changed. Boyzone's prettiest boy talks exclusively to Attitudes Matthew
Todd on the back seat of a car on the way to the airport.
Back in 1994, when five Irish teenagers popped up with a cover of an old Osmonds' track,
it was hardly surprising they were written off as just another in the long line of Take
That wannabies who would momentarily trouble the charts before disappearing to the boyband
graveyard in the sky. The freshly-scrubbed face, cutesome dance routines and relentless
pasteurised pop barely broke new ground. Yet five years and 15 million records later, and
Boyzone have become nothing less than a national institution.
Hardly a 'boy' band any longer, a carefully constructed game plan has seen them mature
into wholesome, middle of the road entertainers - virtual paragons of family value. In
1998, crooner and TV host Ronan Keating's marriage and baby brought the total of Boyzone
daddies to three. As other bands crashed in a flurry of booze and drugs, the light
entertainment rollercoaster that was Boyzone remained free from even the merest whiff of
scandal. While Robbie Williams looked like he might end up in intensive care, Boyzone were
in Mothercare queuing for booties. Even little Stephen Gately, the only one of the lads to
remain suspiciously single, became a public face of one of the biggest family orientated
companies in the world, singing the theme tune to Disney movie Hercules.
And then it happened. In early June of this year, someone contacted the tabloids offering
to sell 'the truth' about Stephen Gately's sexuality. Frantic meetings ensued, ending with
Stephen deciding to tell his own story in an exclusive interview with The Sun. 'I am gay
and I'm in love' declared the front page headline on Wednesday 16th June 1999 and a nation
held their breath. Would he be condemned? Would church leaders burn Boyzone records in the
street? Or would a public, fresh from accepting the 'What's the big deal?' attitude of
George Michael, simply accept it and move on without much fuss, save a few broken teenage
In the event, even the most optimistic gay commentators must have been shocked at the
scale of the reaction. Instead of slashing their wrists, adolescent fans rushed to phone
in their messages of support. The Sun's next day edition even included comments from 8
year old children who'd had to have the word 'gay' explained to them by their mummies and
daddies - but still loved Stephen anyway. And this was The Sun - a paper which 11 years
before had been calling for the heads of homosexuals as corrupters of youth and vectors of
And all the while, the boys' greatest hits album, By Request, (released two weeks
earlier), remained virtually immobile at the top of the charts, selling more copies in
those early weeks that the rest of the top ten put together. So much for coming out
ruining a bands' sales potential.
Three weeks later, Boyzone's first public appearance since Gately's outing was at 'Party
In The Park', a benefit concert in London's Hyde Park. Stephen got the most riotous
reception of the day. Fathers wolf-whistled in affectionate jest, mums and kids cheered
their approval of his honesty. Meanwhile, the teen press clamoured to sing his praises.
Smash Hits carried the first post-outing interview, openly discussing his sexuality and
relationship, commenting on how much in love these two young men are. Revolutionary stuff.
Today, giving his first adult interview since the news broke, Stephen flies in from his
boyfriend's side in Holland, where he'll return as soon as we've finished. He's still
obviously anxious to be seen as the amiable family figures that he always was and in
conversation is guarded, giving very little away, so as not to stray past the line of what
he thinks his audiences will find acceptable. His forthcoming solo projects won't be
cutting edge social political comment, but Bright Eyes (from the animated TV remake of
Watership Down) will be huge.
And this is exactly what makes his coming out all the more important. In terms of
representation and visibility, Gately, in all his childlike simplicity, is the antithesis
to Queer As Folk, George Michael and Chris Smith. As positive as they all are, they don't
reach in the same way, the most important people in the wider picture here - kids. Those 8
year olds now all know what gay is. Kids, regardless of sexuality have been introduced to
the idea that not everyone loves people of the opposite sex and wow, it's not a big deal,
it's not bad, it's not evil, it's not even that different. Ironically in the coming year
when Section 28 looks set to (possibly) go, Stephen Gately and the overwhelmingly positive
media response has rendered that law more meaningless than ever before.
What difference has coming out made to your life?
It's been a huge weight off my shoulders. I'm more relaxed because I don't have to hide
who I am or hide Eloy anymore and it's made me happier within myself. Loads of people have
noticed it. Of course Eloy was in a big band as well [ the ironically named 'Caught In The
Act'] so he was coming out at the same time and it was a big deal for him too.
So has he had any of your fans trying to scratch his eyes out?
(Laughs) No, no, they've been rally supportive. The Boyzone fans ask for a picture of him
and an autograph and all his fans do the same with me. It's been a great time for us.
How long have you been with Eloy now?
(He beams, widely) About 13 months and it's definitely made it easier for me to bear. He's
a helluva great guy. He's got a heart of gold - the most amazing man I've ever come
across. He's stunning looking, too. He's 6ft 3 and I'm 5ft 7, but we gel really well and
have a laugh together. We've actually known each other about four and a half years now.
How did you first meet?
In the business. He's big in Germany and we met when I was doing promotion with the band.
He didn't know anything about me, I didn't know anything about him, I just thought he was
a really nice guy. Then we kept meeting each other every six months or so and became
really good mates.
How did you realise that he was gay and vice versa?
[Blushes] We just knew. I never said 'Oh are you gay then?'. It was a feeling [Smiles].
You live together now, don't you?
(Nods) We have a house in Holland just outside of Amsterdam where he comes from. And we
have a place in Ireland when I'm working here.
How do you spend your time together?
We don't go out to clubs, I hate clubs I never go dancing. We tend to do things like go to
the movies or watch a video at home. Lake last night, we stayed in with a bottle of wine
and watched Patch Adams. We walk our dog together, a little Schit-zhu called Joey, and
just do everyday things. We're not into going out and coming in at 2 or 3 in the morning
I'd rather go out early for a meal, have a glass of wine and come home. I'm not a majorly
nineties person - I'm a bit old fashioned when it comes to things like that but that's
just me, I enjoy it. Plus this lifestyle is so busy - you're constantly doing interviews
or flying around or rehearsing. I have a day off tomorrow so I'll probably get up, chuck
on a tracksuit and a coat and we'll drive down to the beach and take Joey for a walk, have
some lunch and do
simple, nice little things. Any time that we have together, we make the most of - we're
never, ever apart anywhere that I go unless it's work. We're very, very happy together.
and it's great. It's everything I've always wanted.
You sound like a married couple
(He pauses) Well yeah . just a normal couple.
Do you see it as being for life?
I hope so. I want it to be.
We hear a lot about how difficult it is to be gay in the entertainment industry.
What was it like of you?
Well, I remember when I was first joining the group. I knew I was gay but I wasn't going
to say 'Oh, you know I'm gay' because I'd be knocking an opportunity.
What would have happened if you had?
Because I didn't know the lads them I didn't know what to expect. They could have asked me
to leave. Looking back, I now know different.
How long was it before you came out to the band and the manager and the people
around you? That must have been difficult.
No, no it wasn't. The lads have always known and have always been cool about it, we've
always had a laugh about it. They've seen how difficult it's been for me on a day to day
basis and they think 'Good on ya.' They've had girlfriends and gotten married so they
understand in a way.
Understand what? The pressures of having to hide relationships from your fans?
No, no, they never did that. None of us ever had to hide. With me it was by choice but
they didn't hide their girlfriends or anything like that. We broke a lot of boundaries for
boybands - three of us have kids, some of us got married, all those things which don't
normally happen. We broke all those barriers - you couldn't have a drink, you couldn't
smoke. I don't think it could have worked for us with all those restrictions on us.
So, how did you come out to the rest of the band?
I just sat down with them and said 'you know lads, there's something I've got to
tell you' and they were really cool.
When was that?
Very early on. About a couple of months after I joined the band I think.
Were they worried? Did they think it would damage the prospects of the band?
No, no, no, not at all. They were just really cool, like I've said. We've always
gotten on fantastically well. People just look and say 'I can't believe after all this
time you can still laugh and joke, you can still stand each other' but we do, we're as
close as brothers.
But you were all there because you wanted to be successful and famous, you wanted
to be popstars. There must have been a lot of pressure put on you by management and people
around you to make sure no one found out .?
No, no! They all left it to me. In fact, the lads encouraged me to come out earlier. They
would say 'You know what, I think you should, and some time soon' and I said 'No, I'm not
ready for it yet, I'm really not ready'. They said it'd be a lot more relaxing for me.
'You'll have your family, you'll have your fans, you'll have your friends and you'll have
us. We'll stick by you, what more do you need?'. I was nervous because I didn't know which
way things would go whether I would be accepted or whether I would be completely rejected
A lot has been said about how your sexuality was an open secret. What was it like
thinking the press could break the story at any moment?
It was really difficult for a couple of years and, it's difficult when every
night you go to bed thinking 'Shit, what's going to be in the paper the next day, will the
find out?'. Magazines always asked me about settling down an I would say 'When I meet the
right person and fall in love'. I never said when I meet the right girl because I didn't
want to blatantly lie, I tried to be an honest person. There was a lot of pressure when
the guys were all getting girlfriends and they'd say 'You're the only member left, what's
You did an interview in Attitude back in October 1997.
Yeah and we've played at G.A.Y. every year since we started. I really have a laugh there
and we all really enjoy it. With Attitude, I just remember being really jealous that Ronan
got the cover.
That's Ok. (Laughs) I like doing interviews and as much as I might have dreaded being
asked certain questions I still remembered that there's a big audience out there who might
be gay and it's important to remember them. I did try to be as honest as I could.
In that interview, we asked you if you ever fancied a boy. You said 'There are
people you look up to, admire. in the industry. But fancy.? You might say they're good
looking but it's a different thing. Actors like Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise or actresses like
Demi Moore and Meg Ryan - they're all really beautiful looking'. Looking back, what are
your thoughts about that answer?
I remember that question because they only asked me that and not the others. I
came out of that interview and went to the lads 'Did they ask you that question?'. 'No, it
was only me? Oh shit (laughs manically) They know, they know!! I just tried to answer the
best way I could without saying, or not saying.
So do you have a thing for Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise?
They're both good looking men. (Looks a bit stern) But I don't have a thing for them.
Lots of famous people have come out over the last decade. What was it like for you
when people like, say Michael Barrymore came out and for a few days it was front page news
and every one was talking about it?
I was very, very frightening but I try not to look back at that. I just feel
sorry for anybody else within the business who is gay and feels trapped - it can be really
awful worrying all the time and people might not handle it as well as I did.
When was the first point that you realised that you were going to have to come
It was in Holland and I got a call from my press officer saying someone was
trying to sell a story to the press. I sat down and thought about it and I decided I'd
rather someone didn't make any money from selling a story about me, I'd rather tell the
fans myself. I think it's time.
There's been a lot of speculation about the mechanic of it, that you were forced.?
I know, but at the end of the day nobody forced me, it was my decision. Things could have
come out at any time and people could have said whatever they wanted but I wanted people
to hear what I had to say. And at the end o f the day, everything was done the way I
wanted it to be done, let's put it like that. And I wasn't forced at all.
You weren't forced at all?
Absolutely not. The Sun have been great, they've really helped me. Actually all the
papers. We have a very young audience and they were very sympathetic towards all of the
Was there any point when the pressure got too much?
At the time when I decided to do the story I remember suddenly feeling that I canted to
cry. You know, I was scared. And then I though well I can either break down and cry or
stand up and be strong about things and that's what I tried to do. It's my life and you've
only got one; you could be knocked down by a bus tomorrow. You should just get on with
your life and try and do the best you can.
It can be difficult to come out for a lot of people.
It's very difficult whether you're a doctor, a nurse, a student, whoever you are. It can
still be a real issue, even though it shouldn't be. Late at night the night before the
story broke, sitting in the bedroom in a hotel, myself and Eloy were watching Sky News and
they said 'Lets have a look at tomorrow's papers' and there I was on four front pages
which was erm . quite a shock. I'm just a normal lad from Dublin. Why is this going all
over the world? It was even in The New York Post. There are wars, people dying and
horrific things happening all over the world, why not try and make that better, have a
look at those issues? There are more important things that someone's sexuality.
Were you scared when you did party In The Park?
Yes I was but as soon as I got out there it was amazing. That was when I know it would all
be OK, the noise was deafening. I was so grateful for everyone's support.
George Michael, in an award acceptance speech last year, said 'I want to be seen
as a singer rather that just as a 'gay singer'. Do you understand what he means by that?
(Nods) I'm just a normal guy with a normal life who just happened to fall in love
with another guy and I don't see what's wrong with that. I'm a friendly guy, I've been
very helpful to a lot of people - I do a lot of things for charity, you know. I'm just me
and that's how people should see me.
Were you surprised at how positive the reaction was?
I got letters from all different walks of life - mums, dad, children, male, female. I got
a big book with over a thousand messages from people left on the Internet, phonecalls from
everybody: George Michael phoned my managers office, I got flowers from Elton John and
David, Lily Savage, Graham Norton wrote me a letter and it all meant so much to me.
Hopefully it won't hurt my career that much . (He stops to pause) maybe I'll even gain
What do gay people say in their letters?
'You've done a lot for gay people and for teenagers or adults who want to come out' and
that's the really touching thing - that out of something so controversial can come some
good. I've had all the letters shipped out to Holland and every morning when I get up, I
read tow or three of them and I'm going to get through all of them. Caroline (Boyzone's
press officer) has brought me another load today.
I read in Smash Hits that you got a letter from a young girl who'd had a young
friend who was bullied for being gay and he killed himself. How does that affect you?
It's devastating. that bullying came come to that. You have to stand up for what you
believe in and be strong. I f people are knocking you, there are tons of other people out
there who won't.
Were you ever bullied at school for being gay?
No. I was one of the smallest but I was friends with everyone. I was lucky.
How do you feel about being a role model to a lot of gay kids?
(He pauses to think, potential front page headlines obviously whirling through his mind).
I'm just me basically. I'm just Stephen that's all I am or ever will be. I don't want to
be anyone else. I just want to be happy and if I can help people in any way that's great,
good. I'm thrilled I can do that for whoever it might be.
You came out to your family a year after joining the band. How did they react?
It was difficult at the time - they were shocked at first. I was one of those who believed
I wouldn't be accepted. You grow up thinking 'Oh, this is the worst thing that's ever
going to happen, what am I going to do?' but they were cool. They said 'We love you,
you're our son' and I think they understood it wasn't a bad thing. There are a lot of
worse things that could happen.
How do you plan to see in the new Millennium?
We're just going to have a nice dinner at home in Holland with both our families, and the
dog. Mine are flying over. Eloy's an excellent cook. Reading's my thing, cooking is his.
[Pauses] Which is handy.
It sounds like you've got it all really, haven't you?
I've been very lucky, I've been blessed. (He pauses) So, will you say nice things? What
headline will you put on the cover?
I dunno. We might put 'We hate Stephen Gately, he's got it all.'
(He laughs and then looks serene as his mind drifts.) I'm really pleased with all the
support I've received. I'm really looking forward to next year now - it's going to be
really busy for me and hopefully successful as well. I hope people enjoy what I'm doing
and see me the way I am. It's all I've ever wanted.
|Tuesday May 30, 11:13 AM YAHOO!
Gately's love duet
Stephen Gately is reportedly planning a duet
single with his Dutch boyfriend Eloy de Jong. The Boyzone member who
releases his debut solo single 'A New Beginning' tomorrow, is quoted in
tabloid newspaper the Sunday People revealing his intentions to record the
track for Eloy's album as opposed to his own.
"We will be getting together for a duet definitely, and I'm really
looking forward to
it", said Gately. "We haven't decided on a song yet, but it
won't be a slushy ballad or anything like that. We're definitely going to
do something uptempo and with a bit of go in it. It will be a strong pop
song that makes you feel good and it will be really happy."