My Gay Life
Name Charlie Condou Age 43 Occupation Actor
When I first knew... As a kid I thought about Rob Lowe A LOT. I guess that was probably my first indication. I worked with him last year on a TV series. He’s still beautiful. We had a very funny conversation about spunk. My 14-year-old self thought he’d died and gone to heaven.
My coming out moment... I had a huge crush on a guy called Barry who went to my gym. I thought he was straight. We ended up drinking together late one night and he asked me if I was gay. It hadn’t actually crossed my mind until that point, but suddenly everything slipped into place and I told him I was. Apparently he was too; we dated for a while.
The campest thing I’ve ever done... I’ve been working on The Rocky Horror Show this year. Ripping my trousers off to reveal stockings and suspenders in front of 1,500 people has to be up there.
My first gay club/pub... I was brought up in Soho in the 80s, so most pubs and
clubs were gay, but the first oneon CharingI remember Cross was Road. Bang I’d just moved out of home and moved into a flat round the corner. Bang was opposite and my next door neighbour Troy DJ’d there. It took weeks to get the courage to actually go inside, but once I did, it felt like I’d come home. It’s fair to say that was the beginning of many, many years on the gay scene in London. I loved it – but so don’t miss it now!
My first gay kiss... That would’ve been Barry, and very nice it was too.
When I lost my virginity... I was about 21 I’d been dating an older guy who showed me what a power bottom was!
My gay record would be, because... I Am What I Am by Gloria Gaynor. I didn’t actually know it was a gay record, but at nine-years-old I was OBSESSED with it. I used to wear little satin shorts with jazz shoes and ankle warmers, and dance around to it over and over. How my parents didn’t know remains a mystery to this day.
Favourite drink… Tea. I’m a middle aged parent.
My biggest crush is… I’d absolutely ruin Jake Gyllenhaal.
The gay film you must watch is... Maurice with James Wilby and Rupert Graves, because the scene where Scudder climbs through the window and makes love to Maurice is still one of the most erotic scenes I’ve ever seen. Rupert Graves lives on the next street to me and, trust me, he’s still got it.
On a Sunday afternoon you’ll find me... Up to my elbows in glitter, glue and felt tips. I’m a parent of two small kids though, not an amateur drag queen.
What advice I’d give my teenage self... Someone I was secretly in love with once told me I was only attractive because I was young, and once that had gone, I’d have nothing. That devastated me for years. I now realise this was how he felt about himself. I guess my advice would be to be more self-assured, and have faith that I’ll love and be loved.
My thoughts on love and marriage... Both my parents were married three times, so I never really had much faith in marriage. But it was important to Cameron and I knew I wanted to commit to him for life. We got married exactly ten years after our first date. I can’t explain how, but it’s deepened our relationship. He’s without a doubt the love of my life.
The TV show that changed my gay word... I’d say Gimme Gimme Gimme changed MY gay world because after appearing in an episode in just a pair of tight white underpants, I suddenly got a LOT more attention from men.
My gay hero is… Peter Tatchell, Michael Cashman and Ian McKellen will always as hard and as long as they have to give us all that we take for granted now. The lives of LGBT+ people would be very different today if it was for these three, and men and women like them who refused to be told that they were wrong. We owe them so much.
What advice I’d give my teenage self… I guess my advice would be to be more self-assured, and have faith that I’ll love and be loved.
ABOVE RIGHT Advert and ticket for Bang nightclub
LEFT Charlie Condou
ABOVE Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain
BELOW Maurice by Merchant Ivory
TOP Gimme Gimme Gimme