Gay Times Magazine - - Contents - Name Gok Wan Age 43 Oc­cu­pa­tion TV pre­sen­ter, DJ, fash­ion guru

He prob­a­bly still looks good naked, but to be hon­est it was the naked truth we were af­ter as

Gok Wan tells us about his gay


When I first knew...

When I first knew I was gay or when I first knew I was fab­u­lous? I didn’t know I was gay, but I was at­tracted to Mr Leaves­ley at pri­mary school. He used to put his thumbs in the belt loops of his trousers and there was a real mo­ment of ad­mi­ra­tion for him. Ob­vi­ously, I wasn’t sex­u­ally de­vel­oped back then, but yeah def­i­nitely – five years old, belt loops, Mr Leaves­ley.

My com­ing out mo­ment… It was with my sis­ter in her flat in Hen­don. I had long bobbed hair – ‘cos I was a bit of a raver – and I was wear­ing a tar­tan waist­coat that I’d bought from one of the sou­venir shops on Ox­ford Street, I don’t know why. I told my sis­ter and her re­sponse was com­pletely un­der­whelm­ing. She just said, “Like I didn’t know!”

The campest thing I’ve ever done… Ev­ery­thing! I’m a com­pletely happy camp per­son. I’m very happy with my camp­ness. Ev­ery­thing I do has an edge of camp.

I’m very proud of that, ‘cos it’s taken years to de­velop. It takes a lot of ef­fort and a lot of en­ergy. I can’t stand camp-pho­bia, I hate it! It gets on my tits!

My first gay club/pub… Oh my God. It was called

The Pineap­ple in Le­ices­ter and I went in to nick all the free gay mags. In Le­ices­ter there was Streetlife the club, there was The Pineap­ple, and there was the Dover Cas­tle. They didn’t like lights in The Pineap­ple. Not even a red one – it was just a black­out. I went down one Sun­day and I re­mem­ber walk­ing in – I was about

15, but I was tall and fat so I looked like an adult. I was des­per­ate to get a hold of gay press, be­cause I’d heard that there were mag­a­zines that had pic­tures of half naked men in and they would tell me how to be gay. That was my first ex­pe­ri­ence. I went in, got the mag­a­zine, left and cried. It was Boyz or QX or one of those.

My first gay kiss… I’m try­ing to work out what you would call a kiss! It was when I was in school. It was with my best friend’s boyfriend. That’s a story for an­other time that you’ll all want to hear.

When I lost my vir­gin­ity… Next! We’ll move on from that one. No one needs to know about that!

My gay record would be… Any­thing by Kym Mazelle, or Ul­tra Naté, or Jo­ce­lyn Brown. There isn’t a sin­gle one be­cause I love mu­sic so much. It would be any of the big fe­male gay club vo­cal­ists, though. In fact, all of them put on the same CD. I know I’m camp, but I’m not into camp mu­sic that much. When I DJ, I DJ deep house – like Vaux­hall house. I get booked and peo­ple think I’m gonna rock up and put Whit­ney and Kylie on. I can’t bear that kind of mu­sic. I love Kylie, but the mu­sic just isn’t my kind of thing.

The gay film you must watch is… Beau­ti­ful Thing by Jonathan Har­vey. The most pro­lific and pow­er­ful story I think ever told in the gay com­mu­nity. Or Hold­ing the Man, but I pre­fer the book to the film.

What ad­vice I’d give my teenage self… Stop fuck­ing wor­ry­ing. You’re gonna get to an age soon where you’ll think, ‘This is all a mas­sive bag of shit.’ What be­ing gay means to me now… It’s about be­ing com­pletely proud of who I am. It changes daily, ac­tu­ally. Today is about be­ing proud, to­mor­row might be about be­ing an ac­tivist, the next day might be about be­ing camp. But today is about be­ing proud. My thoughts on love and mar­riage are… I wish I had both.

The TV show that changed my gay world… Prob­a­bly Queer as Folk, ac­tu­ally. I was a lot older when that came out, so it wasn’t a com­ing out mo­ment for me, but I re­mem­ber one of the first scenes in the first episode where, ba­si­cally, they’re hav­ing sex. I was with my best friend at the time with the most hor­rific hang­over and we sat on her bed eat­ing pizza. I love pizza, but I didn’t eat any while watch­ing. The scene started, and I just held the slice for an hour be­cause I was so lib­er­ated that what I knew and had ex­pe­ri­enced was sud­denly on the tele­vi­sion. For me, it was a re­ally pow­er­ful mo­ment.

On a Sun­day af­ter­noon you’ll find me… In my kitchen, DJING with all my mates. We have a party ev­ery Sun­day.

My gay hero is… Ben Sum­mer­skill. I think that what he did for the LGBT+ com­mu­nity was just in­cred­i­ble and self­less. I think he was an ab­so­lute tour de force and the most in­spi­ra­tional speaker I’ve ever ex­pe­ri­enced in my en­tire life. And he’s funny! He’s a dear friend of mine and he’s amaz­ing. He used to run Stonewall be­fore Ruth Hunt. He was the one do­ing all the equal age of con­sent and mar­riage stuff. He did so much for all of us.


ABOVE QUEER AS FOLK (OB­VI­OUSLY) BE­LOW HOLD­ING THE MAN – THE BOOK, NOT THE FILM Gok tours the UK with his one-man show Naked and Bar­ing All from 30 Oc­to­ber to 27 Novem­ber, stop­ping off in Leeds, Lon­don, Liver­pool and Glas­gow, among oth­ers. Visit...

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