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

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