English singer and actor Duncan James has opened up about facing bullying as a child and terrified of being outed. James has said he was so scared of coming out as gay that he used to pretend to date Spice Girls friend Geri Halliwell, and other showbiz acquaintances including Tara Palmer-Tomkinson and Martine McCutcheon. 

The Blue singer has been with his boyfriend Rodrigo Reis for four years, however early in his career he hid his sexuality.

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Speaking with The Mirror prior to performing in the UK at Pride events with Blue bandmates Simon Webbe, Antony Costa and Lee Ryan, James stated that he sought comfort in the rumours circling around him dating his female friends at the time. 

Sought Comfort In Rumours About Dating Friends

 

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“I remember when I was in Blue the first time around, there were all these rumours I was dating my friends Geri, Martine and Tara and I used to feel relieved. I was playing Pride with Blue and feeling like such a hypocrite because everyone was celebrating their sexuality and I was still in the closet,” James said. 

The singer shares 17-year-old daughter Tianie with former partner Claire Grainger and came out as bisexual in 2009 before coming out as gay in 2017. James said that it has taken him a “long time to feel completely comfortable” with his sexuality. 

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He spoke on the bullying he experienced when he was younger where he was called names like “faggot” and “queer boy” because of his love for drama and musical theatre. James would go home crying to his mother but was “too scared to tell the teachers” because he “just wanted to be normal.” In retrospect, the Blue singer adds that he realises now there is no such thing as “normal”. 

‘I Saw Him Across The Bar’

 

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James spoke on the ITV daytime talk show Loose Women last year, telling the panel the story of how he met his boyfriend. 

“We met a couple of years ago in Belgium. I was doing a gig with the boys, and I met Rodrigo at the after-party,” he said. I saw him across the bar, and he was just my type. I was like: ‘He’s hot’.”

 

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The singer added that Rodrigo was a supportive boyfriend who made him feel more comfortable about his sexuality throughout their time together. “He was the first partner I had who wasn’t ashamed to hold my hand,” James added. 

Now that he is out gay, James has spoken positively of being on stage with Blue, stating that “Now I’m performing Blue hits and songs from musical theatre in full drag. I love it.” 

 

 

 

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