British Hunk Duncan James Finds His Gay Comfort Zone. Admits It Hasn't Been Easy

Saturday June 19, 2021
Originally published on May 4, 2021

Duncan James
Duncan James  (Source:Instagram)

Out British singer Duncan James admitted to having been "ashamed" of being gay in the past, he told the British magazine OK! (link unavailable in the U.S.). He is now "comfortable" with who he is but has experienced "cruel comments from people who warned him he will 'go to hell' because of his relationship with Rodrigo Reis," reports the British website Female First.

"It's taken 10 years since I first came out to feel really comfortable in my skin, and now I'm trying to get involved and do different things for charities, and I go to a lot of LGBTQ+ events," he said in the interview.

"Now, coming forward and doing a shoot with another man, I feel so confident and happy that I can do that and say, 'I don't care what you think. If you don't like gay people, that's your problem!'"

But it has been a process. "It took me a long time to come out as gay. I was frightened to be me. I felt ashamed. I've never done anything like this with a male partner before because I always felt scared. It took me a while to finally admit that I was gay."

Twenty years ago, James broke onto the British music scene as a member of the boy band Blue. They broke up in 2005, reunited in 2011 as Britain entry in the Eurovision Song Contest. "It was revealed in December last year that Duncan would reunite with fellow bandmates Antony Costa, Simon Webbe and Lee Ryan in time for Blue's 20th anniversary later this year," wrote the Daily Mail "Last month, the former Hollyoaks actor revealed he has had filler injected into his jaw to firm it up ahead of Blue's 20th-anniversary reunion."

James came out as bisexual in 2009 before confirming he was gay in 2017. He shares a 16-year-old daughter, Tianie, with former girlfriend Claire Grainger. In March, he told the British tabloid The Sun that Tianie was being victimized on social media because he's gay.

"She is at an age where she is very much into her phone, and her friends are all on social media platforms like TikTok — it's very much her life," the 42-year-old ex-member of the band explained.

"But she's also aware that people could be horrible. People can be quite nasty about me being gay and say quite horrible things about the fact that I'm a gay dad."

Now James admitted being trolled for his relationship with boyfriend, fitness trainer Rodrigo Reis, 27. He met the Brazilian hunk two years ago while performing in Belgium. James has posted numerous pics of himself with Reis on social media, which has led to a backlash.

"A lot of my fans in the UK have been really supportive, but I've got a lot of international fans who still find it hard to accept I'm gay," James told OK! "Rodrigo and I posted a picture and there were a few bad comments, like, 'It's disgusting — look at you two. You're going to go to hell.'"

He added, "We're very lucky in the UK that we're such an open country, we're very diverse and encouraging. But there are a lot of countries that are anti-gay."

James admitted being stressed out during the pandemic when he was separated from Reis, who lives in Belgium, and Tianie, who lives in Manchester. Reis suggested he seek professional help. "I was getting a bit depressed and a bit crazy. Rodrigo said, 'Speak to someone.' I started speaking to a therapist online and it really helped. It's helped with my own anxieties and worries, and it was nice to have someone to talk to.

"In Britain, we always think, 'Oh, you only need a therapist if you're crazy.' But when you look at people in America, they have therapists for everything. I think it's been important for us as well."

Check out pics from James' IG: