Will Young is "calling for an end to society’s legacy of gay shame" in a "taboo-breaking" manifesto-memoir, How to Be A Gay Man (Virgin Books).
Virgin’s senior editorial director Lorna Russell acquired world rights from Adrian Sington at Kruger Cowne. The book will be published by Ebury in May 2020.
Young is "calling for an end to society’s legacy of gay shame..., exploring the reasons for deep struggling in his community, and offering a way through to deep fulfilment and joy", Virgin said.
“Young gay people growing up in a climate of shame are clearly more at risk of developing low self-worth, and even self-disgust, leading to destructive behaviours in adult life,” the synopsis of the manifesto-memoir reads. “In How to be a Gay Man, Will reveals the darkest extremes he has been to, sharing his vulnerabilities, tracing his own navigation through it all and showing the way for others who might have felt isolated in their thoughts.”
Young is a singer-songwriter and a co-host of podcasts “Homo Sapiens”, presented as “Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ for an LGBTQ+ audience”. He originally became famous after winning the first series of "Pop Idol" in 2001.
Young said: “I’m thrilled to be working with my editor Lorna Russell and to have found such a supportive home at Ebury. I am passionate about raising awareness about the mental health issues surrounding gay shame, so that we can move towards a world where gay people don’t have to go through what I did—bouts of loneliness, depression, anxiety, addiction to alcohol, porn, shopping and even love, plus a sizeable bill for therapy.”
Russell said: “Will combines deep knowledge, personal experience and hard-earned wisdom with a lightness of touch on serious subjects, which makes him such a compelling and relatable writer and speaker. In How to be a Gay Man, you will find a friend, champion and mentor, breaking taboos with heart and humour. We couldn’t be more proud to be publishing this book, and we think it will change lives.”
Previously he co-wrote an autobiography, Funny Peculiar: The Autobiography (Sphere), published in 2012, as well as an earlier book Anything is Possible (Contendor), published in 2002 which drew on his "Pop Idol" experience.