Will Young Calls For End To 'Gay' As School Slur
Will Young has told Sky News more should be done to clamp down on homophobic language and the use of the word "gay" as an insult in schools.
The singer told the Murnaghan programme he had taken up the issue with Education Secretary Michael Gove because he believes it to be a "crisis".
The Pop Idol winner, who came out shortly after winning the show and has gone on to have an enduring music career, said he had been impressed by the politician's views on the problem.
Young highlighted statistics that show 23% of young gay people attempt suicide and 56% will self harm.
He has been working with the charity Stonewall to address the issue of perjorative language used in relation to homosexuality.
He said 81% of gay people who hear the word used as a derogatory term feel distressed about it.
"Gay was claimed as a negative term in the 80s so I grew up with people saying 'That's so gay, this is so gay' and it's never really been addressed."
Ofsted does not currently have a set agenda for tackling homophobic language but Young said there is a "huge opportunity" to change that.
The star said only one in 10 teachers is trained in how to communicate to children that it is the wrong language to use.
Young is now working with Stonewall to set up a programme to train more teachers.