Stephen Gately was
brought up a Catholic, along with three brothers and a sister, in the Sheriff Street area
of Dublin. As a teenager, Gately joined Dublin's Gaiety Theatre Group before forming a
disco-dance troupe called Black Magic.
George Michael's Careless Whisper at an audition of 300 people, Gately was chosen
to become a member of new boy band: Boyzone. Having been signed up by Polydor
Records the all Irish quintet made their TV debut on Gay Byrne's Late, Late Show in
1993. Sickeningly saccharine, the band were immediately a hit among pre-pubescent popsters
and went on to have 13 consecutive UK top five singles, including four number one's.
recently, Gately was just another pretty boy pop idol. But that was before the Boyzone
star admitted he preferred taking boys home. On June 16, 1999 the Sun plastered its
front page with the 'World Exclusive': 'Boyzone Stephen: I'm Gay And I'm In Love'.
article also revealed that Gately was in a relationship with 25 year-old Eloy de Jong, a
former member of a Dutch boy-band.
Quoted in the Guardian,
Gately said: "I wanted my fans to hear the facts from me before anyone else got the
chance to publish a twisted version of the truth." It seems the 23 year-old was
forced to come clean and come out because he feared that a former member of the Boyzone
road-crew was about to sell, and tell, all.
revelation of his sexual orientation, Gately's fans seem to have stuck by him. He was
voted Hero of 1999 by Smash Hits readers, and became the first (out) gay pop star
to appear on the teen mag's cover. Gately is now establishing himself as a solo
singer. His CD New Beginning is an often subversive and surprisingly
frank document of Gately's attempts to hide his sexuality--and his lover--from an adoring
public. "I cannot help myself from falling in love," he argues, on "If Only
You Were Here".
the main stage at the London Mardi Gras 2000 and received a rousing reception of
respect. And deservedly so. Whether willingly or not, Stephen Gatelys the first
boy-band member to have had the balls to say: "Im gay".