First Published: October 2009
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.
Stephen Gately's
New Beginning album
Click cover to BUY
The tragic death of Stephen Gately from natural causes at the age of 33 while he was on holiday with his husband Andy Cowles whome he married in 2006 has stunned his fans and the music industry. In 2004 we selected Stephen as one of our OutGuys - favourite and respected members of the UK gay community.

Stephen Gately sings Bright Eyes

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.

After singing 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.

Until fairly 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'.

The two-page 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.

Despite the 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".

Stephen played the main stage at the London Mardi Gras 2000 and received a rousing reception of respect. And deservedly so. Whether willingly or not, Stephen Gately’s the first boy-band member to have had the balls to say: "I’m gay".


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