Gok Wan might be known for his larger than life persona, but there was a time when the TV presenter’s personal demons threatened to take over life itself.
The How to Look Good Naked host, who is currently touring the UK with his new one-man show ‘Naked and Baring All’, is known for celebrating body positivity on screen, but struggles with an eating disorder in his early twenties left him depress and suicidal – feeling he says were only alleviated by his increasing comfort with his sexuality.
Speaking on the new Attitude Heroes podcast – available to listen to and download now – Gok recalls: “I was just a six foot one Asian Hagrid with boobs and this big personality. And so I started losing the weight and dramatically lost the weight and became very, very ill very quickly.”
The 43-year-old, who weighed 21 stone before the onset of his anorexia at the age of 20, continues: “One of the only safe places to for me to go to inside myself, internally, was my sexuality… I’ve always liked gay. I’ve never been afraid of gay. I’ve never hated my gayness.”
Elsewhere in the Attitude Heroes podcast, Gok talks about being persecuted as a mixed-race, overweight child, how he learned to use his camp as a shield, and his sexual and psychological awakening as a gay man.
He also shares his thoughts on masculinity and the prejudice he’s encountered as a Chinese gay man who publicly embraces his femininity.
Attitude Heroes is produced by Wisebuddah and sponsored by the GREAT Britain campaign, which welcomes the world to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK, and also Jaguar. For more product information please visit jaguar.co.uk.